Macrosociology - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Sociology

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The term "macro" denotes "large"; thus macrosociology refers to the study of large-scale social phenomena. This covers a very broad range of topics that includes groups and collectivities of varying sizes, the major organizations and institutions of one or more societies, cross-sectional or historical studies of a single society, and both comparative and historical analyses of multiple societies. At the grandest level it may cover all human society and history.

Sociologists distinguish macrosociology from microsociology, which focuses on the social activities of individuals and small groups. The micro-macro distinction forms one of the central dualisms characterizing divergent sociological perspectives. Seemingly polar opposites such as conflict-consensus, stability-change, structure-agency, subjectiveobjective, and materialist-idealist, as well as micro-macro, provide a shorthand method for denoting differences in central assumptions, subjects, and models. As with many other oppositional concepts, however, the boundary between microsociology and macrosociology is not clearly distinguished, and at the margins...

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This section contains 5,923 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Macrosociology Encyclopedia Article
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Macrosociology from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.