An Intro to Sociology

If you're considering declaring a sociology major or are interested in a career in sociology, take some time to review the basic introduction to sociology and fundamentals of this discipline. Most sociology majors are required to take at an "intro to sociology" course at the beginning of their educational careers, but learning about this discipline and subject on your own can help you make some informed decisions about your educational future and career path. Understanding the fundamental purpose of sociology and how it impacts our daily lives can help you decide whether this is the right career path for you, and whether you want to specialize in a particular area.

Basic Introduction to Sociology

When you are taking an introduction to sociology course, the first thing you will learn is what the sociology definition actually is. Sociology can be defined as an academic discipline that examines social interactions, human behaviors, and outcomes of certain social events. Sociologists also recognize different social patterns and try and make sense of the social order. Reviewing the cause and effect of certain situations, learning about social problems that affect society today, and understanding the basic principles of social organization are a few things you will learn in any introduction to sociology course and related coursework.

The field of sociology does have some psychological roots because a good portion of your studies will be focused on human behavior and what drives people to do certain things. Sociologists are trained to detect patterns, work with simulations and test various hypotheses. Some of the coursework in your sociology degree program will involve developing research methods and reviewing data or statistics. Instead of making generalizations, sociologists use data and statistics to draw conclusions about society at large and human behavior.

Topics in an Intro to Sociology Class

The basic topics covered in an intro to sociology course include: culture, socialization, social structure, behavior and organization of groups, and deviance. Students taking an introduction to sociology course will also learn some standard sociological research methods and learn about the sociological perspective, which covers the origins of sociology, significant sociologists throughout history and some basic assumptions and theories that have influenced the world of sociology as it stands today.

Students learn about the different theories from notable sociologists and thought leaders throughout history, including Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Erving Goffman. An intro to sociology course may also cover some basic and applied methods of clinical sociology and research methodology that was used in the past, and that is still used today.

Taking an intro to sociology course is a prerequisite for advanced courses for all sociology majors, and taking this type of course when you're still unsure about whether you want to pursue this educational or career path can help you make some important decisions. In most cases, the introduction to sociology course will give you a broad overview of the field of sociology, general research methods and how sociology plays a role in our society today. It’s usually a combination of a history course and an overview of some important sociologists throughout history.