Understanding society and the behavior of its members is the main objective of sociology. This science allows us to delve into many issues and to better understand ourselves as individuals with respect to society as a whole.
Sociology studies people's behavior in relation to their environment
We will start by delving into the sociology concept. As we said, it is a science that studies the social behavior of people, groups and the organization of societies.
Simplifying the concept, one could say that sociology it is the science that studies people's behavior in relation to others and with the surrounding environment at an economic and social level.
Sociology studies movements of all kinds. There may be trends in terms of cultural and social movements, technological development, forms of consumption and leisure, or even foresee upcoming trends.
Therefore, this discipline is very useful and has many applications in everyday life. For example, many companies use it to make personnel selection, market research, see consumption trends ...
It also has some important applications at the political level, since it allows weaving electoral programs, see what are the changes that occur in society, their needs and analyze aspects such as inequality, values and beliefs or crime.
On a psychological level, sociology gives us very valuable information, since it allows us to anticipate the behavior and attitude of individuals depending on the social context in which they are.
In fact, psychology and sociology are two disciplines that are closely linked, since a good mental and psychological state depends largely on our environment and how our relationship and experience with it has shaped us.
However, one of the main differences is that sociology does not focus on a single individual, but that study the behavior patterns of the collectives. This is done in many cases of observation experiments.
Theories of sociology
One of the most famous and influential sociologists in the field of sociology was the American Talcott Parsons. He developed the theory of social action through a structural approach to the behavior of society.
This approach translates into the following: the structural theory developed by this sociologist is based on the fact that societies tend to self-regulate as a survival mechanism to maintain the social order.
Within the structure, each individual has a role, that is, he plays a role within his own system. The person can have different roles, that is, he can have a role within his family, another in the workplace and another in his circle of friends.
Another concept that forms this theory is the existence of common values. This is the set of beliefs, customs and principles of a system and that are generally accepted by the rest of the individuals that are part of the collective.
Said system or collective will be governed by rules. These may be mandatory, or they may be understood by all members explicitly or implicitly. Finally, there are the collectivities, which are the institutions that are responsible for socializing the relations of a system.
But before Parsons there were other famous thinkers who inspired him. This is the case of Max Weber, one of the parents of sociology and defender of a sociology free of values.
This means that the sociologist had to isolate himself from society, dispense with its values, and analyze it from a distance in order to have conclusions that were not biased by its own influence of said society.
Another of the most prominent thinkers in the field of sociology was Émile Durkheim. This is considered one of the parents of modern sociology and raises issues such as solidarity and social values.
He also has a functional point of view (in fact, Parsons based many of his studies on the theory of this sociologist). Some of the pillars of his study are that the sociologist must isolate yourself from your political-religious beliefs, as they could influence the results of their studies.
It also defines the social fact and divides it, in order to obtain data that will facilitate it to have more reliable conclusions. Finally, it emphasizes that the sociologist must avoid subjective thoughts and take care to establish subjective conclusions.
In short, sociology is a science that serves to better understand how the world around us works and people's behavior. A very valuable information that can have many applications, both at a general level and at a particular level.