What is Sociology?
Sociology is the scientific study of societies, how they are organized and how they change. Sociologists attempt to explain patterns of collective social behaviors of groups and societies. By applying scientific methods they conduct research to suggest possible problem-solving strategies for society’s problems. They build theories about societies, communities, institutions, bureaucracies, small groups, interpersonal relations, social movements, collective behavior, social classes, and social conflict. In a practical sense, sociology is many different things for undergraduates: a pathway to a job; a way to learn about society or some parts of it such as cities, families, or organizations; knowledge about social problems and how to solve them; skills that will be useful to a lawyer, urban planner, social worker, police administrator, gerontologist, teacher, community organizer, or other professional.
Yet what sociology can be for you personally is something you can have the fun of discovering and creating for yourself. For example, why do people migrate? What are society’s health, food and social problems? Sociology is an open discipline with opportunities for many people with varied interests. It can be a highly stimulating undergraduate major as well as a stepping stone to a wide variety of careers.
As a generalizable social science discipline, sociology provides an excellent background for students who have the required ability and interest to continue their education at the graduate level in any of the social science disciplines, or in related disciplines ( such as Economics or Communications ). At MSU, sociology is a department in the College of Social Science. Other disciplinary departments in the College of Social Science are Anthropology, Economics, Family and Child Ecology, Geography, History, Political Science, and Psychology. In addition, the College of Social Science also includes professional schools of Social Work, Criminal Justice and Labor and Industrial Relations (graduate work only), and a professional program of Urban and Regional Planning. Finally, the College of Social Science provides a major in Interdisciplinary Studies, which combine the use of several of the six Social Science disciplines.