School of
Social Sciences
___Introduction to Sociology
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Sociological
Jargon

What they say and what they mean: a guide to the language
Perplexed by post-modernism? Stumped by structuration? All sociologists feel they have to use words that no-one understands instead of ordinary words, otherwise they wouldn't be doing sociology properly. This simple guide should help you to translate sociological texts into English. Find that word that has been haunting your dreams and rest easy.
 
Sociologism
English
Social agents, individuals, social units, or social actors people
Consumers people when they buy things
Workers people when they do things
Social totalities, status groups, collectivities, networks or classes groups of people
Society a lot of groups of people trying to live together
Discourse what people say they do
Consciousness what they think they do
Action what they actually do (always very different)
Oppression what some people do to other people when they do things they disapprove of
Repression what people do to themselves when they think things that other people disapprove of
Historical context the way people have done things in past influences how people do things now
Structure the fact that way in which other people do things influences how you do things
Agency means the opposite of 'structure'

 



These pages were originally written by: Angus Bancroft and Sioned Rogers
Redesigned and updated by: Pierre Stapley - 2010