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Sociology’s Scope and Its Relationship with Other Social Sciences

Social sciences are related to each other in such a way that at times it is difficult to separate the different disciplines.How is Sociology related to other social sciences.

Sociology is relatively a young discipline of social science (study of various aspects of human behavior). All social science subjects are concerned with the behavior of people but each of them studies different aspects. Sociology is, however, concerned with the social relations in general and social groups and institutions in particular. It may be defined as a study of social life, of group interaction and of social behavior.

The basic insight of Sociology is this: human behavior is largely shaped by the groups to which people and by the social interaction that takes place within these groups. In other words, the main focus of Sociology is the group, not the individual. Sociologist is mainly interested in the interaction between people- the ways in which people act toward, respond to, and influence one another. All social behavior and all social institutions are ultimately the product of social interaction. The group thus provides the sociologist’s main frame of reference.

Social relationships such as between husband and wife, teacher and student, buyer and seller etc; social processes such as cooperation, competition, conflict etc; and social structures such as family, class, state etc. form the basis of sociological enquiry. Interpretations guided by norms and values give rise to social institutions. Thus Sociology is the study of social life as a whole.

There is no agreement on the scope/ subject matter of Sociology. But it is agreed that Sociology studies the interaction systems. Thus the study of Sociology embraces social organization, social structure, social institution and culture.

Social organization

It refers to inter-dependence of different aspects of society. It is an important characteristic of all enduring social entities like groups, communities and collectivities.

Social structure

It is the pattern of interrelations between individuals. Every society has a social structure.

Social institution

It is an established pattern of behavior. In every society, people create social institutions to meet their basic needs of survival. The study of social institutions includes groups, roles, norms, beliefs and practices in a particular area of social life.

Culture

 It is the sum total of human activities, which are learnt. It includes symbols, signs and language, besides religion, ritual, beliefs and artifacts. It is passed on from generation to generation through membership of a particular society.

Culture is a guiding force in everyday life. It is the culture that distinguishes one society from another. Elements of one culture may migrate to another culture, but they get properly assimilated in the arriving culture and at times give a different meaning or role.

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