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Sociology teaches people not to accept easy explanations. It teaches them a way to organize their thinking so that they can ask better questions and formulate better answers. It makes people more aware that there are many different kinds of people in the world who do not necessarily think the way they do. It increases their willingness and ability to try to see the world from other people's perspectives. This prepares them to live and work in an increasingly diverse and integrated world.

Sociology in the workplace

Employers continue to seek people with what are called “transferable skills.” This means that they want to hire people whose knowledge and education can be applied in a variety of settings and whose skills will contribute to various tasks. Studying sociology can provide people with this wide knowledge and a skill set that can contribute to many workplaces, including

  • an understanding of social systems and large bureaucracies;
  • the ability to devise and carry out research projects to assess whether a program or policy is working;
  • the ability to collect, read, and analyze statistical information from polls or surveys;
  • the ability to recognize important differences in people’s social, cultural, and economic backgrounds;
  • skills in preparing reports and communicating complex ideas; and
  • the capacity for critical thinking about social issues and problems that confront modern society. (Department of Sociology, University of Alabama)

Sociology prepares people for a wide variety of careers. Besides actually conducting social research or training others in the field, people who graduate from college with a degree in sociology are hired by government agencies and corporations in fields such as social services, counseling (e.g., family planning, career, substance abuse), community planning, health services, marketing, market research, and human resources. Even a small amount of training in sociology can be an asset in careers like sales, public relations, journalism, teaching, law, and criminal justice.

Please “friend” me: students and social networking

The phenomenon known as Facebook was designed specifically for students. Whereas earlier generations wrote notes in each other’s printed yearbooks at the end of the academic year, modern technology and the Internet ushered in dynamic new ways for people to interact socially. Instead of having to meet up on campus, students can call, text, and Skype from their dorm rooms. Instead of a study group gathering weekly in the library, online forums and chat rooms help learners connect. The availability and immediacy of computer technology has forever changed the ways in which students engage with each other.

Now, after several social networks have vied for primacy, a few have established their place in the market and some have attracted niche audience. While Facebook launched the social networking trend geared toward teens and young adults, now people of all ages are actively “friending” each other. LinkedIn distinguished itself by focusing on professional connections and served as a virtual world for workplace networking. Newer offshoots like Foursquare help people connect based on the real-world places they frequent, while Twitter has cornered the market on brevity.

The widespread ownership of smartphones adds to this social experience; the Pew Research Center (2012) found that the majority of people in the United States with mobile phones now have “smart” phones with Internet capability. Many people worldwide can now access Facebook, Twitter, and other social media from virtually anywhere, and there seems to be an increasing acceptance of smartphone use in many diverse and previously prohibited settings. The outcomes of smartphone use, as with other social media, are not yet clear.

These newer modes of social interaction have also spawned harmful consequences, such as cyberbullying and what some call FAD, or Facebook Addiction Disorder. Researchers have also examined other potential negative impacts, such as whether Facebooking lowers a student’s GPA, or whether there might be long-term effects of replacing face-to-face interaction with social media.

All of these social networks demonstrate emerging ways that people interact, whether positive or negative. They illustrate how sociological topics are alive and changing today. Social media will most certainly be a developing topic in the study of sociology for decades to come.

Summary

Studying sociology is beneficial both for the individual and for society. By studying sociology people learn how to think critically about social issues and problems that confront our society. The study of sociology enriches students’ lives and prepares them for careers in an increasingly diverse world. Society benefits because people with sociological training are better prepared to make informed decisions about social issues and take effective action to deal with them.

Short answer

How do you think taking a sociology course might affect your social interactions?

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What sort of career are you interested in? How could studying sociology help you in this career?

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Further research

Social communication is rapidly evolving due to ever improving technologies. To learn more about how sociologists study the impact of these changes check out (External Link)

References

Berger, Peter L. 1963. Invitation to Sociology: A Humanistic Perspective . New York: Anchor Books.

Department of Sociology, University of Alabama. N.d. Is Sociology Right for You? . Huntsville: University of Alabama. Retrieved January 19, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Questions & Answers

what is slavery?
naveed Reply
what is stratification
naveed
what are the common characteristics in the early studies carried by anthropologist
justus Reply
How can we define symbolic interaction in family?
hafsa Reply
how does technology impact the soceity?
Lizzy Reply
technology impulse the society to change its manners . bcz society cannot b live without. it has to adopt technology with it's new trend.
Sajjad
who can tell me benefits of sociological imaginations?
Mohamed Reply
who cn tell me benefits of sociological imaginations?
Mohamed
please someone should elaborate on gerontology..
onoja Reply
study of ageing proccess is called gerontology...
Ayaz
why is sociology a science
Joseph Reply
Because its study human individual, group and the society
Baba
b/c the subject matter of sociology is the behavior of human being and society ...and sociology studies these under sceintific method ...empiricaly and clearly...it include all scientific method in its every study level...... 1.observation 2.research or literature reveiw 3.hypothesis 4.testing 5.th
Ayaz
5.theory sociology solve every problem with the help of above methods ...and it is clear that subject which solve any problem by such method is science..
Ayaz
it is a systematically study of human behaviour. sociology is a science bcoz it search the fact behind the behaviour.
derhagwara
socialogy as prospective? explain.
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Tariq
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Natasha
Negative impact of family in the Society
Bode Reply
when the family does not pamper their offspring properly it badly effects the society....with my piont of veiw....
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Amartey Reply
august comte
Salina
how does the French revolution contribute to the emergence of sociology?
Amartey
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Salina
french sociologist established two theories about the emergence of sociology.1.empiricism 2.positivism
Ayaz
founder is Allama ibn khaldum
Aj
how to identify variables
Paula Reply
there are two kind of variables dependent and independent u can't identify it u just take if it causes some changes in the phenomenon or not.
Atal
What is social anthropology
Muhammad Reply
what is the ralationship b/w socoilogy and anthrapology?
Fawad Reply
what is mobility
Nanlop Reply
the ability to move between different level in society or employment
Salina
Explain different prsfctives of sociology..
Naseer
It includes structural mobility(in between classes) as well as geographical mobility(migration)
Atal
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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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