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What is Sociology? Sociology is defined as the scientific study of society and human behavior. Sociology is a part of social sciences.

The study of sociology aims at analyzing the patterns of human behavior, deriving their causes and speculating the future of the behavioral patterns in society.

Importance of Sociology The various disciplines of sociology include the study of social interaction between people. The areas covered by sociology include the analysis of social contacts between members of a society as also the interactions between different people around the world. Sociology attempts to study how and why people are organized as a society. It analyzes the structure of society and studies the factors that contribute to the creation of social groups.

Sociology includes the study of the behavioral patterns, interactions and relationships among the individuals of society. This field tries to examine the organizational structure of society and the influence it has on the social, political and religious ideas of the members. It encompasses the study of the organization of families and businesses. It attempts to analyze the creation and management of social groups as well as the factors, which lead to their breakdown. The disciplines of sociology are concerned with the effects of social behavior on the formation of social traits. It also includes the ethical and moral values of society.

Sociology is regarded as a branch of social sciences. It deals with the analysis of social behavior that shapes society and thus, is a field that covers a very broad knowledge base. school of thoughts Structural Functionalism

-the idea that human societies have basic needs that must be met

-the following are the fundamental requirements to ensure that society functions properly * ways of satisfying material needs * a system for socializing and educating the young

* a means for regulating human reproduction * a system for co-ordinating societys overall needs

-not concerned with the changes in society but on how its members perform their specified function based on shared values, beliefs and social norms

-a change in one thing in society will cause a change in something else therefore disrupting social cohesion


-based on the ideas of Karl Marx

-the idea that economic power, which leads to political power, is the key to understanding societies

-social change is the result of changes to the economic system

-Neo-Marxists try to understand the economic system

-they believe that there will always be a distinct division in class (rich and poor) and that the poor will feel alienated. Alienation will not go away unless a new economic system is created

Symbolic Interactionism

-subscribes to the idea that humans have complex brains and little instinctive behaviour

-individuals interpret what they see in society and internalize it and give it meaning for themselves

-therefore, values and beliefs differ from person to person

Feminist Theory

-focuses on sex and gender issues, believing that women have traditionally been disadvantaged in society because men have discriminated against them

*liberal feminists = society should be more welcoming to women and more Assessable to womens influence

*Marxian feminists = womens unpaid and undervalued domestic work has Made it possible for industrial owners to pay lower wages to male workers.

*Radical feminists = the idea that men have exploited women because of Their child bearing role which has led to systemic oppression of women

*Socialist feminists = try to separate issues of oppression that are the

Result of capitalism and patriarchy historical background Sociology as a word was coined by the French philosopher Auguste Comte in 1837 (see Comte). Up to that time the subject matter of sociology had belonged to philosophy. Ancient literature contained many brilliant insights concerning group life, social organization, and interpersonal relations. Systematic thought on society was begun by the Greek philosophers, especially Plato and Aristotle. But they and their followers for many centuries persisted in identifying society with the political order. It was an easy mistake to make because the people who really mattered--so it was thought--were the rulers, soldiers, and priests who made up society's command structures. Not until the late 18th century did philosophers begin to make a clear distinction between society and its political form. The chief early representative of this shift in emphasis was the French writer Jean-Jacques Rousseau in such books as 'The Social Contract' and 'Discourse on the Origin of Inequality' (see Rousseau, Jean-Jacques). Because Comte coined the term, he is called the father of sociology. He conceived of it as a general social science that--like philosophy--would bring together all knowledge about humanity. It was left to later writers to define sociology as a field distinct from other social sciences. Four of the most influential in doing this were Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Charles Horton Cooley, and Albion Small. If someone other than Comte can be considered the founder of sociology, it is probably Durkheim. He stated that sociology should be a discipline devoted solely to the study of "social facts." These facts include forms of behavior, thought, and feeling and are to be studied as collective characteristics of a society, not as individual manifestations (see Durkheim). Weber viewed sociology as a science for understanding and interpreting social behavior in order to predict future behavior. He recognized the usefulness of statistics. His research on bureaucracy and social stratification contributed significantly to the ongoing investigation of these subjects (see Weber, Max). Cooley's major contribution was in making human ecology a field of sociology. His definitions of primary group, the looking-glass self, communication, and the relation of society to the individual gave future sociologists much of their conceptual framework. Small, as a professor at the University of Chicago, helped make sociology a distinct academic course and a profession. He introduced European sociological thought into the United States. With George E. Vincent he wrote 'An Introduction to the Study of Society' (1894), which was the first sociology textbook in the United States. Beginning in the last quarter of the 19th century, sociology quickly established itself in the colleges and universities of the United States. The subject matter of sociology was often combined with other courses--usually history or politics--and the teachers remained mainly

social philosophers. The first course actually called sociology was taught at Yale University in 1876 by William Graham Sumner. By 1892 sociology was taught at 18 colleges and universities. In that year Small arrived at the then new University of Chicago and was given the responsibility of establishing a department of sociology--the first such department in the world. Other departments were soon established at Columbia, the universities of Kansas and Michigan; and at Yale and Brown. By the end of the century nearly all colleges and universities had departments, or at least courses, in sociology. The American Journal of Sociology began publication at the University of Chicago in 1895. The school would long remain one of the world's leading centers in the subject. Over the years the strong faculty included George H. Mead, William I. Thomas, and Ellsworth Farris. The American Sociological Society, founded in 1905, was the predecessor of many regional, national, international, and specialized sociological organizations. The International Sociological Association was founded in 1949. A. Human Services This is a career working in community organizations or social service agencies. It is for those who enjoy a challenge, are not afraid of change, and enjoy solving problems.Jobs are found in a variety of areas: labor, work with minorities, in politics, in criminal justice areas, in law, in recreation, in marriage and family related areas, working with gay and lesbian issues, in local communities. It is recommended to volunteer with organizations to gain experience, supplement your major with courses in areas of interest, and learn foreign languages. Social and human services assistant Social and Community Service Manager Clinical sociologist Eligibility Interviewers, Govt Programs Caseworker Employment Specialist Crisis Intervention Social Worker Religious Activity and Education Director Community Health Educator Community and Social Service Specialist Family Services Social Worker Child and School Social Worker Medical and Health Public Social Worker Childcare Specialist Substance Abuse Social Worker Home Health Aide Areas of service (casework, social work, programming, educating) Community education Gay, lesbian and bisexual organizations Philanthropic services Community health Halfway houses Pregnancy services Crime victims Health services Public information Crisis intervention Home care services Rape crisis Disability services Homeless services Religious services Domestic violence Housing assistance Single parents' services Drug abuse/prevention Human services Social work Ethnic organizations Immigrant assistance Suicide prevention Family services Men's services Women's services Youth services B. Teaching .Alternative certification is a route for Sociology graduates who want to teach in the Public Schools. Public school teacher College instructor Teaching at the college level requires a minimum of 18 credit hours at the masters degree level.

C. Research and Data Analysis Research director

Social science research associate Social survey director Data analyst Principle Investigator Social science analyst Policy analyst Survey research technician Statistical analyst Demographer Industrial sociologists This is an area for those who enjoy research data and working with numbers. There are job opportunities in diverse areas including in business and industry, organizations, government, libraries, non-profits, publishers, and research centers. It is recommended to develop strong computer skills, statistical analyzation skills, and writing skills. A is a population specialist who collects and analyzes vital statistics related to population changes, such as births, marriages, and deaths. Demographers plan and conduct demographic research, surveys, and experiments to study human populations and affecting trends. (masters degree required) may specialize in research on group relationships and processes in an industrial organization. Other Positions: D. Public Employment There are many opportunities for Sociologists in federal, state or local governments. The federal government has many entry level jobs for sociology majors. It is recommended to develop strong computer skills. Employment at the Federal Level: Many of government units are focused on social life, social changes, and social causes of behavior. Departments that hire include the Veterans Administration, Housing and Urban Development, Defense, Agriculture, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Education, Treasury, and Energy. Especially notable are the following: Department of Agriculture Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Drug Enforcement Administration

Environmental Protection Agency U.S. Customs Service U.S. Information Agency Positions include: Customs inspector Personnel management specialist Employee development specialist Position classification specialist Human rights worker

Program specialist Intelligence research specialist Writer- Social Science Research Legislative aide Policy Analyst Management analyst Urban sociologist Peace Corps volunteer Rural sociologist Social ecologist Urban sociologists focus on research on the origin, growth, structure, and demographic characteristics of cities and social patterns and distinctive problems that result from an urban environment Rural sociologists may specialize in research on rural communities in contrast with urban communities and special problems occasioned by the impact of scientific and industrial revolutions on a rural way of life. A social ecologist specializes in research on interrelations between physical environment and technology in spatial distribution of people and their activities. Employment at the State Level: Analyst Investigator Inspector Program developer Related Occupations at the City/County/Local Level: There are opportunities at the county level, municipal level, township level, in school districts, and in commissions or other boards or authorities. Investigator Inspector Office manager Juvenile Court Worker Program developer E. Human Resource Management This is an area that combines human interaction with paperwork and administration to help an organization maintain cohesiveness, solve problems, provide the right environment, training, and other issues related to human resources.It can include data management, training, administration, public presentations.

A social pathologist specializes in investigation of group behavior that is considered detrimental to the proper functioning of society. The social welfare research worker conducts research that is used as a tool for planning and carrying out social welfare programs. Other Positions Affirmative action coordinator Employee interviewer Lawyer Arbitrator Employment specialist Management analyst Compensation manager Equal Employment Opportunity representative Mediator Employee assistance plan managers Grievance officer Occupational analyst Employee benefits manager Human resource Recreation specialist Employee development specialist Human resources manager Recruiter Employee relations representative Job classification specialist Executive assistant, nonprofit organization Employee welfare office manager Labor relations manager Public relations specialist