This preparedness is expressed in ways such as their imitation of facial gestures.
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This observed behavior cannot be contributed to any current form of socialization or social construction. Rather, newborns most likely inherit to some extent social behavior and identity through genetics. Principal evidence of this theory is uncovered by examining Twin pregnancies. The main argument is, if there are social behaviors that are inherited and developed before birth, then one should expect twin foetuses to engage in some form of social interaction before they are born. Thus, ten foetuses were analyzed over a period of time using ultrasound techniques.
Using kinematic analysis, the results of the experiment were that the twin foetuses would interact with each other for longer periods and more often as the pregnancies went on. Researchers were able to conclude that the performance of movements between the co-twins were not accidental but specifically aimed.
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The social pre-wiring hypothesis was proved correct, "The central advance of this study is the demonstration that ' social actions ' are already performed in the second trimester of gestation. Starting from the 14th week of gestation twin foetuses plan and execute movements specifically aimed at the co-twin. These findings force us to predate the emergence of social behavior : when the context enables it, as in the case of twin foetuses, other-directed actions are not only possible but predominant over self-directed actions.
Family, gender and sexuality form a broad area of inquiry studied in many sub-fields of sociology. The family unit is one of the most important social institutions found in some form in nearly all known societies. It is the basic unit of social organization and plays a key role in socializing children into the culture of their society.
The sociology of the family examines the family, as an institution and unit of socialization , with special concern for the comparatively modern historical emergence of the nuclear family and its distinct gender roles. The notion of " childhood " is also significant.
As one of the more basic institutions to which one may apply sociological perspectives, the sociology of the family is a common component on introductory academic curricula. Feminist sociology , on the other hand, is a normative sub-field that observes and critiques the cultural categories of gender and sexuality, particularly with respect to power and inequality. The primary concern of feminist theory is the patriarchy and the systematic oppression of women apparent in many societies, both at the level of small-scale interaction and in terms of the broader social structure.
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Feminist sociology also analyses how gender interlocks with race and class to produce and perpetuate social inequalities. For example, one recent study has shown that resume evaluators penalize women for motherhood while giving a boost to men for fatherhood.
The sociology of health and illness focuses on the social effects of, and public attitudes toward, illnesses , diseases, mental health and disabilities. This sub-field also overlaps with gerontology and the study of the ageing process.
Medical sociology, by contrast, focuses on the inner-workings of medical organizations and clinical institutions. In Britain, sociology was introduced into the medical curriculum following the Goodenough Report The sociology of the body and embodiment  takes a broad perspective on the idea of "the body" and includes "a wide range of embodied dynamics including human and non-human bodies, morphology, human reproduction, anatomy, body fluids, biotechnology, genetics. This often intersects with health and illness, but also theories of bodies as political, social, cultural, economic and ideological productions.
A subfield of the sociology of health and illness that overlaps with cultural sociology is the study of death, dying and bereavement,  sometimes referred to broadly as the sociology of death. This topic is exemplifed by the work of Douglas Davies and Michael C. The sociology of knowledge is the study of the relationship between human thought and the social context within which it arises, and of the effects prevailing ideas have on societies.
The term first came into widespread use in the s, when a number of German-speaking theorists, most notably Max Scheler , and Karl Mannheim , wrote extensively on it. With the dominance of functionalism through the middle years of the 20th century, the sociology of knowledge tended to remain on the periphery of mainstream sociological thought. It was largely reinvented and applied much more closely to everyday life in the s, particularly by Peter L.
Berger and Thomas Luckmann in The Social Construction of Reality and is still central for methods dealing with qualitative understanding of human society compare socially constructed reality. The "archaeological" and "genealogical" studies of Michel Foucault are of considerable contemporary influence. The sociology of science involves the study of science as a social activity, especially dealing "with the social conditions and effects of science, and with the social structures and processes of scientific activity.
Merton and Bruno Latour. These branches of sociology have contributed to the formation of science and technology studies. Sociology of leisure is the study of how humans organize their free time. Leisure includes a broad array of activities, such as sport , tourism, and the playing of games. The sociology of leisure is closely tied to the sociology of work, as each explores a different side of the work—leisure relationship. More recent studies in the field move away from the work—leisure relationship and focus on the relation between leisure and culture. This subfield of sociology studies, broadly, the dynamics of war, conflict resolution, peace movements, war refugees, conflict resolution and military institutions.
It is a highly specialized sub-field which examines issues related to service personnel as a distinct group with coerced collective action based on shared interests linked to survival in vocation and combat , with purposes and values that are more defined and narrow than within civil society. Military sociology also concerns civilian -military relations and interactions between other groups or governmental agencies. Topics include the dominant assumptions held by those in the military, changes in military members' willingness to fight, military unionization, military professionalism, the increased utilization of women, the military industrial-academic complex, the military's dependence on research, and the institutional and organizational structure of military.
Historically, political sociology concerned the relations between political organization and society. A typical research question in this area might be: "Why do so few American citizens choose to vote? A major subfield of political sociology developed in relation to such questions, which draws on comparative history to analyse socio-political trends. The field developed from the work of Max Weber and Moisey Ostrogorsky.
Contemporary political sociology includes these areas of research, but it has been opened up to wider questions of power and politics. Such questions are more likely to be studied qualitatively.
The study of social movements and their effects has been especially important in relation to these wider definitions of politics and power. Political sociology has also moved beyond methodological nationalism and analysed the role of non-governmental organizations, the diffusion of the nation-state throughout the Earth as a social construct , and the role of stateless entities in the modern world society.
Contemporary political sociologists also study inter-state interactions and human rights. Demographers or sociologists of population study the size, composition and change over time of a given population. Demographers study how these characteristics impact, or are impacted by, various social, economic or political systems. The study of population is also closely related to human ecology and environmental sociology, which studies a populations relationship with the surrounding environment and often overlaps with urban or rural sociology.
Researchers in this field may study the movement of populations: transportation, migrations, diaspora, etc. Demographers may also study spread of disease within a given population or epidemiology.
Public sociology refers to an approach to the discipline which seeks to transcend the academy in order to engage with wider audiences. It is perhaps best understood as a style of sociology rather than a particular method, theory, or set of political values.
This approach is primarily associated with Michael Burawoy who contrasted it with professional sociology, a form of academic sociology that is concerned primarily with addressing other professional sociologists. Public sociology is also part of the broader field of science communication or science journalism. The sociology of race and of ethnic relations is the area of the discipline that studies the social , political, and economic relations between races and ethnicities at all levels of society.
This area encompasses the study of racism , residential segregation , and other complex social processes between different racial and ethnic groups. This research frequently interacts with other areas of sociology such as stratification and social psychology , as well as with postcolonial theory. At the level of political policy, ethnic relations are discussed in terms of either assimilationism or multiculturalism.
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The sociology of religion concerns the practices, historical backgrounds, developments, universal themes and roles of religion in society. The sociology of religion is distinguished from the philosophy of religion in that sociologists do not set out to assess the validity of religious truth-claims, instead assuming what Peter L. Berger has described as a position of "methodological atheism". Contemporary debates often centre on topics such as secularization , civil religion , the intersection of religion and economics and the role of religion in a context of globalization and multiculturalism.
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