Defining Sociology

May 19th, 2015
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Anthony Giddens (“Sociology”, 1989) provides the following general definition: “Sociology is the study of human social life, groups and societies. It is a dazzling and compelling enterprise, having as its subject matter our own behaviour as social beings.

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Defining SociologyAnthony Giddens (Sociology, 1989) provides the following general definition:Sociology is the study of human social life, groups and societies. It is a dazzling and compelling enterprise, having as its subject matter our own behaviour as social beings. The scope of sociology is extremely wide, ranging from the analysis of passing encounters between individuals in the street up to the investigation of world-wide social processes.As you will no-doubt note, Giddens - in this particular extract - is more-concerned with describing the sociological enterprise in very general terms than with trying to nail-down a specific definition...In The Complete A-Z Sociology Handbook (1996) Tony Lawson and Joan Garrod - two writers with recent experience of being am AQA Chief Examiner - provide the following definition:Sociology is the study of individuals in groups and social formations in a systematic way, which grew out of the search for understanding associated with the industrial and scientific revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries. It is now an established discipline in post-16 education and has offered generations of students insights into the social world they inhabit. Often accused by the right of being left-wing, it includes individuals of every political opinion who are united by a commitment to search for knowledge and understanding through providing evidence for the theories and insights they offer.The British Sociological

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