Sociology is one of the most interesting fields of study, because it deals with people and cultures. The content of sociology, then, consists of various theories and approaches to gain a better understanding of culture. In other words, it enables a person to see beneath the surface to examine the various dynamics that exist in society. For example, how does religion work? Who stands to gain in religion? Why do certain religions grow and other do not? Or we can shift directions and talk about other things such as consumer culture and why it thrives? I think you are able to see the point. The value of sociology is that it gives a person better into the society in which they live. See links below on examples of sociological theory. The first link concerns a sociology of common sense in culture. The second link concerns social structures and categories of thought. The final link concerns power and the church.
Sociology is the study of behavior of individuals as members of groups and institutions that make up the society. Thus sociology is study of behavior of individuals in the social context.
Sociological study and research is needed to study how people relate to each other and to their environment. It is intended to understand the nature various types of sociological behavior and processes and their causes. Sociological research is undertaken to find answers to questions like:
- How groups are formed, how they function, what keeps the members of groups together and what leads to break up of groups.
- Role of institutions including social, business, religious, political and other institutions in society, and how they influence behavior of individuals.
- Causes of crime, poverty, and other social problems in society, and ways to deal effectively with such problems.
The sociological research can be classified in following categories:
- Population studies
- Social behavior
- Social institutions
- Cultural Influences
- social Change.
There are three basic methods used for sociological research - surveys, controlled experiments, and field observations. Survey are generally in the form of public opinion polls. This is the most widely used method of sociological research. Mos surveys are conducted using questionnaires. Controlled experiment are used to study behavior of small groups under controlled conditions. In general it consists of studying behavior of two very similar groups except for some feature of group under study. Alternatively the two groups are made to perform highly similar task with some feature of task under study. Field study method involves a sociologist living with a particular community such as a tribe or a social group in a particular neighborhood, and gathering information about them through observation.