Sociology is the study of how we live together, and how our lives are structured by social institutions, culture and history.
I begin with a general introduction into the discipline of sociology, before providing a definition of its applied branch.
Lastly, I present an outline of the professional skills that a degree in sociology can offer its graduates. My discussion on applied sociology refers to those professionals who use the principles of sociology outside a university setting in order to provide their clients with an in-depth understanding of some specific facet of society that requires information gathering and analysis.
Applied sociologists work in various industries, including private business, government agencies and not-for-profit organisations. This can include anything from increasing the health and wellbeing of a disadvantaged community group; working with law enforcement organisations to implement a rehabilitation program for criminal offenders; assisting in planning for natural disasters; and enhancing existing government programs and policies.
I will show that a degree in sociology has several career benefits, but I specifically focus on the strong communication, research and interpersonal skills that prove advantageous to sociology graduates looking for work.
I argue that applied sociology can help to improve any professional sector that might benefit from a critical evaluation of how a particular social issue, group or organisation works.
That is, sociology is the study of what it means to be a member of a particular society, and it involves the critical analysis of the different types of social connections and social structures that constitute a society.
This includes questions about how and why different groups are formed and the various meanings attached to different modes of social interaction, such as between individuals or social networks; face to face versus online communications; local and global discourses, and so on.
Sociology also encompasses the study of the social institutions that shape social action. A social institution is a complex, but distinctive, sub-system of society that regulates human conduct Berger Sociology can therefore be used to study all the social experiences that human beings are capable of imagining — from practices of childbirth, to the use technologies, to our attitudes and rituals regarding death — and everything else in between.
Sociology is the study of society. Sociology allows us to study individual behaviour in a broader context, to take into consideration how societal forces might impact upon individuals, as well as the ways in which individuals construct the world around them, and how they manage to resist existing power relationships in order to achieve social change.
Sociology is often perceived as an academic profession, but there are many places outside of universities where sociology can be used to enhance personal and professional development.
More specifically, applied sociology might be seen as the translation of sociological theory into practice for specific clients. That is, this term describes the use of sociological knowledge in answering research questions or problems as defined by specific interest groups, rather than the researcher Steele and Price Applied research is sometimes conducted within a multidisciplinary environment and in collaboration with different organisations, including community services, activist groups and sometimes in partnership with universities.
Some applied sociologists may not explicitly use sociological theories or methods in their work, but they may use their sociological training more broadly to inform their work and their thinking. History and applications of sociological practice Photo: Perlstadt writes that Comte divided the discipline of sociology in two parts: Basic researchers educate and influence public debate, and social interventionists are political activists who are responsible for actively enforcing social change While these differences may appear to be artificial, ambivalence persists between academic and applied sociologies, despite the fluidity and intersections between these practices see Gouldner ; DeMartini ; Rossi First, the sociologist as decision-maker is someone who uses social science in order to shape policy decisions The sociologist as an educator is a person who teaches sociology to students, typically in a university setting The sociologist as a commentator and social critic is someone who writes for a wider public through books and articles aimed at an educated public, with a view of influencing public opinion The sociologist as researcher for clients might be someone who works with public or private organisations, such as mental health groups, banks, or some other company that commissions research on very specific topics Zetterberg positions applied sociologists as fulfilling the latter two roles: First, applied researchers might use basic empirical methods in collecting information in order to help shape informed decisions, such as in the creation of social policy.
In this meaning, sociologists might be directly working within government agencies, or they might work for private research organisations, or they might be contracted for one or the other.
He lists the following activities as examples of this applied methodological approach: While these sociologists might employ scientific theories and concepts, their specialisation is actually the application of sociological research techniques in order to gather specific information, rather than the application of sociological theories per se The Social Construction of Nature: A Sociology of Ecological Enlightenment (Published in association with Theory, Culture & Society) First Edition.
Welcome to the Sociology Department at Ithaca College. We’re glad you’re here! We hope that you’ll visit us in the Sociology Suite, Muller Faculty Center, soon. Conflict Theories. According to Karl Marx in all stratified societies there are two major social groups: a ruling class and a subject class.
The ruling class derives its power from its ownership and control of the forces of production.
Further Resources. Visit our Working Notes section to read articles about applied sociology written by applied sociologists, or watch our videos with applied researchers and activists.
See our other resources.. Notes. 1. At the time of writing, Zuleyka was employed as a Social Scientist in the Australian public service, and she was an Adjunct Research Fellow with the Swinburne Institute of.
Social structure is the organized set of social institutions and patterns of institutionalized relationships that together compose society. Social structure is both a product of social interaction and directly determines it.
Social structures are not immediately visible to the untrained observer. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources.