Sociology is often seen as a ‘soft subject’ without any real evidence to back up the claim that it is easier than other subjects. Sociology deals with the study of society and those that study sociology deal with both social and sociological issues. Sociologist are concerned with both the structure of society and how individuals within that society interact with one another. As such, they study the role of both social institutions (the media, education, family, work, government, religion etc…) and the behaviours of individuals in society.

Rather than take a ‘common sense view’ as many journalists and individuals do, sociology looks to research these issues and draw conclusions about why people act the way they do. What causes behaviour? How is our behaviour shaped by our family, our peers, our education, the media and the structure of society?

Sociology asks tough questions. It looks at crime in society, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of discrimination. While some argue that sociology is the science of the ‘underdog’ in society, others suggest that cultural differences shape the way in which our society is constructed.

To understand society is to understand human beings… and that doesn’t seem so soft now does it? Our society is made up on billions of individuals, each with their own personal motivations for the way in which they act, yet there are social forces that shape the decisions that individuals make. The role of the sociologist is to understand why… and in understanding why, how can we make society better.

Sociology is an inter-disciplinary subject, often drawing upon economic, political, philosophical, psychological, and many other theories of human behaviour. To quote the late Pierre Bourdieu – ‘sociology is a martial art.’

I hope you’re ready…

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