In gaining an understanding about our world, we have developed two sets of sciences. The first one is called the natural sciences-developed to explain and predict the events in our natural environment. The natural sciences are divided in to specialized fields of research- such as biology, geology, biology, chemistry and physics. Each area investigates a particular “slice” of nature. Given that, people have not limited themselves to investigating nature. In the pursuit of understanding life, people have also developed fields of science that focus on the social world. The Social Sciences examine human relationships. Like natural sciences, the social sciences are also divided into specialized fields.
Examples of social science disciplines:
Economic: Economist study the production and distribution of material goods and services of a society. They want to know what goods are being produced, at what rate and at what cost. They may study what motivates people to buy certain items.
Political Science: Political Scientist study politics or government and how people attain ruling positions (government). Political scientist may study voting behavior.
Psychology: Focus on the processes that occur within the individual. Psychologist study the mental processes) what occurs in the brain or the mind). They examine intelligence, emotions, perceptions, memory, even dreams, mental illnesses. As therapist, psychologists focus on resolving personal problems such as an addiction to gambling. Anthropology: The chief concern of an anthropologist is to understand culture, a group’s way of life. They take a look at artifacts, such as tools, art, and weapons. They also study values, ideas, language and how its members interact with each other.
So what is Sociology?
What is the study of Sociology?
An updated version of the Old Elephant Story
Five wise men and women, all blindfolded, were led to an elephant and asked to explain what they saw.
1. The anthropologist touched the trunk and said “This is primitive. I feel very comfortable here. Concentrate on these.”
2. The economist felt the mouth and said “This is what counts. What goes in here is distributed throughout the body. Concentrate your research on how it is distributed.”
3. The political scientist felt the ears and said, “This is the power center. What goes on in here controls the entire beast. Concentrate your studies here.
4. The psychologist touches the top of the head and said “This is the only thing that counts. All feeling and thinking takes place inside here.
5. The sociologist felt the entire body and said “You can’t understand the beast by concentrating on only one part of the body. Each is but part of the whole. The trunk, tusk, the mouth, the ears, the head all are important. There are other parts of the beast that you haven’t mentioned. We must remove our blindfolds so we can see how every thing works together to form the entire animal. And we also need to understand how this creature interacts with similar creatures. How does its life in groups influence its behavior? So, what is the formal definition of Sociology? Sociology does not primarily focus one aspect of the social world but combine the various social sciences to explain human behavior.
The scientific study of society and human behaviors. To explain social life and social causes (divorce or poverty). Sociologists take a look at how jobs, income, education, gender, age race, famine, ethnicity, affect people’s ideas, and behavior. Ex what does it mean to be female or male? What are the roles?
Sociology explores the power of society to guide our actions, thoughts and feelings. For example, a mother feels guilty for wanting to spend money on herself. Another example is that we may think that people get marriage simply because they have fallen in love, yet the sociological perspective show us that