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How a Sociology Degree Applies To Nearly Everything

March 14, 2019

At its most basic form, sociology is the study of human relationships and institutions. Many people may ask, “How does that apply to my life?” Or, “How can you find a career based on that?” The answer is surprisingly simple.

Sociology touches nearly every aspect of human life.

How Does Sociology Apply to Me?

You may be wondering, “If sociology is so prevalent, why haven’t I thought about it before?” That’s just it. Sociology is so ingrained in our daily habits, thoughts, and movements that we hardly think about or notice it is there.

Take, for instance, a scenario within the workplace. A woman is sitting in on the typical business meeting with her fellow male colleagues. She clears her throat and interjects when her boss is proposing a new business deal that could cost a thousand people their jobs. Her boss is quick to dismiss her opposition and continues on with the meeting. However, later on another fellow male coworker brings up that this deal could be unethical and the boss is quick to change his mind.

Applying Sociological Analysis to the Real World

While one can’t know exactly what is going on in the minds of any of the people in the above scenario, we can sociologically analyze the situation. It is possible that the boss disregarded what his female colleague said because she is a woman and society has certain stereotypes built around what a “woman” should be like. Or it could be that the boss has a family that wants to go on a vacation next year and this deal could cover the costs. Or it could be that the male colleague has more college education than the woman, so the boss believes he is more credible.

The important thing to recognize is that there are often a multitude of factors at play in any given social interaction. Moreover, every person carries with them certain social identifiers that others interpret and understand. The woman in this scenario works in business, likely has a college degree, and is female. The boss is a male, likely has a master’s degree, and is of high socio-economic status. Identifiers such as race, class, gender, socio-economic status, sexuality, ability, and more send social cues, which dictate how humans interact with each other.

It is for these reasons that sociology inherently always applies to you.

How Do I Find a Career in Sociology?

The beauty of a sociology degree is that understanding society, social interactions, and human behavior applies to every field and any job. In fact, communication, interpersonal skills, and teamwork are consistently listed as some of the top skills employers are looking for. These abilities are fine-tuned with a degree in sociology.

While many people who study sociology go into careers in law, crime, non-profit organizations, and public health, sociologists are not limited to these fields.

Regardless of what your career will be, studying and understanding society and human interaction is a skill that more people need to understand. Sociology provides us with a more holistic understanding of why people do what they do and how systemic remedies can improve the quality of life for all people. Asking tough questions, analyzing, and being more thoughtful with our interactions can pave the way for great societal change in the future.

So what are you waiting for? Take that introductory sociology course and learn more for yourself!