FIELD AND METHODS OF SOCIOLOGY
Few scientists study more different things in different ways than do sociologists, The geologist may be digging through obscure census reports to see where the American people are moving, or studying a new social movement as a participant observer, or conducting an evaluation study to see whether an action program is working. Almost any kind of social phenomena is a fit subject for sociological research, providing proper scientific procedures are followed. How this is done is the subject of this chapter.
THE FIELD OF SOCIOLOGY
First of all, forget whatever you hate read about sociology ill the popular magazines all newspapermen, for much of it is inaccurate. A magazine writer who wishes to make some offhand guesswork sound more impressive any preface it with the phrase Sociologists fear that Sociologists are alarmed by or Sociologists are wringing their hands over This journalistic device helps a writer to speak authoritatively without knowing very much about the subject Some papers such as The New York Times or the Wall crest Journal quote sociologists accurately most of the time. But as a general rule any undocumented newspaper or magazine statements about what sociologists think should be dismissed as unreliable.Careless use of the term sociologist is very common. Magazine and newspaper writers social workers labor leaders government officials, social critics, or else who is interested in social relations may be described as sociologists. This is incorrect. A sociologist is one who has earned advanced degrees or pursued other advanced studies in sociology (not in psychology, theology, social work, or some other field) and is engaged in leaching, research, or other professional work in the field of sociology. No formal definition of sociology is very satisfactory. Short definitions do not really define; long definitions are cumbersome. Yet a definition of some sort is needed and sociology is often defined as tire scientific study of social life. Human beings behave differently from other animals. They have unique forms of group life; they pursue customs, develop institutions, and create values Sociology applies scientific methods to the study of these phenomena in the search for scientific knowledge. Society concentrates its study UPO tire group life of Ceilings and tire product of their group living, The sociologist is especially interested
emerge from group living, and in the way group living is, in turn, affected these custom traditions and values. Sociology is
interested in the way groups interact with one mother and in the process’s and institutions which they develop. Sociology is subdivided into many specialized fields, of which a partial list includes:
Leisure, Sports, Recreation, and the Arts
Marriage and the Family
Methodology and Statistics
Race and Ethnic Relations
Sociology of Education
Sociology of Knowledge and Science
Sociology of Occupations and Professions
Sociology of Religion
Sociology of Small Groups
Stratification and Mobility
These topics are not the exclusive property of sociology, for no discipline can stake out a field and post “keep out” signs around it Sociology is only one of the social sciences. Other disciplines share its interest in many topics. For example, its interest in communication and public opinion is shared by psychology and political science; criminology is shared with psychology, political science, law and police science, and so on. Sociology is especially close to psychology and anthropology and overlaps them so constantly that any firm boundaries would be arbitrary and unrealistic. The more we learn about human behavior, the more we realize that no one field of knowledge can fully explain it. for all sciences, scientific techniques differ, for techniques are the particular ways in which scientific methods are applied to a particular problem. Each science must, therefore, develop a series of techniques which fits the body of material it studies. What are some of the techniques of sociological research?
Every study has some sort of time setting. A study which covers a broad area of observation at a single point in time is called a cross sectional study. For example, Campbell, Converse and Rodgers’s study, The Quality of Sociologists study the behavioral norms of different societies, How many norms are suggested by this picture?