What is Sociology?

Essay by ask.mHigh School, 12th gradeA-, November 2006

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Without sociology in our lives we would not be as civilised as we are today. Sociology is the study of how different societies work. Trends and cultures are therefore a key to this subject as they define the characteristics of every society, for examples, the way a person would eat, greet and dress. The different cultures in multi-ethnic Britain are apparent to every person living here and so it helps to understand the fundamentals of sociology in order to learn about another culture.

A culture can be learned, shared or passed on from one generation to the next and this is done through socialisation. Socialisation is also crucial in order to understand other cultures better. The primary stages of socialisation is that which is learnt from families as a child, this being one's own culture and its etiquettes, although there in some cases children have been neglected by their family and have lived with animals- they are called feral (wild) kids.

During a person's early stages, the ascribed roles are learnt which are gained biologically or by inheritance, for example gender roles. The secondary stage of socialisation usually takes place outside of the home, it can be at school, with peers or at a workplace - this is when most people begin will to socialise with people from different cultures. During this stage you may gain achieved roles such as getting a good job or becoming a mother/father and the changes in trends are recognised too from the jargon that is used, to the seasonal change in fashion trends. Norms are the things we are expected to do as they are regarded as being normal, values on the other hand are the principles we follow but we tend to take for granted e.g. writing. If a person breaks the...