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Sociological Theory

Sociological Theory

Author: Paul Hannan

This lesson will explain, define and discuss the key ideas and the basic components of Sociological Theory a theoretical approach; macro-level orientation, and micro-level orientation will be defined. A brief overview to identify the structural functional, social conflict, and symbolic interaction theories will be given.

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Terms to Know
Macro-level Orientation

​A zoomed out look at the social structures and institutions that shape society.

Structural Functional Approach

​An approach which sees society as a complex system with interlocking parts that each work together to maintain the system as a whole.

Symbolic-Interaction Approach

​A sociological approach which views society as the result of many individual, everyday interactions.


​A statement on how and why facts are related.

​Micro-level Orientation

A zoomed in focus on specific situations and interactions.

​Social-Conflict Approach

An approach to social theory that argues that society is characterized by various conflicts which cause people to act socially, producing change.

​Sociological Theory

Explanations for the social behavior of people in groups.

​Theoretical Approach

Applying a theory to all thinking and research.