Handout 1 in Sociology

Topics: Sociology, Science, Social sciences Pages: 10 (2996 words) Published: June 23, 2013
Definition and Subject Matter of Sociology

The first social scientist to use the term sociology was a Frenchman by the name of Auguste Comte. As coined by Comte, the term sociology is a combination of two words. The first part of the term is a Latin, socius- that may variously mean society, association, togetherness or companionship. The other word, logos, is of Greek origin.

Sociology is the scientific or methodical study of society.

It is a social science which studies the processes and patterns of human individual and group interaction, the forms of organization of social groups, the relationship among them, and group influences on individual behavior, and vice versa, and the interaction between one social group and the other

Sociology is the scientific study of society, which is interested in the study of social relationship between people in group context. Sociology is interested in how we as human beings interact with each other (the pattern of social interaction); the laws and principles that govern social relationship and interactions; the influence of the social world on the individuals, and vice versa. It deals with a factually observable subject matter, depends upon empirical research, and involves attempts to formulate theories and generalizations that will make sense of facts

Sociology may be generally defined as a social science that studies such kinds of phenomena as: • The structure and function of society as a system;
• The nature, complexity and contents of human social behavior; • The fundamentals of human social life;
• Interaction of human beings with their external environment; • The indispensability of social interactions for human development; • How the social world affects us, etc.

Note that the concepts “society and “culture” are central in sociology.

Society: a group of people who live within some type of bounded territory and who share a common way of life Culture: is common way of life shared by a society or a group.

Sociology and Other Social Sciences

The social sciences comprise the application of scientific methods to the study of the human aspects of the world. Psychology studies the human mind and micro-level (or individual) behavior; sociology examines human society; political science studies the governing of groups and countries; communication studies the flow of discourse via various media; economics concerns itself with the production and allocation of wealth in society; and social work is the application of social scientific knowledge in society.

What do we study in Sociology?

In the past, sociological research focused on the organization of complex, industrial societies and their influence on individuals. Today, sociologists study a broad range of topics. For instance, some sociologists research macro-structures that organize society, such as race or ethnicity, social class, gender roles, and institutions such as the family. Other sociologists study social processes that represent the breakdown of macro-structures, including deviance, crime, and divorce. Additionally, some sociologists study micro-processes such as interpersonal interactions and the socialization of individuals. It focuses on social interaction. It analyzes interpersonal relationships, and on what people do and how they behave when they interact.

There are generally two levels of analysis in sociology, which may also be regarded as branches of sociology: micro-sociology and macro- sociology. Micro-sociology is interested in small-scale level of the structure and functioning of human social groups; whereas macro-sociology studies the large-scale aspects of society. Macro-sociology focuses on the broad features of society. The goal of macro-sociology is to examine the large-scale social phenomena that determine how social groups are organized and positioned within the social structure. Micro-sociological level of analysis focuses on social interaction. It analyzes interpersonal...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about Sociology Reflection 1 pdf
  • sociology asg 1 Essay
  • Sociology Assignment 1 Essay
  • Essay about sociology
  • Sociology Essay
  • Sociology Essay
  • sociology Essay
  • Sociology Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free