Sociology is the science of human relationships, the means by which people and groups behave towards each other, as well as socio-economic developments and changes. Sociologists study the origins, growth and interactions of human groups, for example; families, tribes, communities and social institutions such as: religious, political and economic groupings, ethnic groups and social classes.

They study the behaviour and interaction of groups, trace their origin and growth and analyse the influence of group activities on individual members. Sociologists can specialise in a wide range of areas, for example: social groupings, social stratification and mobility, racial and ethnical relationships, social psychology, as well as political, economic and applied sociology.

Other directions include research, demographics, gerontology and clinical sociology. Sociological research involves collecting information, analysing and interpreting data that is collected through surveys, in-depth interviews, case studies and other methods.

Sociologists also study social processes and phenomena, such as social deviant behaviour, group friction and migration. They may investigate topics on a large scale such as housing conditions, recreational patterns, drinking patterns and drug abuse as it occurs in groups of people, or they may examine the effects of different styles of leadership on individuals in small groups.

The sociologist can work in a variety of fields:

  • Social psychology

  • Clinical sociology

  • Political sociology

  • Economic sociology

  • Applied sociology

  • Research

Academic sociologists teach at universities; research sociologists do full-time research; administrative sociologists assist personnel sections; and planning sociologists are concerned with development and planning. Many sociologists work at universities, doing research and giving lectures. Since sociology overlaps many related fields of study, sociologists may interact and cooperate with psychologists, economists and town planners and do market and consumer behaviour research.


  • universities

  • government departments, municipalities and administration boards

  • non-governmental organisations

  • research institutions such as Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Where to Study

Papua New Guinea
University of Goroka
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
University of the West Indies

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