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Sociology essentially is the study of human societies. This involves the various kinds of social relationships and institutions, including religion, the family, the state, crime, social classes, and lots more in between. Its main objectives are to understand how human actions influence and are influenced by culture and social structures.
Sociology is a broad subject, tackling issues from the level of personal matters to global issues. On a personal level, sociology examines the causes and effects of things like family conflict, violent behavior, racial identity, religious beliefs, and even romantic love. On a larger level, sociology aims to understand issues like poverty, distribution of wealth, crime, law, education, and business, among other things. And on a global scale, sociology studies things like war, population growth, migration, and economic development.
Sociologists use various methods to find out more about how human societies operate. They can conduct surveys, study historical documents, interview people, conduct experiments in the lab, and even simply observing how people interact with each other. The data sociologists gather help them understand the social processes that mold the lives of people. Social problems can also be determined and how they affect people’s lives negatively. This, in turn, would allow sociologists to find solutions to those problems.
As a comparison, psychology deals with people on an individual level. It aims to understand the human mind through studying the behavior patterns of a person. Sociology, on the other hand, is much larger in scale. It aims to understand a much bigger “joint human consciousness” of sorts through observing the behaviors and actions of people in big groups (that is, societies). Sociology may borrow some concepts from psychology as well to help gain better insights into human societies. However, sociology can go broader to examine social movements and other things that go beyond the individual.