Human relationships, social systems and societies are so broad that they can be dealt with from different angles and perspectives. Though various social science disciplines share many common subject matters, they differ from one another in their emphasis and mode of analysis.
How is sociology related to the other social sciences?
The answer to this question is given hereunder.
- Sociology and Economics. Economics is concerned with human activities related to the production, consumption, and distribution of goods, services, and wealth within societies for the satisfaction of material needs and wants. A great deal of human social behaviour is economically motivated. The desire for economic gains and possession of material wealth are strong motivating forces for human behaviour. A great deal of human social interaction involves economic matters. More specialized areas of sociological inquiry in which economic questions are uppermost include Economic Sociology, Organization Theory, Industrial Sociology, and Sociology of Work.
- Sociology and Anthropology. Anthropology is the science which studies man both as an animal and as living in society, his origins, development, distribution, social habits and cultures. Anthropology covers physical, cultural, and social anthropology. Anthropologists utilize participant observation and actual immersion in the tribe, ethnic group, subject culture or society they are studying. It studies the cultures of non-literate primitive societies. On the other hand, sociology leans toward the study of contemporary social life.
- Sociology and History. History is concerned with the presentation of a more or less complete narrative of human experience, a description of the significant past events, man’s record of the past. Sociology makes use of data and pieces of information that are provided by historians in order to form certain generalizations about society and social interactions. On the other hand, history uses the sociological approach in the search for the underlying forces that influence human behaviour.
- Sociology and Psychology. Psychology is the science that deals with the study of human behaviour which aims to understand human behaviour, to predict human behaviour, and if possible, to change or modify human behaviour. Psychology is interested in the study of what goes one “within” the individual, his inner needs, drives, interests, intelligence, motives, hopes, and fears. Sociology is concerned with the study of “what goes on among and between” people, his social interactions, and social behaviour as an effect of the society on him through its norms, social structure, values, customs, laws, morals, and other cultural aspects. Social Psychology is a new field formed by integrating sociology and psychology.
- Sociology and Political Science. Political Science is concerned with political processes, power struggle and governments. Political Sociology / Sociology of Politics is a new field formed by integrating sociology and political science. Sociologists are interested in the study of the social interactions involved in human political activities, the distribution of power in the society, the formation of political dynasties, and the role of women and ethnic groups in political events.
In their book, Collin’s Dictionary of Sociology, David and Julia Jary state, “as the science of society and social relations, the boundaries of Sociology are wide and difficult to draw. It overlaps with all other social science disciplines like psychology, history and political science. However, the discipline is distinguished from these more focused social science disciplines by an avowedly “holistic” or systemic perspective in social analysis, a commitment to analysis which studies the interrelations of social parts. Sociology has also remained uniquely open to ideas imported from philosophy and other social sciences, and from more general social and political discourse.
Careers in Sociology
Like any other scientific disciplines, there is a number of possible careers open to individuals who have a better understanding of society and the heart to serve most especially the marginalized sectors of the society and the commitment and dedication to make this society more humane and a better place to live in.
The possible careers in Sociology include the following job targets and opportunities:
- Community Organizers and Development Workers
- Community Outreach Social Worker
- Welfare and Rehabilitation Worker
- Census Enumerators
- Program Implements
- Social Researchers (Universities, Corporations, GO’s, and NGO’s)
- Analysts of Social Development Programs
- Human Resources Development
- Training Officers
- Teachers in the Social Science
- Labor Relations Officer
- Consultants in Community Development Projects
- Parole and Probation Officers
- Administrative Aides