Sociology refers to the study of a society. It is usually done in an interactive way where one enquires for information from the society under study. In this case, he people who are in the field conduct a qualitative research in order to determine the ways of life of the particular society. This however does not mean that there are no quantitative methods that are applied. In order to carry out critical analysis, both quantitative and qualitative methods of research are employed (Buse, Mays & Wal 2005). Sociology is studied with an aim of improving the welfare of the society as well as formulation of policies for that particular society.
Sociology is an old discipline that is closely attributed to leadership and religion. It can be correctly said that the discipline is as old as human race but was only formalized in few occasions. Early sociologists such as Plato existed among the ancient Greek scholars. Islamic leaders were also known to have sociologists as early as the tenth century. This ensured that the people coexisted within their society. Political sociology came into being in the 18th and 19th centuries where renowned socialists such as Carl Max and Webber became known for their socialist work (Crompton 1998). Some of them came up with governance methods such as socialism and capitalism which was later adopted to the modern days. The earliest sociology formal studies were made in the 1870s in the University of Yale in the United States of America (Giddens 1999). From this point, more developments have been made as people from different parts of the world come together on different forums. This has made sociology as very important subject of study and has increased the scope of the subject. With the increase in global interactions through the use of internet, there has been enough need for the people to come up wit the correct ways and means on how to ensure that positive issues are introduced in the social groupings and are spread through the rest of the society. There has been an overall need to nurture a positive society that would ensure that there was a better coexistence and no misuse of freedom and democracy among people (Buse, Mays & Wal 2005).
There are very many disciplines that are attributed to sociology. It requires the social workers to determine the needs of that society before they start working there, or first learn the society before they start working with the individuals (Cunningham & Cunningham, 2012). The following are some of the specific areas that are covered by sociology.
Social organization - This is the study of the organization of a society. It involves the study of institutions, ethnic and racial composition, family structure, religion, politics, the economic status of a society among others (Giddens 1999). The leadership of the society is also covered within this bracket. Social organization is an important aspect because it is the avenue where one would use to reach out to the society for information or for help. This organization is the key factor that determines the progression or retrogression of a society. Poor social organization has been attributed to poor overall performance of a society. is the study of the various institutions, social groups, social stratification, social mobility, bureaucracy, ethnic groups and relations, and other similar subjects like family, education, politics, religion, economy, and so on and so forth.
Social psychology involves the study of human behavior within the society (Crompton 1998). It is highly influenced by the grouping within the society in terms of attitudes towards certain issues and ways of life as well as the personalities of the people in the groups. Individual characters are vital in this aspect as it is their aggregation that leads to social psychology. This is an important step that allows people to choose the people they interact with hence their collective behavior. For instance, people within the same religion are expected to have many things in common and their personalities are compared to each other’s.
Social change and disorganization – This is the study of people’s dynamics within the society. At this point, the vices within a society are eliminated and virtues instilled. It is through social change and disorganization that the population is controlled, criminals reduced, prostitutes educed, corruption fought and so on. If the institutions in any particular society are not well planned for the improvement of the welfare of that society, there is a high likelihood that there will be problems with coexistence (Giddens 1999).
Human ecology – This is the study of the mannerism and relations of a particular society with the rest of the institutions within their society. These institutions, whether based on vices or virtues, are made to ensure that the institutions remain and support their followers (Crompton 1998). For example, criminals in a society will do all it takes to ensure that their group remains for as long as possible. Further, drugs are often attributed to certain people who ensure that their status remain known and respected by the rest of the members of the society (Buse, Mays & Wal 2005).
Population or demography – It refers to the numbers within a population. These numbers range from racial and ethnic compositions, changes that are attributed to these populations and more importantly, the effects of these populations to the economic, social and political system of the society (Giddens 1999). In most cases, the higher composition takes leadership and command of the rest and most things are done as per their directions.