What is Sociology?

You may wonder what sociology and why you’d want to study it at university. It often gets compared to psychology, and whilst the two share similarities, they are completely different disciplines. Sociology is hugely important to our society, so let’s take a further look at what sociology is and why it is useful.

So, what is sociology?

Sociology can be defined as the study of society. It studies social interactions and processes the causes of human behaviour, and how society is structured.

For sociologists, human behaviour happens in the context of social institutions and groups; this means that all of our actions can be explained through wider processes in society.

Is sociology a science?

Sociology is also a social science, which refers to the scientific study of human behaviour and relationships. This means that sociologists can use scientific methods to find trends and generalisations to support theories. Social science has multiple branches including psychology, political science, and anthropology. 

Understanding the world around us

Sociology can provide you with lots of perspectives of the world around us. You will find that there is very rarely one right answer. For example, not everyone sees education as having the same purpose. For Marxists, school prepares you for the hierarchal workplace and maintaining capitalism, while for feminists the purpose of education is to promote patriarchal ideas. It’s useful to assess multiple perspectives as it can help us enhance our view of the world and develop skills such as critical thinking and reasoning.

Sociology is the study of society, meaning it covers a wide range of topics. While studying sociology, you will get the opportunity to explore many topics, from media and popular culture, state and society, social perspectives and current issues in society.

Tackling social issues

Because sociology is the study of society, we can use it to address social issues and tackle inequality. By offering an explanation of how things work in society, we can gain a deeper understanding on how to fix social issues and promote social change. While studying sociology, you will learn about the state and the laws and policies that govern society. This means sociologists are hugely useful when creating new policies or changing laws to tackle social inequality.

What jobs can I get with a sociology degree?

There are a plethora of roles and sectors you can go into with a sociology degree. These include:

  •        Governments
  •        Police services
  •        Charitable organisations
  •        Law and criminal justice
  •        Education
  •        Marketing
  •        Counselling and youth work

So, sociology is the study of society and human interaction, making it a social science. It can adapt scientific methods in order to be objective and establish patterns. It is extremely useful as it can change how we view the world around us and provide a deeper understanding of social interactions and processes. Overall, sociology can be fun, useful, and thought-provoking.

BA (Hons) Sociology student

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