What is a Sociologist?

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

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What does a Sociologist do?

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.

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.



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Further Reading

  • Disrupted Lives

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

  • A Day In The Life

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

  • A Day In The Life Of A Sociologist

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

  • Careers By Major - Sociology

    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.

  • Areas Of Specialization

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

  • What Is The Importance Of Studying Sociology?

    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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