What Is Sociology

Sociology in its broadest sense denotes the study of society. In answering this question, however, it is necessary to unpack the different concepts and bodies of thought incorporated within the subject and to ask exactly what sociology involves. It should be considered whether sociology is one broad church of ideas and to what extent it can be called a ‘science’. The methods used to research areas will be analysed, as well as the idea of the ‘Sociological Imagination’ (Mills, 1970).
One of the strongest sociological themes has been the idea that human beings are not genetically programmed to behave in any particular way but are socialised into the norms and ...

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sociology can have practical uses in giving us a better understanding of how other societies operate in relation to our own and can be useful in tracking trends and predicting lifestyle patterns, for example. Radical right-wing American sociologist Charles Murray has hypothesised that as Britain’s economy and welfare system continues to emulate that of the US, as will a growth in the British ‘underclass’ (Murray, 1990).
As well as comparing different cultures and institutions, sociologists track changes in trends in life chances and lifestyles over time. Research shows that there have been dramatic improvements in life expectancy and educational opportunities in the past one hundred years, (although some sociologists have argued that these improvements have not been felt equally across class, race and gender). Philippe Aries, specialising in the sociology of the family, argued that childhood as we know it only emerged in the early eighteenth century and ...

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society may not have considered religion as important as attendance records at church have suggested.
A question, which divides sociologists themselves, is whether sociology represents a single body of thought. It is useful to look at the work of the forefathers of sociology to see the different strands of thought within sociology and how these have affected the different areas today. One of the first main contributors to Sociology, August Comte, and later Durkheim felt that the best way of studying society was to look at statistics and trends in society to explain why an individual carries out a particular act (Comte, 1986). Following on from this, Durkheim, in his study of ...

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Added: 6/18/2008 08:10:24 PM
Category: Miscellaneous
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1933
Pages: 8

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