LUGARD IBHAFIDON SADOH
Efforts have been made by several scholars to define or describe the term Sociology. I shall however use the definitions given by two different authors. Schaeffer and Lamm (1997) defines Sociology as ‘’the systematic study of Social Behaviour and human groups. By this definition Sociology is been considered as a field in research study. Sociology is primarily concerned with the analysis and explanation of social phenomenon within a social context. It attempts to understand or explain relationships and the patterns of such relationships.
Prof. B.I.C. Ijomah (2008) says Sociology is seen as a logical discourse of the society or of people in interdependent relationships. The idea of logical discourse in the above description of Sociology is the disciplines reliance on observable social phenomenon. Sociology is interested in ‘what is’ and not ‘what aught to be’. To do the latter is to lay emphasis on morality at the expense of social reality.
Sociology is not restricted to individuals or family units it cuts across the family, politics, religion, economy and education. It can be viewed from individual patterns of relationships, family, kinship, formal organisations, groups, national entities and international communities. Sociology attempts to understand why things are the way they are. To put it this way, it studies social facts such as crime, prostitution, bribery, marriage, religion, fertility, population, migration, suicide, etc, etc. Sociology is not only concerned with what is it also seeks to know how the past has shaped the present and how the present can be studied to predict the future. This is what makes the field a veritable platform for proffering possible solutions to social or and sociological problems. Like other social sciences Sociology can help to create national development, international peace and harmony.
The study of sociology equips one with skills and techniques in the discovery and use of common sense ideas, notions and information in such a way that it will become an issue for national interest. Take the act of terrorism for example; you will discover that it now has a wider meaning than what it was during the 9 11 Bomb blast in the United State.
From the above it is imperative to attempt a workable definition of sociology. Sociology could be defined as the systematic study of social phenomenon that exists in social relationships.
Nature of Sociology in Social Analysis
The term social analysis is subjective in Sociology but it is generally accepted to carry the meaning of society. Sociology adopts the use of social analysis in its work to break down the society that it studies into smaller researchable parts for ease of analysis, comparism and interpretations. Using the example above, we may want to consider the effects of terrorism in international trade between Nigeria and Arab countries in the last ten years. At this stage social analysis is at international in nature
Sociology is concerned with the systematic analysis of human social activity, from everyday experience to complex relationships that cuts across time and geographical boundaries. Sociology focus on the whole aspect of society, sociology emphasizes complex relationships that exists in the whole of social life; politics, religion, family, education and economy. In doing these analyses sociology uses several theories as background for the explanation of social realities. Such theories are functionalism, structural-functionalism, maxism, neo-maxist, interactionist, conflict, amongst others.
Sociology as a discipline is known for its distinct modes of investigation in carrying out social research. It lays emphasis on sociality and culture in the pursuit of understanding the society or social. The ethnical neutrality of the sociologist is a very vital part is...