The Division of Labor in Society. As pointed out by Herman and Reynolds (1994), this viewpoint sees people as active in shaping their world, rather than as entities who are acted upon by society (Herman and Reynolds 1994). Critical sociology and symbolic interactionism would formulate the explanatory framework and research problem differently. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. In sociology, a theory is a way to explain different aspects of social interactions and create testable propositions about society (Allan 2006). Studying sociology is beneficial both for the individual and for society. Curiosity about this trend’s influence on social institutions might lead a researcher to explore its effect on the nation’s educational and child care systems. Rioting and looting led to hundreds of injuries, burnt cars, trashed storefronts and property damage totaling an estimated $4.2 million. “Comedian Louis CK’s compelling philosophy: ‘Smartphones are toxic’.” NewsComAu September 21. Gerth and C.W. This type of understanding could only ever lead to a partial analysis of social life according to Marx. Social scientists who apply symbolic-interactionist thinking look for patterns of interaction between individuals. In Canada in 2012, just under one in five adults (18.4 percent) were obese, up from 16 percent of men and 14.5 percent of women in 2003 (Statistics Canada 2013). There is a continuous need to expand markets for goods and to reduce the costs of production in order to create ever cheaper and more competitive products. Theories have different scales. In Suicide: A Study in Sociology (1897), Durkheim attempted to demonstrate the effectiveness of his rules of social research by examining suicide statistics in different police districts. 1986. Durkheim, Émile. Which founder of sociology believed societies changed due to class struggle? Histories by Herodotus (484–425 BCE) was a proto-anthropological work that described the great variations in the nomos of different ancient societies around the Mediterranean, indicating that human social life was not a product of nature but a product of human creation. A | 13. By studying sociology people learn how to think critically about social issues and problems that confront our society. It was not about the biological or psychological dynamics of human life, for example, but about the social facts through which the lives of individuals were constrained. Among other common forms that Simmel studied were superiority and subordination, cooperation, competition, division of labour, and money transactions. Think about the T-shirts in your drawer at home. Critical sociology is also criticized from the point of view of interpretive sociology for overstating the power of dominant groups to manipulate subordinate groups. Sociologists around the world are looking closely for signs of what would be an unprecedented event: the emergence of a global culture. She also worked for social reform in the situation of women: the right to vote, have an education, pursue an occupation, and enjoy the same legal rights as men. It was also a system that was inherently unstable and prone to crisis, yet increasingly global in its reach. On the other hand, macro-level phenomena like class structures, institutional organizations, legal systems, gender stereotypes, and urban ways of life provide the shared context for everyday life but do not explain its nuances and micro-variations very well. Earlier in Canadian society, most family households consisted of one parent working outside the home and the other being the primary child care provider. By studying sociology people learn how to think critically about social issues and problems that confront our society. By the time of the Enlightenment the unified perspective of Christendom had broken into three distinct spheres of knowledge: the natural sciences, hermeneutics (or interpretive sciences), and critique (Habermas 1972). 1958 [1904]. One might be interested in its impact on a child’s development, another may explore its effect on family income, while a third might examine how other social institutions have responded to this shift in society. Why was the crowd response to the two events so different? Blishen went on to work in the field of medical sociology and also created a widely used index to measure socioeconomic status known as the Blishen scale. 1.4 Why Study Sociology? From the types of career to pursue to the number of children to have, the decisions and practices of everyday life must be understood in terms of the 20th century shift to corporate ownership and the 21st century context of globalization in which corporate decisions about investments are made. However useful it is to talk about macro-level phenomena like capitalism, the moral order, or rationalization, in the end what these phenomena refer to is a multitude of ongoing, unfinished processes of interaction between specific individuals. When you attend one of these events, you may know only the people you came with. You know how to behave in this kind of crowd. September 14. If the same misunderstandings occur consistently in a number of different interactions, the sociologists may be able to propose some generalizations about rules of politeness that would be helpful in reducing tensions in mixed-group dynamics (e.g., during staff meetings or international negotiations). How could studying sociology help you in this career. G. Barry Gilroy ( is in public domain. Retrieved February 4, 2012 from, Department of Sociology, University of Alabama. 1977  [1848]. What do you think? He described his philosophy in a well-attended and popular series of lectures, which he published as The Course in Positive Philosophy (1830–1842) and A General View of Positivism (1848). Food production is a primary example of how human systems adapt to environmental systems. What Is Sociology?Sociology is the systematic study of society and social interaction. Marx predicted that inequalities of capitalism would become so extreme that workers would eventually recognize their common class interests, develop a common “class consciousness” or understanding of their situation, and revolt. The focus is on understanding or interpreting human activity in terms of the meanings that humans attribute to it.