Define Sociology, Outline How the Understanding of this can Affect an Individual

Essay by chloesCollege, Undergraduate December 2009

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There are many different sociologists throughout history that have navigated throughSociology and its, as one might call it, 'wide spectrums of concepts' within the study.

In the following, the definition of sociology will be explained. It will look at how the understanding of this study, individuals/ citizens and social care practitioners can use from the sociologists theories and from being in society as they know it. It will explain the reasons why as human beings living within the social world, act differently in different circumstances and why not everyone holds the same beliefs and values.

Defining SociologyAccording to Giddens "Sociology is the study of the human social life, groups and society, its subject matter is our own behavior as social beings (Giddens: 2)". The area that surrounds the study of sociology focuses on behavior and how it affects and influences lives as individuals and as a society. It analyzes and explains the reasons why people act the way they do in society and societies actions as a whole.

Sociology is looking outside of the society, taking a broader view. All the rules and norms in society guide people in their daily lives for example; In our society, if something is done by majority it is considered the 'right' thing to do, therefore people will follow. According to Sumner ( many social norms are concerned with 'should'. "The 'should behaviors' are what Sumner called 'folkways', that is; the conservative way of doing things within groups in society" ( However, are not defined as being crucial in the survival as an individual or as a society.

The study of sociology not only analyses this but, looks at the structures and Institutions that revolve around the operation of the social world.

People are set in social and structural influences in life that go...