What Is Sociology Essay

Submitted By charn123
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AS Sociology- Summer Preparatory Work

What is Sociology?
The term ‘Sociology’ was first used by a French man named Auguste Compete in the 1830’s when he first composed a synthetic science combining all knowledge about human activity.
Sociology is the study of the functioning of human society, including the structures of society and groups within human society. How these interact and how they are influenced by their societal environment and how societal problems and issues can develop and affect those within that society. Also how individuals within society can bring about a change. It is heavily affected by humans themselves and as a social science there are several different explanations and theories as to how we can understand human development and why humans do the things they do most accurately. In sociology they look at people as individuals, groups and as entire societies and look at our social behaviours and interactions with one another. From a scientific view it looks through groups people move and adapt to through the course of their lives.
Sociology is split into many different topics and groups and perspectives i.e. Functionalism, Feminism, The New Right and Marxism. Sociologists believe that our social surroundings influence thought and action.
Functionalists see the society as a type of living organism in which institutions and people all play a part in society. It emphasises consensus and the order which exists in society to enable social stability. E.g. parents depend on the British government to give their children free education of which is at good standards. In return parents pay the government taxes. If the cycle was to be broken then it would be up to each individual to try and salvage and create a suitable alternative. This creates a social change as they have to adapt to a new way of learning/or bringing in money.

Marxists believe that a capitalist society is characterised by a conflict between those who own the country (the capitalists) and those of a working class level. The different levels of power which some hold socially leads to others further down the social train become oppressed. This perspective connects both sociology and politics together as capitalism and class dynamics is one of the main things which determine politics and things such as wealthy vs. poor.

The feminist theory is of the most contemporary of the four as it analyses the status of women and men in society using the knowledge to better women’s lives. It looks into how culture, race, age and many other factors can have an link with gender. It consists mostly of giving a voice to women and highlighting the ways of which women have contributed greatly to society.

Those who follow the new right theory believe that traditional