About Sociology

What is sociology?

Sociology is the scientific study of society (social structures and social change) and its impact on human behavior. Its scope ranges from micro-level studies of small groups to macro-level studies of organizations, communities, social institutions (such as families, mass media, and educational systems), and cross-national or cross-cultural social systems. Its main theoretical orientations range from structural functionalism (a relatively conservative systems approach) to conflict to critical to interpretive (such as symbolic interaction and ethnomethodology). While certain orientations are more conductive to certain types of studies, all theories find application at micro-and macro- sociological levels. The methods sociologists use to observe, describe, explain and predict human social behavior range from highly quantitative to highly qualitative and include surveys, interviews, experiments, secondary data analysis, and various forms of field observation. In sum, whatever your preferred theoretical and methodological perspective, if you enjoy learning about people interacting with other people and social groups, then you'll find something of interest in Sociology.