Sociology (ISA)

Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies and how people interact within these contexts. Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious tradition; from the divisions of race, gender and social class to the shared beliefs of common culture.

While the humanities and the arts also frequently examine and reflect on the social world, sociology is distinct because it is a social science. It uses theoretical frameworks and scientific methods of research to investigate the social world and test hypotheses with empirical data. Sociological methods include systematic observations, in-depth interviews and ethnography, conversation analysis, content analysis of both written and visual documents, survey research, and statistical analysis. The results of sociological investigations help in the development of new theories and inform social policy, programs, and laws.

While the humanities and the arts also frequently examine and reflect on the social world, sociology is distinct because it is a social science. It uses theoretical frameworks and scientific methods of research to investigate the social world and test hypotheses with empirical data. Sociological methods include systematic observations, in-depth interviews and ethnography, conversation analysis, content analysis of both written and visual documents, survey research, and statistical analysis. The results of sociological investigations help in the development of new theories and inform social policy, programs, and laws.

From 21st Century Careers with an Undergraduate Degree in Sociology
American Sociological Association, 2009.

For more information about this major, please visit the following links from the FAU University Catalog.

Related Major Skills

Analyze, and interpreting data about social behavior
Analyzing community or group needs
Analyzing group and inter-group dynamics
Analyzing the origins of conflict and identifying ways to resolve it
Applying a global perspective to social change, issues and problems
Gather data, evaluating the quality of data gathered
Gathering, evaluating and managing information
Identifying and analyzing group/social problems and developing solutions
Identifying competing interests and points of view
Persuasion, presentation of a position
Planning and doing research on social issues
Seeing the world through the perspective of another culture, communicating across cultures
Understanding different cultures and subcultures
Verbal and written communications skills

Sample Work Settings

Adoption, childcare and child protection agencies
Advertising agencies
Advocacy groups, human rights organizations, public interest groups
Businesses, domestic and international
Correctional institutions, courts
High schools, colleges and universities
Hospitals, health and human services Local, state and federal government agencies
Human resources departments, personnel departments
Labor unions, professional associations
Law firms
Marketing research firms, advertising firm
Peace Corps and similar organizations
Political parties, legislative staffs
School Boards
Student affairs division of a college or university
Treatment centers, rehabilitation centers

FAU Student Organizations

Be Aware
Debate Team
Mock Trial Club
RCP Movement
Share and Act for Peace
Student Sociology Association

 Last Modified 12/6/16