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19 Examples of Sociology

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Sociology is the study of human social behavior and structures. This is an extremely broad field that overlaps with most other social sciences including economics, psychology and law. The following are illustrative examples of sociology.

Society

The study of societies, complex social structures that organize human affairs in a place.

Culture

Meaning and behaviors that emerge from the shared experiences of groups. This includes national cultures, traditional cultures, super culture and subcultures.

Traditions

Traditions are stable and enduring elements of culture that provide shared experiences across generations.

Norms

Norms are shared expectations of behavior that emerge in a culture. Sociology looks at how norms emerge and how they influence social behavior.

Social Behavior

Social behavior such as communication, leadership, motivation, engagement, cooperation, competition, conflict, altruism, friendship, family and courtship.

Politics

Politics is the means by which social groups make decisions and allocate authority. Sociology looks at the structure, systems and policies of governments and their impact on human behavior and quality of life.

War & Conflict

War, conflict, diplomacy, peace and related issues such as refugees.

Institutions

Sociology defines institution in broad terms as any enduring and stable practice adopted by a society. This includes elements of culture such as family and language. It also includes the systems of a society in areas such as education, knowledge, media, justice, law, health, finance and religion.

Criminality & Law

Behavior that exceeds the tolerances of a society and rules that are enforced with the power of a state.

Roles

Roles are responsibilities or expectations assigned to an individual by a society or institution. These include political, economic and social roles. For example, a family role such as parent or a professional role such as train conductor.

Demographics

Demographics is the composition of a society, place or group. For example, the study of the population of a city including dimensions such as age, gender, socioeconomic class and ethnicity.

Economics

Economics is a distinct academic discipline from sociology but the two are hopelessly intertwined such that you can't understand one without the other.

Social Structure

Social structures are patterns of group membership. For example, socioeconomic classes such as the upper class, bourgeoisie, middle class and working class.

Social Mobility

Social mobility is the potential to improve or worsen your position within the social structures of a society. This is mostly associated with an ability to transition to a higher socioeconomic class. Generally speaking, a society with social support such as government funded healthcare and education has higher social mobility. Economies based on competition, entrepreneurship and meritocracy have higher social mobility than economies based on rent seeking.

Social Issues

Social issues such as poverty, addiction, disease, crime, instability, inequality and pollution.

Development

The process whereby countries with a high poverty rate work towards becoming developed countries with a high quality of life.

Identity

The degree to which individuals identify with the social groups that they belong to by default and seek to define their identity in terms of optional group memberships and individual expression.

Social Change

Society and culture aren't static items that can be understood in a timeless way but are rather complex, dynamic systems that constantly change.

Power

The control of resources within a society including elements such as authority and wealth. One approach to sociology, known as critical theory, views every relationship in society as a materialistic power struggle. Other approaches, such as structural functionalism, view society as cooperative and rational such that those with power serve some function.
Overview: Sociology
Type
Definition
The study of human social behavior and structures.
Related Concepts

Sociology

This is the complete list of articles we have written about sociology.
Absolute Poverty
Altruism
Bourgeoisie
Civil Society
Competition
Conflict Theory
Critical Theory
Culture
Demographics
Economics
Family
Global Perspective
Human Behavior
Industrial Complex
Institutions
Interactionism
Meritocracy
Middle Class
Modern Life
Nation
Norms
Politics
Power Imbalance
Quality Of Life
Relative Poverty
Rent Seeking
Social Awareness
Social Change
Social Character
Social Conflict
Social Forces
Social Groups
Social Institutions
Social Interests
Social Mobility
Social Order
Social Power
Social Stability
Social Values
Social Variables
Society
Status
Structures
Subculture
Subcultures
Super Culture
Traditions
Upper Class
Working Class
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Social Power

The definition of social power with examples.

Social Structures

The definition of social structure with examples.

Structural Functionalism

The definition of structural functionalism with examples.
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