(noun) The systematic study of society and social interactions to understand individuals, groups, and institutions through data collection and analysis.

Example: applied sociology

Audio Pronunciation: (so·ci·ol·o·gy)

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Related Quotations:

  • “Sociology, through its emphasis on observation and measurement, allows us to bring rigorous and systematic scientific thinking and information to bear on difficult questions associated with social policies and choices, including those related to poverty, health, immigration, crime, and education. Many people interested in these issues do not realize that more than concern is need to solve problems. Action must be informed by knowledge” (Hughes and Kroehler 2008:3).
  • “We study sociology to understand how human behavior is shaped by group life and, in turn, how group life is affected by individuals. Our culture tends to emphasize individualism, and sociology pushes us to consider more complex connection between out personal lives and the larger world” (Kendall 2006:37).

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Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2008. Sociology: The Core. 8th ed. Boston: McGraw Hill.

Kendall, Diane. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.