(noun) Small-scale sociological analysis that studies the behavior of people in face-to-face social interactions and small groups to understand what they do, say, and think.

Example: Symbolic interactionism or studying microexpressions in various social contexts.

Audio Pronunciation: (mi·cro·so·ci·ol·o·gy)

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Usage Notes:

  • Plural: microsociologies
  • Microsociology is the “little picture” or the sociology of everyday life.
  • Microsociology is often used in an effort to understand how people derive meaning.
  • Microsociology is compared and contrasted to macrosociology. However, the distinction between microsociology and macrosociology is not well-established across the discipline of sociology and exists on a continuum. A theoretical attempt to combine aspects of microsociology and macrosociology is called a micro-macro theory.
  • Microsociology scholars include Erving Goffman (1922–1982), Jürgen Habermas (1929), Edmund Husserl (1859–1938), Alfred Schütz (1899–1959), and Max Weber (1864–1920).
  • Types:
  • Variant form:
    • micro sociology
    • micro-sociology
  • Also called:
    • microview (micro view, micro-view)
    • microlevel (micro level. micro-level)
    • microlevel analysis (micro level analysis, micro-level analysis)
    • microlevel orientation (micro level orientation, micro-level orientation)
  •  A (noun) microsociologist studies society from the (adjective) microsociologic or (adjective) microsociologistic or (adjective) microsociological perspective to understand social interactions (adverb) microsociologically.

Additional Information:

Related Terms: 

Works Consulted

Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Brinkerhoff, David, Lynn White, Suzanne Ortega, and Rose Weitz. 2011. Essentials of Sociology. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.

Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/).

Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.

Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

How to Cite the Definition of Microsociology

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “microsociology.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 27, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/microsociology/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

microsociology. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/microsociology/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “microsociology.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 27, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/microsociology/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“microsociology.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 27 Mar. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/microsociology/>.