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Fields And Levels of Sociological Analysis

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WHAT IS SOCIOLOGY

Levels of Sociological Analysis

There are generally two levels of analysis in sociology, which may also be regarded as branches of sociology: micro-sociology and macro- sociology  (Henslin and Nelson,  1995).  Micro-sociology is interested in the small scale levels of the structure and functioning of human social groups; whereas macro-sociology studies the large-scale aspects of society. Sociological Analysis

Major Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology

Macro-sociology focuses on the broad features of society. The goal of macro-sociology is to examine the large-scale social phenomena that determine how social groups are organized and positioned within the social structure. The micro-sociological level of analysis focuses on social interaction. It analyzes interpersonal relationships, and on what people do and how they behave when they interact.  This level of analysis is usually employed by a symbolic interactionist perspective.

Some writers also add a third level of analysis called Meso-level analysis, which analyzes human social phenomena in between the micro- and macro-levels. Reflecting their particular academic interest sociologists may prefer one form of analysis to the other, but all levels of analysis are useful and necessary for a fuller understanding of social life in society.

  • Micro-sociology:  Analyzing  small  scale  social phenomena
  • Macro-sociology:   analyzing   large-scale  social phenomena
  • Meso-sociology: analysis of social phenomena in between the micro- and macro- levels.

Within these general frameworks, sociology may be divided into specific sub-fields based on certain criteria. The most important fields of sociology can be grouped into six areas (World Book Encyclopedia, 1994: Vol. 18; Pp. 564-568).

Sub-Fields

  • The Field of Social Organization and Theory of  Social  Order: focuses on institutions and groups, their formation and change, manner of functioning,  relation to individuals and each other.
  • Social Control: Focuses on how members of a society influence one another to maintain social order.
  • Social Change: Focuses on the way society and institutions change over time through technical inventions, cultural diffusion and cultural conflict, and social movements, among others.
  • Social Processes: Focuses on the pattern in which social change takes place, and the modes of such processes.
  • Social Groups: Focuses on how social groups are formed, structured, and how they function and change.
  • Social   Problems: Focuses on social conditions that cause difficulties for a large number of persons and which the society is seeking to eliminate. Some of the problems may include:  juvenile  delinquency,  crime,  chronic alcoholism,  suicide,  narcotics  addiction,  racial prejudice, ethnic conflict, war, industrial conflict, slum,  areas,  urban poverty, prostitution, child abuse, the problem of older persons, marital conflicts, etc

Currently, sociology has got quite several specific sub-divisions or fields of specialization in it: some of these include the following: criminology; demography; human ecology; political sociology; medical sociology; sociology of the   family; sociology of sports; sociology of development; social psychology; sociolinguistics; sociology of education; sociology of religion; sociology of knowledge; sociology of art; sociology of science and technology; sociology  of  law; urban sociology; rural sociology; economic sociology; and industrial sociology.

WHAT IS SOCIOLOGY – LECTURE NOTES

THE FOUNDERS OF SOCIOLOGY

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