The Relevance of Sociology in Today's Times

>> Monday, August 2, 2010

Living in a multicultural society, particularly in the United States, with a vast plethora of different cultures, religions, races, and traditions, we do get intrigued by certain behavioral and cultural practices. Today's world is witnessing a skewed socioeconomic structure - a rather disproportionate distribution of wealth resulting in a glaring divide between the 'haves' and 'have-nots.' It is indeed a vast subject that covers a multitude of relevant everyday affairs. It can be defined as the study of society per se; however, it is also a social science, as it studies the social activity of humans using various quantitative and qualitative techniques of investigation and analysis. The subject is a discipline that is broad in nature and incorporates studies on religion, modernity, secularization, social structure, stratification, culture, etc. It is a rather exhaustive subject that involves humans and social structures; therefore, sociology is also related to other specialized areas, such as penal, military, and medical institutions; the role of the internet; and the growth of scientific knowledge (as a result of the social interaction between humans).

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As a layman, we do understand that capitalism and its free market concept have certainly revolutionized the world. However, unfortunately, wealth has been redistributed in a way that the rich keep getting wealthier and the poor poorer. Furthermore, our political leaders and governments are pumping money into campaigns (like defense, etc.) that bear very little social relevance, which can conversely be used to help mend the glaring gap between the rich and the poor. Sociology covers all of this and much more.
The subject, if not to be taken up at the graduation level, can always be read to make one a more politically active citizen - which is extremely important, as every citizen must be aware of the current situation. Going through textbooks on the subject is a good idea to score well in interviews, as questions are normally asked with respect to the social climate of the country, seeking your views and stand on the same.
The subject provides insight into human behavior - how to analyze it and thereby predict it. However, if you intend going for a sociology degree, it will certainly increase your market value in your business/career manifold. You will be in a better position to educate your company on the success of a certain product/service/advertisement based on human behavior.
Books are certainly equivalent to wealth - and such wealth, if passed, becomes more precious - so do not hesitate to invest in a used sociology textbook, which will reduce your buying expenses to almost a half!

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