Sociology is the study (-ology) of society, its behavior, its culture, its categories, its institutions, all of which affect indiviual attitudes. While sociology is not an exact science as is biology or chemistry, it does employ empirical studies that are measured as scientifically as possible. Of course, when dealing with human behaviors and interactions there are too many variables for exactitude. Nevertheless, sociological studies have proven valuable.
For instance, in the studies conducted regarding education, there has been some success in determining what time is optimal for beginning school for high school aged students. By using such measurements as standardized test scores, determination of optimal learning times can be fairly well measured. Several studies have revealed that students who come to their first class at 9:00 A.M. succeed more often in learning well than those who take the class earlier.
Another study involved Block Schedule (90 minute periods) versus the traditional schedule. 55-60 minute periods). Standardized test scores in one county of a state revealed that students who took the year-long 60 minute periods as opposed to the 1 semester/90 minutes period scored better on Math tests.
Such studies are helful for Sociologists to recommend ways to improve learning. Other studies, such as those in which inner cities' high rise appartments produce an environment as compared to public housing in the shape of one-level homes or apartments has led to the razing of such high-rises in an effort to improve the lives of people on public aid. These studies and many others are useful to sociologists who strive for a better life for the people with whom they study and work.
Here is a list of other areas of study in sociology:
- Stratification in the U.S. and worldwide
- Deviance and Social Culture
- The Family
- Health and Population
- Social Movements and Social Change