Sharable Sociology Quotes

Editorial Note:​

Part of Applied Worldwide's mission is to relate sociology to everyday life. In order to accomplish this mission we aim to acknowledge and spread awareness of the many theories that have been produced in the discipline. In doing so we have produced and distributed many sociology quotes across our social media platforms. On this page you will find a collection of our sociology quotes. You are free to share these quotes on your own social media pages or use them in teaching materials. Enjoy!

Jane Addams

 

"I am not one of those who believe—broadly speaking—that women are better than men. We have not wrecked railroads, nor corrupted legislatures, nor done many unholy things that men have done; but then we must remember that we have not had the chance."

 

- Jane Addams

Kristin K. Barker

 

 

"Illness and disease are more than fixed physical realities; they are phenomena shaped by social experiences, shared cultural traditions, and shifting frameworks. of knowledge."

 

- Kristin K. Barker

Jean Baudrillard

 

"Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real when in fact all Los Angeles and the America surrounding it are no longer real, but of the order of the hyperreal and of simulation...The Disneyland imaginary is neither true nor false; it is a deterrence machine set up in order to rejuvenate in reverse the fiction of the real."

 

- Jean Baudrillard

Ulrich Beck

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"You need education. You need subsistence protection. We need jobs and social security. These are preconditions under which it will perhaps be possible to deal with these complex circumstances."

 

- Ulrich Beck

 

"Neither science, nor the politics in power, nor business, nor the law, nor even the military are in a position to define or control risks rationally."

 

- Ulrich Beck

Howard Becker

 

"Good sociology is sociological work that produces meaningful descriptions of organizations and events, valid explanations of how they come about and persist, and realistic proposals for their improvement or removal."

 

- Howard Becker

 

"All Social groups make rules and attempt, at some times and under some circumstances, to enforce them. Social rules define situations and the kinds of behavior appropriate to them, specifying some actions as 'right' and forbidding others as 'wrong.'"

 

- Howard Becker

Pierre Bourdieu

 

 

"The difficulty, in sociology, is to manage to think in a completely astonished and disconcerted way about things you thought you had always understood."

 

- Pierre Bourdieu

 

"Economic capital is at the root of all the other types of capital."

 

- Pierre Bourdieu

 

"The point of my work is to show that culture and education aren't simply hobbies or minor influences. They are hugely important in the affirmation of differences between groups and social classes and in the reproduction of those differences."

 

- Pierre Bourdieu

 

"Symbolic violence is violence wielded with tacit complicity between its victims and its agents, insofar as both remain unconscious of submitting to or wielding it."

 

- Pierre Bourdieu

Judith Butler

 

 

"Gender is not to culture as sex is to nature; gender must also designate the very apparatus of production whereby the sexes themselves are established."

 

- Judith Butler

 

"What is most important is to cease legislating for all lives what is livable only for some, and similarly, to refrain from proscribing for all lives what is unlivable for some."

 

- Judith Butler

Patricia Hill Collins

 

"As long as black women's subordination within intersecting oppressions of race, class, gender, sexuality, and nation persists, black feminism as an activist response to that oppression will remain needed."

 

- Patricia Hill Collins

 

"In order for black feminist thought to operate effectively within black feminism as a social justice project, both must remain dynamic. Neither black feminist thought as a critical social theory nor black feminist practice can be static; as social conditions change, so must the knowledge and practices designed to resist them."

 

- Patricia Hill Collins

R.W. Connell

 

"The constitution of masculinity through bodily performance means that gender is vulnerable when the performance cannot be sustained--for instance, as a result of physical disability."

 

- R.W. Connell

 

"Body-reflexive practices...are not internal to the individual. They involve social relations and symbolism; they may well involve large-scale social institutions...through body-reflexive practices, more than individual lives are formed:a social world is formed."

 

- R.W. Connell

Ralf Dahrendorf

 

 

"The history of the industrial revolution and its immediate consequences is too well known to be repeated here. However, one aspect of this history appears essential for our discussion. Wealth and poverty, domination and poverty, domination and subjection, property and propertylessness, high and low prestige--all these were present before the industrial revolution as afterward."

 

- Ralf Dahrendorf

W.E.B. DuBois

 

 

"Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. it is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year. It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime."

 

- W.E.B. DuBois

 

"It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity."

 

- W.E.B. DuBois

 

"The equality in political, industrial and social life which modern men must have in order to live, is not to be confounded with sameness. On the contrary, in our case, it is rather insistence upon the right of diversity..." 

 

- W.E.B. DuBois

Emile Durkheim

 

'...we must say that society is not at all the illogical or a-logical, incoherent and fantastic being which it has too often been considered. Quite on the contrary, the collective consciousness is the highest form of the psychic life, since it is the consciousness of the consciousnesses."

 

- Emile Durkheim

Michel Foucault

 

"The first task of the doctor is therefore political; the struggle against disease must begin with a war against bad government...and in a society that was free at last, in which inequalities were reduced, and in which concord reigned, the doctor would have no more than a temporary role..."

 

- Michel Foucault

 

"Schools serve the same social functions as prisons and mental institutions—to define, classify, control, and regulate people."

 

- Michel Foucault

 

"Where there is power, there is resistance."

 

-Michel Foucault

Harold Garfinkel

 

"Sociologists are like goldfish swimming in a bowl, confidently analyzing other goldfish."

 

- Harold Garfinkel

 

Anthony Giddens

 

"The formulation of critical theory is not an option; theories and findings in the social sciences are likely to have practical (and political) consequences regardless of whether or not the sociological observer or policy-maker decides that they can be 'applied' to a given practical issue."

 

- Anthony Giddens

 

"The concept of structuration involves that of the duality of structure, which relates to the fundamentally recursive character of social life, and expresses the mutual dependence of structure and agency."

 

- Anthony Giddens

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

 

"The labor which the wife performs in the household is given as part of her functional duty, not as employment. The wife of the poor man, who works hard in a small house, doing all of the work for the family, or the wife of the rich man, who wisely and gracefully manages a large house and administers its functions, each is entitled to fair pay for services rendered."

 

- Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Audre Lorde

 

 

"The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never allow us to bring about genuine change."

 

- Audre Lorde

 

"...How do you deal with the fact that the women who clean your houses and tend your children while you attend conferences on feminist theory are, for the most part, poor women and women of color?"

 

- Audre Lorde

 

"Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one's own actions or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt but the beginning of knowledge. Yet all too often, guilt is just another name for impotence, for defensiveness destructive of communication; it becomes a device to protect ignorance and the continuation of things the way they are, the ultimate protection."

 

- Audre Lorde

 

"Men who are afraid to feel must keep women around to do their feeling for them while dismissing us for the same supposedly "inferior" capacity to feel deeply. But in this way also, men deny themselves their own essential humanity, becoming trapped in dependency and fear."

 

- Audre Lorde

Harriet Martineau

 

"Laws and customs may be creative of vice; and should be therefore perpetually under process of observation and correction: but laws and customs cannot be creative of virtue: they may encourage and help to preserve it; but they cannot originate it."

 

- Harriet Martineau

Karl Marx 

 

"The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them."

 

- Karl Marx

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

 

"The division of labour inside a nation leads at first to the separation of industrial and commercial from agricultural labour, and hence to the separation of town and country and to the conflict of their interests."

 

- Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

George Herbert Mead

 

"Meaning arises and lies within the field of relation between the gesture of a given human organism and the subsequent behavior of this organism as indicated to another human organism by that gesture."

 

- George Herbert Mead

C. Wright Mills

 

"In order to judge the problems and methods of various schools of social science, we must make up our minds about a great many political values as well as intellectual issues, for we cannot very well state any problem until we know whose problem it is."

 

- C. Wright Mills

 

"You can never really understand an individual unless you also understand the society, historical time period in which they live, personal troubles, and social issues."

 

- C. Wright Mills

 

"The Sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relation between the two within society. This is its task and its promise."

 

- C. Wright Mills

Michael Omi and Howard Winant

 

"The central argument of this work, the central issue in racial policy--that U.S. racial dynamics are the subject of permanent political contestation--cannot be addressed by "colorblind" theory or policy."

 

- Michael Omi and Howard Winant

Georg Simmel

 

"The deepest problems of modern life flow from the attempt of the individual to maintain the independence and individuality of his existence against the sovereign powers of society, against the weight of the historical heritage and the external culture and technique of life."

 

- Georg Simmel

Lester Ward

 

"Applied sociology proceeds on the assumption of the superiority of the artificial to the natural. In this, however, it does not differ from any other applied science. What is the meaning of applied science if it be not that it teaches how natural phenomena may be modified by artificial means so as to render them more useful or less injurious to man?"

 

- Lester Ward

 

"Pure sociology gives mankind the means of self-orientation. It teaches man what he is and how he came to be so. With this information to start with he is in position to consider his future. With a clear comprehension of what constitutes achievement he is able to see what will constitute improvement. The purpose of applied sociology is to harmonize achievement with improvement."

 

- Lester Ward

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