Eastern Michigan University
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Because sociology addresses the most challenging issues of our time, it is a rapidly expanding field whose potential is increasingly tapped by those who craft policies and create programs. Sociologists understand social inequality, patterns of behavior, forces for social change and resistance, and how social systems work.

Sociology studies the dynamics of human society. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts.
Since human behavior is shaped by social factors, the subject matter of sociology ranges from:

  • the intimate family to the hostile mob
  • organized crime to religious cults
  • the divisions of race, gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture
  • the sociology of work to the sociology of sports

In fact, few fields have such broad scope and relevance for research, theory, and application of knowledge.

Sociology provides many distinctive perspectives on the world, generating new ideas and critiquing the old. The field also offers a range of research techniques that can be applied to virtually any aspect of social life:

  • street crime and delinquency
  • corporate downsizing
  • how people express emotions
  • welfare or education reform
  • how families differ and flourish
  • problems of peace and war
Source: American Sociological Association, used with permission.