We explain what sociology is and what are the study methods it uses. In addition, how it is classified and sociological theories.
What is sociology?
The term sociology comes from the Latin socĭus and lodge that mean individual or partner and study respectively, so broadly it could be defined as the study of the individual or partner .
Sociology is then that social science consolidated in the nineteenth century that focuses on the study of the analysis and description of life in society, and the action and interaction between its individuals.
To address these issues, history is an element that sociologists constantly use. The concept of sociology was formulated by authors such as Karl Marx , Auguste Compte, Henri de Saint-Simon, Herbert Spencer, Max Weber, Émile Durkheim and Vilfredo Pareto among many authors.
What are the methods of study of sociology?
Sociologists use two types of methods to carry out their research : quantitative and qualitative:
- The quantitative methods. they are those that make use of those variables that are represented numerically and that are the ones that allow us to approach statistical data and establish relationships between them.
- Qualitative methods instead, they are linked to explanations and descriptions of subjects, situations and actions. In addition, the testimonies of the protagonists of the facts to be investigated may be included.
What are the branches of sociology?
You can find different branches, some of them are:
- Economic sociology This branch focuses on the study of how economic exchanges affect social interactions and meanings in various ways. One of the most representative authors of this branch is Karl Marx, who highlights how social structures are determined by the economic field.
- Political sociology This branch, on the other hand, addresses issues in common with politics , such as political and social structures and power. It also addresses social trends, personalities within politics and how it is affected by social inequality .
- Sociology of law. It addresses the consequences, problems and goals related to the links between society and the law and what is the effectiveness of the latter.
- Urban sociology. This is the one that addresses interaction and social life within metropolitan areas, in addition to taking into account changes, problems and processes within that area.
- Sociology of knowledge. This branch is the one that addresses what consequences the dominant ideas of a given era have within a society .
- Sociology of communication. This focuses on the study of the media and how these, and symbolic mediation in general, affect social life.
Expand: Branches and auxiliary sciences of sociology .
There have been several theories developed within this science , of which many have been of important relevance. Between them:
- Functionalism which considers social institutions tools to meet the specific needs of each society, so they study these and the structures present in each of them.
- The conflict theory. study the same elements as functionalism but establishing contradictions. For example, they do not consider society to be in constant equilibrium but change, so the conflict is inherent in society.
- The symbolic interactionism. On the other hand, it considers that the communication and symbolic interaction that constitutes the social groups and allow the formation of thought human.