Definitions of Subject
- (noun) The object, typically an individual or group observed in an experiment or social scene.
- (noun) A specialized field of knowledge.
- (noun) What is being acted upon, discussed, or studied.
Examples of Subject
- Definition 1:
- Definition 2:
- Definition 3:
- American English – /sUHb-jikt/
- British English – /sUHb-jikt/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˈsəbdʒək(t)/
- British English – /ˈsʌbdʒɛkt/
- Plural: subjects
- The term subject is often used interchangeably with individual or person in sociological writing, particularly theory.
- “[A field experiment] enables researchers to observe various forms of social behavior under conditions in which they normally occur. In a laboratory study, subjects know they are being observed and thus may display the behavior they believe is desirable” (Kendall 2006:27).
- “Ethnographers seek out the insider’s viewpoint. Because culture is the knowledge people use to generate behavior and interpret experience, the ethnographer seeks to understand group members’ behavior from the inside, or cultural, perspective. Instead of looking for a subject to observe, ethnographers look for an informant to teach them the culture” (Spradley and McCurdy 2008:4).
- “The discourse of sociology and the concepts, theories, and findings of the other social sciences continually ‘circulate in and out’ of what it is that they are about. In so doing they reflexively restructure their subject matter, which itself has learned to think sociologically. Modernity is itself deeply and intrinsically sociological” (Giddens 1991:43).
- Qualitative Research Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Quantitative Research Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “subject” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Cavell, Marcia. 2006. Becoming a Subject: Reflections in Philosophy and Psychoanalysis. Oxford: Clarendon.
- Herrick, Jim. 2005. Humanism: An Introduction. Amherst, NY: Prometheus.
- Miller, Toby. 1993. The Well-tempered Self: Citizenship, Culture, and the Postmodern Subject. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Žižek, Slavoj. 1999. The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology. London: Verso.
Kendall, Diana. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Giddens, Anthony. 1991. The Consequences of Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Spradley, James P., and David W. McCurdy. 2008. Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology. 13th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “subject.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved September 30, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/subject/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
subject. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/subject/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “subject.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed September 30, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/subject/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“subject.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 30 Sep. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/subject/>.