What is a Sociologist?

Also known as: Social Scientist, Behavioral Scientist, Behavioural Scientist.

A sociologist is someone who studies society and social behaviour by examining the groups, cultures, organizations, social institutions, and processes that people develop. Most sociologists work in research organizations, colleges and universities, regional and federal government, and consulting service firms.

What does a Sociologist do?

A sociologist studies society and social behaviour and works in research organizations, colleges and universities, regional and federal government, and consulting service firms.

Sociologists typically do the following:

  • Design research projects to test theories about social issues
  • Collect data through surveys, observations, interviews, and other sources
  • Analyze and draw conclusions from data
  • Prepare reports, articles, or presentations detailing their research findings
  • Collaborate with other sociologists or social scientists
  • Consult with and advise clients, policymakers, or other groups on research findings and sociological issues

Sociologists study human's social lives, activities, interactions, processes, and organizations within the context of larger social, political, and economic forces. They examine how social influences affect different individuals and groups, and the ways organizations and institutions affect people's lives.

They study the behaviour of, and interaction among, groups, organizations, institutions, and nations. They look at activities in social, religious, political, economic, and business organizations. They also trace the origin and growth of these groups and interactions.

Educators, lawmakers, administrators, and social workers use sociological research to solve social problems and formulate public policy. Sociologists specialize in a wide range of social topics, including the following:

  • Health
  • Crime
  • Education
  • Racial and Ethnic Relations
  • Families
  • Population
  • Gender
  • Poverty
  • Aging

Many people with a sociology background become professors and teachers. Others often find work in related jobs outside the sociologist profession as survey researchers, statisticians, policy analysts, and demographers.

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What is the workplace of a Sociologist like?

Sociologists typically work behind a desk, researching and writing reports. They may occasionally work outside the office to meet with colleagues, conduct field research though interviews or observations, or present research results. Most sociologists work full time during regular business hours.

What is the difference between a Political Scientist and a Sociologist?

Political science and sociology are very closely related. There are, however, significant differences between the two disciplines.

Political science deals mainly with political theory and government administration alone. Sociology, on the other hand, is the study of all aspects of society. Sociologists are focused on the interrelationship between social institutions, including government. Because group behavior is of much importance to sociologists, their studies encompass societies’ political systems and the distribution of formal and informal power and authority within them. They seek to understand how different systems – democracy, communism, dictatorship – affect how people live their lives and how they interact with one another.

The Differences between Political Science and Sociology

Political Science

  • It is a science of state and government.
  • It studies only politically organized societies.
  • It has a narrow field.
  • It studies man as a political animal.
  • It is a special social science, because it concentrates only on human relationships which are political in character.
  • Its approach is political. It has its own methods of study: the historical method; the philosophical method; comparative and statistical methods.
  • It is, comparatively, an older science. It has centuries of history in its own right, from the days of Plato and Cicero.

Sociology

  • It is a science of society.
  • It studies all kinds of societies, both organized and unorganized.
  • It has a wider scope.
  • It studies man as fundamentally a social animal.
  • It is a general social science, which studies all kinds of forms and social relations in a general way.
  • Its approach is sociological. It follows its own methods, in addition to the scientific method, in its investigation.
  • It is a relatively young science, less than two centuries old.

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Further Reading

  • A Day In The Life www.dal.ca

    Chris Helland, associate professor of sociology, loves to teach the course Goblins, Ghosts, Gods and Gurus.

  • Careers By Major - Sociology www.utm.utoronto.ca

    There are many different career options available for Sociology graduates. Below is a sample of types of positions that Sociology graduates have gone on to. Note: This is not an exhaustive list as there are many other careers available. Many positions require additional education or experience.

  • A Day In The Life Of A Sociologist www.sociology.com

    No matter what subject a sociologist is passionate about, all research studies start with a hypothesis and end with written documentation supporting said hypothesis.

  • Areas Of Specialization www.sociology.utoronto.ca

    What are the different areas that one can specialize in when studying Sociology?

  • Disrupted Lives harvardmagazine.com

    Sociologist Matthew Desmond studies eviction and the lives of America’s poor.

  • What Is The Importance Of Studying Sociology? www.preservearticles.com

    The study of sociology has a great value especially in modern complex society. Some of the uses of sociology are as follows...

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