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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is a basic distinction between theory -- the use of largely-agreed upon facts or conclusions to draw a broader conclusion -- and practice -- the actual application of theory in the "real world."  One is largely the product of classroom, laboratory, or conference room research and discussions involving interconnecting facts or suppositions regarding a general topic; the other involves going out "into the field" to actually test the theory against living entities.  To the extent that sociology is defined as the study of the interactions of people, cultures, or other groups and their impact upon each other, then applied sociology would involve the attempt to anticipate conflicts and implement proposals to either prevent them or repair them after the conflict has occurred, for example, between two categories of people interacting in an urban environment.  The following description is from the Association of Applied Sociology:

"As societies begin, grow and merge sociologists are reading into every aspect and analyzing where there are problems and applying tested methods to ease those problems...These scientists work every day to create a more functional society that serves all the people equally." [, "What is Applied Sociology?"]

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