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social category

Definition of Social Category

(noun) A group of people, places, and things that have commonalities.

Examples of Social Category

  • university graduates
  • men and women

Social Category Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: so·cial cat·e·go·ry

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /sOH-shuhl kAt-uh-gaw-ree/
  • British English – /sOH-shuhl kAt-iguh-ree/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈsoʊʃəl ˈkætəˌgɔri/
  • British English – /ˈsəʊʃəl ˈkætɪgəri/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: social categories
  • The terms “social category” and “category” are used interchangeably in a sociological context.

Related Video

Additional Information

Related Terms


Contributor: C. E. Seaman

Works Consulted

Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2011. Sociology: The Core. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Marsh, Ian, and Mike Keating, eds. 2006. Sociology: Making Sense of Society. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

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

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

Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Shepard, Jon M., and Robert W. Greene. 2003. Sociology and You. New York: Glencoe.

Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

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

Cite the Definition of Social Category

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Seaman, C. E. 2015. “social category.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary, edited by Kenton Bell. Retrieved June 18, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/social-category/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

Seaman, C. E. (2015). social category. In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/social-category/

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

Seaman, C. E. 2015. “social category.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary, edited by Kenton Bell. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/social-category/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

Seaman, C. E. “social category.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2015. Web. 18 Jun. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/social-category/>.