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Terms of Sociology

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Paganism
The polytheistic worship of idols

Participant observation
When a researcher became a member of the group he is studying and participates in its group life fully, it is called participant observation.Malinowosky emphasized on this method of studying societies.

Paleolithic Age
The Old Stone Age the period of cultural development which was characterized by the use of crudely chipped stone tools which were made into almond –shaped flake tools. The men secured their food by gathering vegetation, by hunting wild animals. They lived in the open or in natural shelters such as caves.

Pastoral Culture
A way of life which develops out of the fact that a group of people are dependent on herds of domesticated animals for a food supply. Because of the necessity of constant migration, their material culture is limited largely to portable goods and their social organization is influenced by the arduous character of migration.

Patriarchal family
A monogamous family in which the oldest male has extensive authority over the other members of the family or the household.

Phenomenology
Phenomenology began as the project of the German philosopher Edmund Husserl.His ideas were transformed by Alfred Schutz.Husserl was concerned with the process of consciousness of how experience creates a sense of an external reality. According to Turner Husserl initially made reference to the world of the natural attitude. Later he was to use the phase life world. In either case with these concepts he emphasized that humans operate in a taken for granted world that permeates their mental life. His aim was to search for the essence of consciousness. The substantive content of consciousness or the life world is not what is important but the abstract processes of consciousness per se are to be the topic of philosophic enquiry.Schutz blended Husserl's phenomenology with Max Weber's action theory and American Interactionism. He addressed the questions how do actors create a common subjective world and what implications does this creations have for how social order is maintained.

Political sociology
A study of the political state as a social phenomenon and the social and cultural factors influencing political organization and change.

Polyandary
A form of polygamy where a woman may legally have two or more husbands at the same time.

Polygamy
Plural marriage of one man to two or more women or the marriage or the marriage of one woman to two or more men at the same time.

Polygyny
The marriage of one man to two or more women at the same time.

Polytheism
The belief in many gods of equal status.

Population density
The number of people living in each unit of area.

Population problems
The problems associated with an unwanted increase or decrease in the number of people, a change in the sex ratio, age structure or in population quality.

Primitive society
A society that has not developed a system of writing. A non-literate society that has a rudimentary culture with no knowledge of metallurgy, machine manufacture, agriculture or any systematic science, technology or theology.

Psychological sociology
The body of knowledge and interpretative point of view which seeks to explain sociological phenomena primarily in terms of individual psychological factors such as desires,motives,interests,wishes,needs,feelings and impulses.

Puberty rites
In preliterate societies a ceremony which commemorates the social recognition of a young person's transition from the status of childhood into the status of adulthood.

Punaluan family
A family in which a number of husbands are shared by group of sisters or one in which a number of wives are shared by a group of brothers. This was hypothesized by Lewis H Morgan.

Purdah
The custom of secluding women from public view.