What is the study of Sociology?
Sociology is the study of society and societal institutions. It considers the causes and consequences of how humans relate to each other, objects and the wider world around them.
Sociology complements the fields of anthropology, criminology, history, psychology and even archaeology. It draws on observations and evidence to more deeply understand human social systems, in all their forms.
Sociology is a broad ranging field. Humans are complex, social creatures and interact with a variety of groups, institutions and systems.
Indeed, the field ranges from issues that affect humans on an individual level, right through to concerns of social systems and structure as a whole.
Sociologists work to a high evidence-based standard. Much of a sociologist’s work involves analysing real world examples and data sets to identify trends and anomalies. They then draw on this information to make inferences and perhaps suggest social or policy changes.
Sociology is also closely connected to the study of history. Sociologists frequently work with historians and anthropologists to track social phenomena over time, assess impacts and account for changes.
They take deep dives into the patterns emerging within our society today. Sociology examines social and communal structures in areas including religion, marriage, education and the workplace. It considers the impact of current structures on individuals and society, and proposes ways in which these could be enhanced.
Research and policy originating in the field of sociology has a significant impact on various sectors, including politics, law, healthcare and technology.
What does a sociologist do?
Sociologists work with both quantitative and qualitative data to identify patterns and examine how these patterns might shape the world in which we live. They are strong communicators and comfortable critically analysing information. These skills are highly prized in numerous fields.
Many sociologists are involved in collecting sociological data for government or private companies. These sociologists rely on the data analytics skills they have developed and are comfortable working with numbers. The statistics and projections they produce can help shape government policy and social programs. Thus, a number of sociologists also work for social policy organisations, both within the government and in the private sector. JCU graduates are at the forefront of social policy development within North Queensland, a testament to the university’s commitment to the Tropics.
The healthcare sphere is another in which sociology graduates can flourish. Here, you may find yourself drawing on your understanding of people and society to develop, implement and market policies or outreach programs designed to improve the health and lifestyle of Australians across the country.
Marketing, human resources and public relations are additional fields where sociologists can make a strong impact. These sectors are relationship-centred, and a deep understanding of the dynamics of human connection and social interaction are invaluable when managing employees or seeking to influence public perception.
Increasingly, the expertise of sociologists is being called on within the tech industry, too. As the world’s love of technology grows, many are beginning to consider the impact of specific programs, and technology in general, on human connection. Sociologists can provide useful insight in both the development and implementation stages of technology design – as well as in reviewing its role in society.
Some sociologists also work within academic research. They examine systems and structures to gain a theoretical understanding of major social and cultural changes. They then consider how these apply to specific groups and account for the impacts on individuals, groups and communities. Sociology researchers may be frequently called on to share their insights at conferences or on television and radio.
What jobs are there in sociology?
Sociologists have a keen understanding of data and analytics, and how these can be used to interpret people, policy and events. As such, they are valued across several industries.
With a degree in sociology, you’ll have the research and communication skills to work for academic institutions, government departments and private organisations.
The spread of the digital lifestyle is currently of keen interest to many sociologists. As the power of technology continues to grow, your knowledge of short-term effects and long-term impacts within this field will become more and more relevant to both employment, and society in general.
In a field with a keen awareness of interconnections and globalisation issues, you may discover ample opportunities abroad. From international policy organisations to multinational corporations, there’s scope to spread your wings and find your passion on any continent.
Those with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Sociology from JCU often find themselves working in positions such as:
- Management consultant
- Market researcher
- Community development and policy officer
- Human resources manager
- Public policy developer
- Emergency management policy officer
- Social researcher
- Data analyst
- Public relations manager
- Community liaison officer
Why study Sociology at JCU?
At JCU, you’ll have the flexibility to study your way, at your pace. A Bachelor of Arts in Sociology can be coordinated with complementary subjects, to help you specialise in your field. Alternatively, you can select from a wide range of subject areas and cultivate a broad knowledge base.
With fourteen majors and minors to choose from in the JCU Bachelor of Arts, you’ll benefit from diversity and expert knowledge across many fields. Note that not all majors will be available at all campuses.
JCU offers practical work placements that enable you to create links with industry and develop job-ready skills sooner. Depending on your personal circumstances, you may have the opportunity to complete a placement overseas. When you study Sociology, this could increase your understanding of the global nature of the field.
A Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at JCU also provides unique insights to the social issues within the Tropics. You’ll consider wealth and resource allocation, crime, race and gender to understand the demographics on your doorstep. This unique knowledge set will assist you in putting your learning into practice in the field sooner.
High-achieving students will also be offered the opportunity to extend their learning through an Honours degree. Here, you’ll further develop your critical analysis and research skills through the creation of a personal project and thesis. This will enable you to apply for higher research degrees or specialise further in your chosen field.
Sociologists understand that life is different for everyone, and at JCU we embrace this too. That’s why we offer flexible learning options. Study part-time, online or in the manner that suits you best. We excel at supporting students to find their personal pathway.