What in Your View is the Relevance and Value of the Field of Sociology in the 21st Century?What in Your View is the Relevance and Value of the Field of Sociology in the 21st Century?
Any field that seeks to examine culture as well as individual identity in the face of collectivity is quite powerful. As information technology takes a hold of the world, we are beginning to understand more of cultural identity. With this increase in understanding, sociology becomes more critical and essential in helping to formulate our conceptions of social notions of the good and cultural identity. At the same time, sociology is critical in helping us articulate different narratives and experiences. This is yet another reality which has become more readily accepted with the proliferation of information technology and globalization. Any field that can help increase our fundamental understanding of how narratives and experiences are constructed is essential.
I have no reason to think that sociology will be any more or less relevant in the 21st century than it was in the 20th century.
In theory, sociology is certainly a valuable field of study. It is important to know the impacts that a society and its structure have on the people who live in that society. For example, if we know what kinds of people are more likely to suffer from certain kinds of illnesses, we can devise public health programs to try to combat those illnesses.
The problem with sociology is that it can not truly be objective and therefore can not truly understand and predict human behavior. The sociologist's own biases will always influence the conclusions he or she draws and will therefore make his/her prescriptions less credible.
Due to many factors related to technological and economical developments, such as information revolution, globalization, and urbanization, social liberalization, and international exchange of ideas and culture, the individuals and groups today are subjected to many more influences and diverse ideas than ever before in the past. People have greater freedom to live and act as they please with much reduced cultural pressure for social or cultural conformity. But such freedom has not been an unmitigated blessing.
People are dissatisfied and confused about what they want, what they have, and what is good for them.There is increasing level of stress in private lives as well as in work. Effect of such developments i clearly visible in phenomenon as higher levels of stress related diseases such as stomach ulcer and blood pressure, higher divorce rates, and increasing crime rates.
On top of all this, things are changing all around fast. People have less time to understand the impact of such changes and adjust to them. These problems have been growing throughout the 20th century. However. at the dawn of 21st century the problems are increasing at much higher rate. This rate is likely accelerate rather than reduce in near future.
In a scenario like this, Sociology can play an increasingly important role in 21st century to understand the nature of such problems and develop ways of coping with them.