Q:

What is the Thomas theorem of sociology?

A:

Quick Answer

The Thomas theorem of sociology states "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences," according to the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology Online. The objective reality of a situation doesn't matter as much as someone's perception of what someone believes is happening. Sociologist W.I. Thomas published his theorem in 1928.

  Know More

Full Answer

Prof. Ernie Guyton of Georgia Perimeter College reveals that one example of this theorem is the American invasion of Iraq. Factions of the U.S. government believed Iraq's leaders had weapons of mass destruction and were capable of using them against Americans in the United States. Therefore, the U.S. military invaded Iraq in 2003 as a preemptive measure to try to prevent such a massive attack.

Another example of the Thomas theorem is the case of Trayvon Martin's death. Defendant George Zimmerman perceived Martin as a threat and then killed him, according to Nathan Palmer of Sociology in Focus. Zimmerman is heard in recordings claiming that Martin is "up to no good or on drugs." The neighborhood watch officer shot and killed Martin and then claimed self defense, even though Martin was unarmed.

Thomas was elected president of the American Sociological Society in 1927. The sociologist lived from 1863 to 1947, mostly in Chicago.

Learn more about Social Sciences

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is sociology a science?

    A:

    Sociology is a science; to study social behavior, problems and tendencies, social scientists use the same controlled research methods that are used in other sciences. Data is collected under the same controlled conditions and statistically analyzed by the same methods.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the branches of sociology and anthropology?

    A:

    According to French sociologist Emile Durkheim, sociology consists of three main branches: social morphology, general sociology and social physiology. Anthropology is divided into four branches, including physical anthropology, linguistic anthropology, cultural anthropology and archaeology.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the importance of studying sociology?

    A:

    The study of sociology provides valuable insights into how human behavior is shaped and influenced by the societal forces of group interaction. The insight gained from a study of sociology leads to a greater understanding of how individuals and groups interact at the local, national and worldwide level. This understanding also better prepares an individual for a wide variety of career paths in the areas of human resources, business management, assessment, research and any area in which a global awareness coupled with critical thinking skills is an asset.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is postmodernism in sociology?

    A:

    Postmodernism in sociology focuses on individual truths and stays away from information that is confined to cultures, races, traditions or groups, yet understands that individual experiences will always be relative and cannot yield universal truths. Postmodernism is a type of thought that does not believe in finite, unchanging, specific and certain principles for all and does not believe that there is a theory that can explain everything for every human being, such as a religious or philosophical truth.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore