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What is Sociology?
• What is it?
• The study of society. Sociologists are curious about the
world and how it functions.
• What do sociologists aim to do?
• To understand the interaction between individuals and
• To understand the role of institutions such as the family,
peers, education, religion, mass media, the workplace, the
law and the government, and how they may shape the
behaviour and attitudes of individuals.
C. Wright Mills and the ‘sociological
• Mills believes that studying sociology allows you to stop
simply living in your own world, but to take your
personal issues and connect them to wider public
• Your personal issue – low income
• The wider public concern – high unemployment
• So, when you start to see the relationship between
your situation and the society you live in, you are
developing your sociological imagination
• Sociology has its own language which will fit
together to create:
• Key concepts
• Wider concepts
• Studies
• Theories
• Methods
• Contemporary examples
• To succeed in sociology you will need to learn and
understand the language associated with the
• The way you apply the language/terminology will
be rewarded.
• For example ‘The family teaches you how to
behave’ would count as none sociological.
• But, ‘The family socialises children into certain
behaviour by teaching them the correct norms and
values’ would count as sociological.