What Is Sociology?

Read the full essay 513 words
What is Sociology?


Sociology is the study of the issues, concepts, investigations, and results of individuals living together. While sociology's focus is on groups, this focus should not exclude an emphasis on individuals. After all, individuals constitute groups and groups produce individuals. How can we study and fully understand one without the other? We can't...nor can we study them as if they were merely in competition with each other...that's too simple. Rather, as a study of people...by people...sociology is a personal encounter with the social forces which shape our lives, especially those that affect our awareness (and ignorance) of how we create, maintain, and change those very social forces.

Sociology is the systematic study of relationships among people, the assumption being that behavior is influenced by social, political, occupational and intellectual groupings and by the particular settings in which individuals find themselves. It is the study of human association and group life. It describes and seeks to explain social processes that give rise to, sustain, and change us and our social world. Some topics in Sociology include conformity and deviance, freedom and transcendence in the social order, stratification, power, alienation, race, gender, and social change.

The simplest definition of Sociology is that it is the study of human societies. Through the synthesis of theoretical analysis and empirical research, Sociology provides a critical and systematic understanding of the processes which structure the society in which we live. Through focusing on the social patterns and forces which influence humans Sociology provides a counterbalance to the individualistic manner in which life in modern societies is usually viewed. This means that for sociologists the lives of individuals can only be understood through studying the social context in which they live. Therefore, studying sociology enables individuals to understand the nature of patterns in groups and collective life in which they are a part of, for example families, youth cultures, workplaces, ethnic communities or society as a whole. As such, the discipline of sociology examines that which constitutes our daily experience and social life. Reflecting the diversity of sociology as a discipline sociologists have developed and drawn upon a range of concepts and methodologies to inform their studies. Within this there are two significant ways in which society has been studied by sociologists. Firstly, as a series of exchanges between individuals in groups in which individuals influence each other and create meaning. Secondly, that social life occurs within large-scale social structures and institutions which, are unrelated to any single individual but impact upon how individuals act and experience their social life.

Sociological research and sociological concepts can help to explain many dimensions of social life. It can help explain the day-to-day interactions that occur in families, between men and women, as well as the larger social problems including poverty and other forms of inequality. As such, Sociology gives a systematic and disciplined approach to the problems, conflicts and dynamics of contemporary society. In doing so it provides a rigorous understanding of the causes and consequences of social order and social change.

Related Topics

Social philosophy Criminology Subfields of sociology Sociology Sociological paradigms Deviance Sociology of law Public sociology definition of sociology what is sociology personal encounter social patterns social processes human societies theoretical analysis empirical research group life counterbalance systematic study race gender social context sociologists deviance stratification transcendence groupings alienation conformity

More Free Essays Like This

1. Explain the Development of the global marketin
A Midsummer Night?s Essay
A Testament Of Hope - Martin Luther King
Adolf Hitler
All Kinds Of Love
American Labor Movement: Development Of Unions
An American Tragedy And The Futility Of The American Dream
An Observation Of The Aeneid, Book II
Ancient Greek Drama
Animal Farm And A Tale Of Two Cities: Social Criticism
Animal Farm As Animal Satire
Approaches and methods
Are books better than computers for learning
Aristotle biography
Aristotles Model of Responsibility
Art through the ages
Arthur Kornberg
Book review
Brazil: National Context
Candide: A Satire On The Enlightenment
Capital Punishment
Capital Punishment
Capitalism: Ayn Rand/ Maltese Falcon
Carl Gustav Jung
Celtic Lifestyle
Comparison Of Martin Luther King, Jr And Malcom X
Confucianism And Taoism
Criminological Research Paper
Determinism In Native Son
Dominican Basseball
Early Childhood ages 3-5
Effects of Gangsta Rap
Eighteenth Century Philosophers: A Comparison
Essence of Philosophy
Form And Malignant Form
Free-will And Determinism: Conflict And Choice
Freedom In The United States
Freedom In The United States
French Literature In The Age Of Reason
Gandhi & Churchillpresents the parallel live
God Thesis
hinduism and christianity
Historical Analysis Of The Painted Bird
History Of Physics
Howards End: Book Review
Immortality And Mortality In The Economic Sciences
Innovative school management strategies
Internet: A Medium Or A Message?
Invisible Man - Identity
Jane Eyre: Sexism
Jerline Ridges
Joseph Conrads 1899 novel is primarily narrated b
Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Leda Atomica
Lewis Classroom Curriculum
Lord Of The Flies
Major events that caused change
Martin Luther King Jr And Malcolm X
Millenium Bug
Modernist and post modernism1
Morality Is Culturally Relative
Mrs dalloway
Multiculturalism In Canada
Narrative Techniques of Virginia Woolf and James Joyce
Native Son: Characters
No Exit And Its Existentialist Themes
Notes On Theories Of Mass Communications
On Empathy
Overview of Economics
Plato On Justice And Injustice
Political Parties And Their Roles In China And Canada
Political Philosophy Of Thomas Hobbes And Rene Descartes
Pre-School Curriculum
Primary Function of Human Resource Management
Private School Vouchers
Reasons Teen Disrespect Is On The Rise
Sayyid Qutb
Social Work 401OL-5 Social Welfare Policy Fall 201
Societys Restraint To Social Reform
Sociological Issues
Speech on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Steps Towards The Russian Revolution
Student D eclaration
The 1960s
The Cons of Globalization, an Essay Against Global
The Cultural Narcissist
The Devil Has His Christs
The Enlightenment
The Fall Of Communism In Russia/Soviet Union
The Fourth Law Of Robotics