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What Is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of society and social behavior. By examining the environment that drives groups, cultures, organizations, and institutions as people interact, sociologists attempt to draw conclusions about past, present and future human behavior. Sociologists engage in research projects to test theories about social issues arising from human interaction.

What Is Sociology and Who Are Sociologists?

Sociologists collect data through surveys, observations, interviews and other sources. They use this data to analyze and draw conclusions about social behavior. The conclusions serve to highlight a problem or solution in a report, article or presentation. For a large-scale project, sociologists often collaborate with many other social scientists. To enact change, sociologists reach out to policymakers and other groups about their research findings and make recommendations.

A primary sociology directive is to trace the origin and growth of social groups and their interactions with other groups. Through careful study of human behavior, sociologists can implement quantitative and qualitative research methods to draw actionable conclusions. Social scientists often use statistical analysis programs for this research process. These efforts can produce results, depending on the social problem being tackled and the policies that follow.

How Does Sociology Affect Our World?

By examining the effect of social influences on different individuals and groups, sociologists can inform us on how changes affect us as a whole. For example, they may research the impact of a new law or policy on a specific demographic. Administrators, educators, lawmakers and social workers are the primary audience of sociological research and often collaborate to design public policy.

However, not everyone with a sociology degree conducts research. Sociology studies teach lessons in empathy and ways to interact with a wide variety of people, making those with a sociology degree effective in professions that require interpersonal interaction. They often become postsecondary teachers and high school teachers. Others work as policy analysts, demographers, survey researchers and statisticians who go on to improve their respective fields using the critical thinking skills they gain by earning the degree.

Learning About Sociology

Want to know how sociology is the study that falls between science and politics? Consider earning a sociology degree through Lamar University’s online program. You can pursue the degree at your convenience and at your own pace. Specific courses include criminology, aging studies, sociology of gender, and urban sociology.

Learn more about the Lamar University online BS in Sociology program.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Sociologists

American Sociological Association: Sociology as a Vocation

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