What is Sociology?
Sociology is the study of human behavior in the societal context. Sociology falls under the social sciences, and sociology’s focus is on the study of human groups. Sociology comes from the Latin word ‘sociologie’, literally meaning the ‘study of companion’. At least as early as philosopher Plato’s time, there have already been efforts at studying and analyzing the human society.
Sociology seeks to understand the structure of a society and how it works. It also seeks to define and understand the different factors that has shaped, is shaping, and will shape a society including race, class, gender, culture, religion, belief systems, and government. Sociology studies the way individual and group behaviors define how a society runs, and how the same construct defines where a society will go in the future.
A person who practices sociology is called a sociologist. A sociologist can concentrate on a small group or a larger group, but for sure every sociologist will spend much of his career doing research and recording findings made through observing subject groups. Many sociologists work in the academe as professors or instructors, and many also work in social services and public administration.
Sociologists can play an active role in the community, through community development and urban planning. Sociology is also useful for roles within the government dealing with the populace, such as child welfare, juvenile counseling, and human rights.
Society is interconnected with and mutually dependent on many other social sciences including political science, social philosophy, anthropology and economics.