Sociology is the study of social relations, how they are formed and what their consequences are.
Sociology is the broadest of all social science disciplines: all spheres of social life – the cultural, the economic, and the political – are open to sociological inquiry. Sociologists strive to understand, for example, how norms and values shape peoples’ lives; how people organize themselves to forge collective action; how power works in a political system and in everyday life; and how social inequalities are maintained or how social equity is achieved. Sociologists also study past and foreign societies and engage in cross-cultural comparison, deepening our understanding of human diversity.
In practicing Sociology, we – and our students – learn to analyze the social conditions that make a significant impact on human lives. In understanding the causes and consequences of social change, we confront difficult issues affecting different people in different ways. These may include moral issues concerning human wellbeing, social justice, and the quality of life. But they may also include strategic issues concerning the effectiveness of how organizations are run or how policies are made and implemented.