NRCC title Department of Sociology
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What is Sociology ?

Sociology is the scientific study of social behavior and human groups.   More specifically, Sociology focuses on understanding social relationships; how those relationships influence people’s behavior; and how societies develop and change as a result of these social relationships.  Sociologists use a unique type of critical thinking, the sociological imagination, to understand social behavior.  The sociological imagination is the awareness of the relationship between and individual and society.  In developing a sociological imagination, one is able to step back and analyze the broader meaning of social life, i.e., to not take things at face value.  Sociologists put their sociological imaginations to work to better understand various dimensions of social behavior; e.g., aging, divorce, racism, deviance, and group dynamics.   It is through sociology that much of what is considered “common sense” about the social world is scientifically proven or in many cases disproven.  Thus, Sociology contributes to a better understanding of the social world in which we all participate.