Sociology Books

Sociology can give us insights into important parts of society such as political policies, welfare, social order, and culture. Understanding these areas helps us interact more peacefully with one another, as well as more efficiently. The material in this category of Direct Knowledge can help you learn about this field for your own pleasure, or prepare you for the standards expected in the academic and professional world of sociology.

Sociology Books - social network the science of being social

People and Society

Sociology is the study of society using scientific methods and principles. It tries to understand the variation between individuals and between societies, then looks at the causes behind these differences. These aspects of society are important for keeping peaceful interactions between people, especially in a world with growing globalization. You’ll find the material here useful if you’re looking to become involved in a field where understanding interactions is vital. Positions such as counselors, representatives, public relations specialists, and researchers will all use sociology as a key tool.

New to the Scene

In terms of scientific study, sociology is somewhat new. However,  the basic ideas have been around for hundreds of years. Philosophers like Confucius and others from the time of ancient Greece wrote about sociology themes. They saw the importance of social roles and some even made surveys to learn about and better understand large groups of people. The field of sociology began to really grow as a discipline in the late 1800’s. Classes started at schools and journals began printing, spreading the ideas of the field to more people. Much of the development of the field happened as a response to modern changes in society such as industrialization and urbanization.

Main Topics

Some common sociology themes you’ll be able to read about are classical theory, functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism, and utilitarianism. The 20th century brought more study of theories such as structuralism and post-structuralism. Today, the main areas to be familiar with stem from these classic theories. These mainly include what are called the three dichotomies: objectivity and subjectivity; synchrony and diachrony; and structure and agency. The first of the three deals with knowledge, the second with time, and the last with action. Within each of these areas, a big problem is how to deal with differences between very small aspects of society and the very large ones. For instance, the dynamic between members of a household is very distinct from that between all the people in a country.

When studying these topics, you also need to be aware of the methods used in sociology. It’s not just philosophical discussion and theories anymore. If you think there might be a relationship between certain things, you need to test it. This means having quantitative designs that use evidence and statistical analysis. Through this method, you can rely on results. Qualitative methods that use observation, interaction with subjects, and critical analysis are also useful for gaining more insight. So be sure to read up on the science of the field to make sure your approach yields good results.

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