Sociology thread. (14)

1 Name: Alexander!DxY0NCwFJg!!muklVGqN 2005-05-22 03:17 ID:Heaven

I study Sociology. I'm only starting to get into it really, so I can't call myself a sociologist really, but I do know what it is generally about of course.

I'm curious about what people think about Sociology or if they know anything at all about it.

So please tell me what Sociology is, and what sociologists are like. Insults are welcome, as long as you don't behave like Men of DQN Quality.

Any other hot Sociology action can go in this thread too.

2 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E 2005-05-22 05:37 ID:1i0RFrRf

Even after some study in sociology, I still don't get what it's about.

It contains elements of economics... but economics is more interesting to study. It contains a lot of elements of social psychology... but social psychology is a whole lot less hand-waving (and it's more interesting). It contains elements of political science... but political science is a fuckload more interesting. It contains elements of history... but (you get the idea).

Someone really needs to enlighten me.

3 Name: Mad Scientist 2005-05-22 12:32 ID:zwXsZ8/O

4 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E 2005-05-22 15:00 ID:2Ygyq51T

Yeah, I've read that, and it still strikes me that sociology is a diluted form of many different fields. Not that a combination of fields is a bad thing, but I don't understand sociology's position in the world either.

"It concerns itself with the social rules and processes that bind and separate people not only as individuals, but as members of associations, groups, and institutions." is so broad it could contain almost any soft science.

5 Name: Mad Scientist 2005-05-22 17:13 ID:Heaven


Well, see it as a science that deals with society in general and all its different aspects. You might want to appreciate your individuality and solitude a bit more after realizing what's all falling into "different aspects of sociology".

6 Name: Sling!XD/uSlingU 2005-05-23 00:18 ID:ZtIm1R1b

My sociology teacher at the university was an asocial. :)
He would wear sloppy clothes, and rant against multinationals.
But then, the psychology teacher was a clinical case...

7 Name: Alexander!DxY0NCwFJg!!muklVGqN 2005-05-23 01:57 ID:Heaven

>It contains elements of economics... but economics is more interesting to study. It contains a lot of elements of social psychology... but social psychology is a whole lot less hand-waving (and it's more interesting). It contains elements of political science... but political science is a fuckload more interesting. It contains elements of history... but (you get the idea).

"Sociology has some links with social psychology, but the former is more interested in social structures and the latter in social behaviors." <- This line from the wiki article probably sums it up quite nicely: no matter how social, social psychology to me still seems like a typical psychology: individuals get lots of attention and are viewed as a kind of mechanical machinery.

Political science is more or less = politics where I study. A nation can be studied this way, but the social processes that are at work in a societal institution would probably fall below the radar.

Economics seems to me like a science that concentrates a lot on money (duh) and uses lots of ideal models, which don't necessarily connect with reality and certainly don't connect with all social processes.

History is probably the science which I'd be most ready to admit being very much the same as sociology. I'd still say it's "different enough" though: it's not only the stereotype that dictates it studies the past, and one shouldn't forget that Sociology was formed when modernity made people feel all "wtf??". I suspect that sociologists would in general get much better results when researching people in a modern city than their historian equivalents.

Of course, since I study Sociology I don't study those other things directly, so my knowledge of some of the other sciences is limited.

8 Name: Alexander!DxY0NCwFJg!!muklVGqN 2005-05-23 02:20 ID:Heaven

OK, another explanation, not necessarily shorter ; ) :
Sociology isn't economics because it doesn't have to turn everything into small green transactions.
Sociology isn't political science because it doesn't limit itself to studying the use of power by a few, but rather studies the "end product" of all things taken together.
Sociology isn't social psychology because it can study social structures without looking at the "gears" that are the people: sociology of course does overlap here too, but experiments and similar-minded things don't exist all that much in sociology - and sociology in the end always concentrates on the group rather than the individual.
History definitely doesn't only study the political movements of the past: the fact that sociologists studying sufficiently far into the past have to read some history says a lot. Still, history concentrates a lot on things that have happened: sociology largely concentrates on the present - at least I think that's enough of a difference, not that sciences overlapping would necessarily be worse than the natural diversity of fields within single sciences.

In conclusion, sociology studies society in its entirety: there are specialized fields that have legitimate areas of study, but sociology analyzes what's left after all those processes have had their effect on the people: it studies the individuals at this point, and avoids being psychology by looking at the big picture of "all people" after that.

This is all near-propaganda, of course. But if I don't do it, who will? ; )

9 Name: Mad Scientist 2005-05-23 21:32 ID:UKKN/b/K

Sociology is the social science for people who don't have the math for economics, don't have the singleminded determination for psychology, don't care enough about politics for polisci, don't care enough about science for anthropology, and don't have enough language ability for linguistics.

Sociology is Anthropology Lite(TM). It's the study of society for people who don't like dealing with non-Western cultures. It's economics without all the math, and polisci without all the opinions. It's psychology without people. It's history for people who don't care about history.

Remember that sociology was originally started by a Frenchman who wanted to find out what was wrong with society and fix it. Sociology still has this idea that analyzing survey statistics will show what is wrong with people and how to change the world for the better.

10 Name: Alexander!DxY0NCwFJg!!muklVGqN 2005-05-24 16:06 ID:Heaven



11 Name: Some Guy 2005-12-04 09:06 ID:RvPwtOjE

What? I thought sociology was supposed to be the study of society for people who don't like dealing with Western cultures..!

But seriously.

Sociology is what you study when you want to figure out what people are doing, why, how they interact with others. What's a clique, group, community, society. What's an organization, an institution, a corporation. What does it mean for a group to have a body.

We are all sociologists at some time or another, trying to make sense of things; The sociologist is someone who sticks with these sorts of problems for a very, very, very long time.

My interest in sociology is critical theory and technology.

12 Name: Mad Scientist 2005-12-05 15:29 ID:UavQ+v/f

Sociology is a study of how people act in groups, either small units (families) or large ones (companies, mass riots, nations, and so on).

I've studied a few areas of sociology in college, and if you're turned off by the individualistic and penis-centric state of psychology, you will probably find sociology a lot more interesting.

Cool stuff:

  • You get to study experiments where people get shocked by electricity
  • You get to read about riots
  • Sociology classes usually have at least a few hot chicks trying to complete their core requirements (^_-)

Bad stuff:

  • If you're not fairly liberal, sociology will tend to annoy you. It puts the LIBERAL in liberal social sciences.
  • Also, you'll occasionally get conservative pricks who think they're better than everyone else - they can really ruin an otherwise good sociology class, causing pointless debates and arguments over nothing and going nowhere.

13 Name: Mad Scientist 2005-12-06 04:28 ID:pvabY6kJ

Milgram for the win. However, I do take some issue with this:

>Also, you'll occasionally get conservative pricks who think >they're better than everyone else

Isn't that more or less a function of your admission that

>if you're not fairly liberal, sociology will tend to annoy you ? I mean, it makes sense that if you were fairly conservative and a soc. major or taking such a soc. class, you'd be rather irritated by the constant (often ad hominem) attacks on your position and people who share your position (and by extension, attacks on you). Of course, this doesn't excuse acting like a know-it-all, but I thought it was odd that you more or less contradicted yourself.

14 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2006-06-12 00:47 ID:Heaven

Sociology as a subject here in Britain is generally looked upon as something of a "mickey mouse" subject, along with the likes of Psychology, Media Studies, Drama, et al.
Generally people tend to take it because "it sounds interesting". I can't speak for other countries, but I do know that the vast majority of Sociology students at my college are raving idiots.

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