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Second Steps in Sociology

Use and Misuse of Sociological Concepts

Marcel Fredericks and Steven I. Miller

This text is directed to undergraduate students in sociology. Its focus is towards developing critical thinking skills. It accomplishes this task by systematically introducing students to a series of topics that can be used to critically analyze the concepts and arguments commonly used in beginning courses. The text begins by showing students the way common sociological concepts can be classified and defined. Using the context of conceptual analysis drawn from what is known as «ordinary language analysis» in philosophy, the student is taught how to apply these techniques to a variety of sociological perspectives. This foundation is then complemented by introductory chapters which deal with deductive and inductive modes of reasoning as well as several examples of informal fallacies. The final chapter focuses on the construction of conceptual models using illustrations from medical sociology. All of the chapters attempt to incorporate concrete sociological examples.