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Definition of Study

(noun) To research a subject in detail and the subsequent reporting of findings.

Type of Study

Study Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: stud·y

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /stUHd-ee/
  • British English – /stUHd-ee/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈstədi/
  • British English – /ˈstʌdi/

Usage Note

  • Plural: studies

Related Quotations

  • “Categorizing possible units of analysis may make the concept seem more complicated than it needs to be. What you call a given unit of analysis—is irrelevant. The key is to be clear about what your unit of analysis is. When you embark on a research project, you must decide whether you’re studying marriages or marriage partners, crimes or criminals, corporations or corporate executives. Otherwise you run the risk of drawing invalid conclusions because your assertions about one unit of analysis are actually based on the examination of another” (Babbie 2011:107).
  • “Each of us is a social being. We are born into a social environment; we fully develop into human beings in a social environment; and we live our lives in a social environment. What we think, how we feel, and what we say and do all are shaped by our interactions with other people. The scientific study of these social interactions and of social organization is called sociology” (Hughes and Kroehler 2008:3).
  • Sociology is the systematic study of human society and social interaction. It is a systematic study because sociologists apply both theoretical perspectives and research methods (or orderly approaches) to examinations of social behavior” (Kendall 2006:2).
  • “When one undertakes to explain a social phenomenon, one must study separately the efficient cause which produces it and the function it fulfils . . . For example, the social reaction which constitutes punishment is due to the intensity of the collective sentiments that the crime offends. On the other hand, its useful function is to maintain these sentiments at the same degree of intensity, for they would soon diminish if the offences committed against them went unpunished” (Durkheim [1895] 2004:59).

Additional Information

Related Terms


Babbie, Earl R. 2011. The Basics of Social Research. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Durkheim, Émile. [1895] 2004. “The Rules of Sociological Method.” Pp. 43–63 in Readings from Emile Durkheim. Rev. ed., edited and translated by K. Thompson. New York: Routledge.

Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2008. Sociology: The Core. 8th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Kendall, Diana. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Works Consulted

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.

Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/).

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

Wiley. (N.d.) Wiley Online Library. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/).

Cite the Definition of Study

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “study.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 23, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/study/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

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

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

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “study.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 23, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/study/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“study.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 23 May. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/study/>.