The Sociology Programme
Sociology has many facets.
- What makes society work?
- Understanding social conflict
- Challenging our understanding of 'normal'
- Contributing to a more just and equitable world
What makes society work?
- critically analyses how people organise and participate in groups, collectivities or societies
- seeks to understand how humans as social beings construct, re-construct, and resist the social world in which they live
- is very interested in social change — how societies or social groups change over time
Understanding social conflict
- Why are some societies so conflict-ridden, and what kinds of social divisions lie behind such conflicts?
- Why is it that differences of ethnicity, religion and gender are the basis of major conflict in some societies, and yet are the source of much less tension in other societies?
- Who decides what is 'bad' conflict and what is 'good' conflict?
Challenging our understanding of 'normal'
As social beings we hold beliefs and ideas and engage in behaviour that we consider 'normal' or 'natural'. Sociology strongly challenges how we understand what is 'normal'.
- how we adopt certain ideas as normal
- how these differ within and between social groups
- the social processes that lead to some ideas in society becoming powerful and some being weak and marginal
Contributing to a more just and equitable world
Challenging the world we take for granted is part of the task of Sociology.
As citizens of an industrialised society, Sociology makes us examine a world which is both the object of our study, and yet also one that we participate in every day.
Our ultimate goal is to use the sociological perspective to identify social problems and contribute to the construction of a more just and equitable world.