Definition of Sociology

If you've considered declaring a sociology major or pursuing a career in sociology, take some time to learn about the definition of sociology and its various branches and specializations. Sociologists and sociology researchers study society, human behavior and the effects of various types of interactions. However, this does not mean that the definition of sociology is limited to just these roles. Sociology is a type of science that is used by many institutions, agencies and organizations to make sense of human behavior and in some cases, to encourage or promote certain types of behavior. Taking some time to learn what the sociology definition is and what types of organizations are looking for sociology majors can help you make some informed decisions about your career.

How is Sociology Defined?

The definition of sociology can be best described as the study of social life and interactions among human beings. Sociologists study the effects of family relations, gerontology, social change and even cultural traditions, and monitor and evaluate how these interactions and behaviors lead to various outcomes. If you decide not to be a research scientist in the field of sociology, you can explore sociology jobs with nonprofit organizations, businesses, government agencies and companies.

The meaning of sociology may vary greatly for certain businesses and organizations that hire those with a sociology major, because the position may not necessarily involve research or the direct application of sociology practices. In some cases, sociology majors end up working as social workers, market research analysts, customer service representatives or public relations specialists. The traditional sociology definition may not apply directly to these positions, but these types of jobs still require a deep understanding of human interactions and behaviors.

The Meaning of Sociology

The meaning of sociology can be better understood by learning about the sociological perspective and how the sociology scientists perform the investigative process. Sociology studies human behavior and interpersonal interactions, and focuses primarily on how people coordinate various activities to reach either individual or collective goals. This may include evaluating reciprocity within a group, learning how various roles develop and what happens when certain individuals or groups interact with each other. The field of sociology investigates various types of human behaviors and may involve comparing results of various studies, drawing from historical studies and also reviewing psychological studies of human interactions in various types of settings.

The overall meaning of sociology can be fairly general but this sociology definition can give you a better idea, or overview, of sociology's core mission. Ultimately, the study of sociology involves developing a sociological perspective that encompasses social, economic, familial, religious, educational and political influences on a certain individual, group or society at large. This process may involve developing hypotheses and theories, conducting various types of studies, extrapolating and interpreting data, and monitoring the behavior of various groups.

Taking some time to understand the definition of sociology can help you decide whether this field is a career path you want to explore. The meaning of sociology may vary slightly by industry or specialization you choose to work in, but the basic sociology definition remains the same across all industries.