Sociology studies how people collectively shape our social world. We explore patterns of social organization, and how these patterns are continually formed, negotiated, challenged, and changed.
Sociology does not view society as a “thing” external to people's lives. Rather, it is continually brought into being and sustained through the relationships and forces that people exert over each other.
The ability to understand the relationships between elements of society and their impact on individual life chances is often referred to as “the sociological imagination”. It has become the central feature of modern society, dominating how people think about themselves and others, how histories are written, and literature read.
In sociology, we explore the dynamics of power through which people experience their lives as gendered, racialized, ethnicized and classed. The central assumption of sociology is that our individual life chances are only understandable in historically specific social situations.
As students of sociology you will be challenged to continually shift perspectives in imagination, to switch from thinking about family and interpersonal relations to politics, the economy, international relations and war, and to see their interconnections, and their relevance for your own lives.
Sociology is the hub of all the social sciences - the core discipline that underlies specialized areas of study like political science, economics, criminology and native studies. It forms the foundation of many professions, including social work, education, policing, journalism, urban planning, management, and political policy formation and analysis.