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Is there a sociologist in the house?

  1. Aug 7, 2004 #1


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    There have been quite a few threads here in Social Sciences that would benefit from the inputs from sociology; for example, much of the discussion on 'race'.

    I personally am unfamiliar with the key theories in sociology, and the major themes, solid results, etc. However, here are some questions that I think sociology may have some interesting answers to:
    - how are social groups defined and identified?
    - what sorts of such groups are there (classification schemes)?
    - how do social groups form?
    - what are the key drivers of inter-social group behaviour?
    - what factors contribute to the rise, and continuation, of inter-group conflict?
    - ditto, decline and diminution?
    - what leads to the decline and disappearance of a social group?
    - how relevant are the words 'race', 'ethnic group', 'caste', 'class', etc?

    Surely sociologists have developed a set of terms, a framework within which to discuss their studies, so recasting the above questions in that framework may be a good first step.
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  3. Aug 7, 2004 #2


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    I just made a thread in biology that covers some basics about populations and genetics, I will answer questions in that thread.

    I mentioned in that thread there are different kinds of isolated populations and I think those are most important to consider, at least I know the most about them. Populations can be isolated by geography, culture or history. When this is the case they can develop their own characteristics.

    You can have a population that is isolated on an island (Mauritia) or wedged between a mountain and a river (Sanguenay Lac-Saint-Jean), a population isolated by being wedged in between countries which speak other languages (Finland), a population that has a different religion (Mormons) or other values (Amish).

    I am very skeptic about racial genetics, we have not been isolated enough and in the meanwhile there has been a lot of admixture. There will be differences, but they will be non-homogenously distributed.
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