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Social Psychology

Social Psychology

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Published by herbert_musoke

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Published by: herbert_musoke on Dec 20, 2010
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SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGYSocial psychology is the scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relateto one another. Listed below are links to social psychology topics such as prejudice anddiscrimination, gender, culture, social influence, interpersonal relations, group behavior,aggression, and more.
Social psychology
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Social psychology
is the study of the relations between people and groups. Scholars inthisinterdisciplinaryarea are typically either  psychologistsor sociologists, though all social psychologists employ both theindividualand thegroupas their units of analysis.
Despite their similarity, psychological and sociological researchers tend to differ in their goals, approaches, methods, and terminology. They also favor separateacademic journals andprofessional societies.The greatest period of collaboration between sociologists and psychologists was during the years immediately following World War II.
Althoughthere has been increasing isolation and specialization in recent years, some degree of overlap and influence remains between the two disciplines.
Most social psychologists are trained within psychology. Their approach to the fieldfocuses on the individual and attempts to explain how thethoughts,feelings, and  behaviorsof individuals are influenced by other people. Psychologically orientedresearchers emphasize the immediate social situation and theinteractionbetween personand situation variables. Their research tends to beempiricaland quantitative, and it isoften centered around laboratoryexperiments, but there are some computationalmodeling efforts in the field.
Psychologists who study social psychology are interested in such topics asattitudes,social cognition, cognitive dissonance,social influence,and interpersonal behaviors such asaltruismandaggression. Three influential journals for the publication of research in this area are the 
, the 
, and the
.There are also many other general and specialized social psychology journals
Sociologists' work has a greater focus on the behavior of thegroup, and thus examinessuch phenomena asinteractionsandexchangesat the micro-level,group dynamicsand group development, andcrowdsat themacro-level. Sociologists are interested in the individual and group, but generally within the context of larger social structures and processes, such as social roles, race, class, gender, ethnicity, and socialization. Like psychological social psychologists, they often use experimental methods. But unlikethem, they also frequently utilize quantitative survey and qualitative observationaldesigns.Sociologists in this area are interested in a variety of demographic, social, and cultural phenomena. Some of their major research areas are social inequality, group dynamics,social change, socialization, social identity, and symbolic interactions. The keysociological journal is
Social Psychology Quarterly
Social structure
The termsocial structurerefers to entities or groups in definite relation to each other, torelatively enduring patterns of behaviour and relationships within social systems, or tosocial institutions and norms becoming embedded into social systems in such a way thatthey shape the behaviour of actors within those social systems.Social structure underlies many social systems includingfamily, religion, race, gender ,  and social class. Social structures supply roles and norms that influence human interactions. One example is role theory, which examines as the distinct, functional  positions of persons within a group.
Conflict theory
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to:navigation, search Conflict theory starts from a few basic assumptions: society is composed of groups,groups have interests, those groups also have resources, and, that groups will often try touse their resources to further their interests. The fact that the interests of one group oftencome at the expense of another group means that groups will often be in conflict.
Furthermore, because resources help groups to act towards their interests moreeffectively, groups with more resources tend to succeed. This general framework characterizes the work of Karl Marx, Max Weber, and numerous more current socialtheorists of different types.
Conflict theories
are perspectives in social sciencewhich emphasize the social, political or material inequality of asocial group,which critique the  broad socio-political system, or which otherwise detract fromstructural functionalism and ideological conservativism.Conflict theories draw attention to power differentials, such asclass conflict, and generally contrast historically dominantideologies. Many conflict theories set out to highlight the ideological aspects inherent in traditionalthought. In Sociology, Conflict Theory states that society or an organization functions sothat each individual participant and its groups struggle to maximize their benefits, whichinevitably contributes to social change such as political changes and revolutions. Thetheory is mostly applied to explain conflict between social classes. Conflict Theorydescribes conflict between groups of people and the reasons why conflict is present andwhy we make the actions we do in society, however Conflict Theory is still questionablewhether it directly represents the ideal human society. Although conflict has always beencentral to sociological theory and analysis, Conflict Theory is the label generally attachedto the sociological writings of opponents to the dominance of structural functionalism, inthe two decades after the Second World War. Its proponents on Max Weber and KarlMarx to construct their arguments, giving differing emphases to economic conflict andconflict about power. This is where history plays a role in determing what ConflictTheory is all about. Conflict Theory can also be traced back to Thomas Hobbes andMachiavelli. Conflict theorists such as Machiavelli and Hobbes would argue that allgroups in society are born from conflict. An example might be that of labor unions,which are developed to fight for the interests of workers, whereas trade organizations aremade to fight for the interests of the wealthier classes. This theory of groups is opposedto functionalism in which each of these groups would play a specific, set role in society.In functionalism, these groups cooperate to benefit society whereas in conflict theory thegroups are in opposition to one another as they seek to better their masters. ConflictTheory is backed by four basic principles to why conflict occurs between social classes.These principles are competition, structural inequality, revolution, and war.

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