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A. R. Radcliffe-Brown

A. R. Radcliffe-Brown  

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(1881–1955)Radcliffe-Brown was one of the most influential of the founding figures of social anthropology, through his teaching in universities in England, North America, South Africa, and Australia. ...
adaptation

adaptation  

1 (in evolution) Any change in the structure or functioning of successive generations of a population that makes it better suited to its environment. Natural selection of heritable adaptations ...
Alvin Ward Gouldner

Alvin Ward Gouldner  

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(1920 –1980)An American sociologist and critical theorist who diagnosed the “crisis” of post–World War II functionalism and explored the potential for radical politics in the modern era. Gouldner was ...
change

change  

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Philosophy
The central problems for a philosophy of change are the relationship of change to time, and the relationship of both of them to us. Although change is a fundamental element of the perceived world, a ...
civil religion

civil religion  

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In the 1960s a number of sociologists (including Talcott Parsons, Edward Shils, and Robert Bellah) distinguished civil religion from institutional (church-based) religion, arguing that societies such ...
code

code  

1 A numerical and/or alphabetical system for organizing and classifying information and data.2 A formal statement of acceptable ways for members of a defined professional group to behave, i.e., a ...
comparative sociology

comparative sociology  

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All sociology is implicitly comparative, since social phenomena are invariably held in some way to be typical, representative, or unique, all of which imply appropriate comparison. Émile Durkheim was ...
conflict theory

conflict theory  

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Conflict has always been central to sociological theory and analysis. Some of the earliest approaches included Ludwig Gumplowicz's theory of ethnic conflict and Gaetano Mosca's theory of conflict ...
consensus

consensus  

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1. General agreement about some issue within a group or in public opinion: compare dissensus.2. Shared ideas, norms, and values in a society (for functionalists, particularly Parsons, the basis of ...
cultural relativism

cultural relativism  

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Religion
[Th]The position that there is no universal standard to measure cultures by, and that all cultures are equally valid and must be understood in their own terms.
dysfunction

dysfunction  

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Abnormality or disturbance of function. dysfunctional adj. [From Greek dys- bad or abnormal + Latin functio to perform + -ion indicating an action, process, or state]
E. E. Evans-Pritchard

E. E. Evans-Pritchard  

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(1902–73)A leading British social anthropologist who undertook ethnographic studies of a number of African societies. He viewed social anthropology as a humanistic rather than a scientific study of ...
Edmund Leach

Edmund Leach  

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(1910–1989),British anthropologist concerned mostly with questions of meaning in culture. Leach rebelled against the social realism of Émile Durkheim and Alfred R. Radcliffe-Brown that held sway in ...
Edward Burnett Tylor

Edward Burnett Tylor  

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(1832–1917) [Bi]English banker and businessman who became interested in anthropology as a result of a casual contact with Henry Christy. He became reader in anthropology at the University of Oxford ...
Émile Durkheim

Émile Durkheim  

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(1858–1917)French sociologist and one of the founding fathers of modern sociology.After he graduated from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, Durkheim taught sociology first at the University of ...
eufunction

eufunction  

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A eufunctional activity (from the Greek eu meaning ‘well’) is one which contributes to the maintenance or survival of another social activity or of the social system as a whole. The term is now ...
evolutionary universals

evolutionary universals  

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In his later writings, Talcott Parsons tied his functionalist theory (notably the four so-called ‘systems problems’) to an evolutionary perspective, exemplified in his twin volumes on Societies ...
functional theory of stratification

functional theory of stratification  

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In a classic article outlining ‘Some Principles of Stratification’ (American Sociological Review, 1945), Kingsley Davis and Wilbert Moore argued that unequal social and economic rewards were an ...
Galton's problem

Galton's problem  

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The Galton problem is named after Francis Galton, the 19th-century British polymath, who became embroiled in a celebrated exchange about the logic of comparative analysis with the anthropologist ...
goal attainment

goal attainment  

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One of the four functional prerequisites in Talcott Parsons's theory of action systems. Along with adaptation, integration, latency it forms the so-called AGIL scheme. Goal attainment is the process ...

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