What do Sociologists Study?

Sociologists study a wide variety of topics, using many different methodologies.  Here’s how our national professional association, The American Sociological Association, describes what we do:

Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies and how people interact within these contexts.  Since all human behavior is social, the subject matter of sociology ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from organized crime to religious traditions; from the divisions of race, gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture.

Sociological methods include systematic observation, in-depth interviews and ethnography, conversational analysis, content analysis of both written and visual documents, survey research, and statistical analysis. The results of sociological investigations help in the development of new theories and inform social policy, programs, and laws.

—  ASA, 21st Century Careers with an Undergraduate Degree in Sociology