Introduction to Sociology


Sociology refers to a social science which enables mankind to understand dynamics and structure of society. Sociologist can identify patterns as well as connections within behaviour of human by using a scientific approach and critically analyse the society. It gives explanations of the way culture of society affects people (Giddens, 2015). This report gives explanation about understanding of social approach and its distinctions from other social science and common sense in Britain. Furthermore, different perspectives related to specific social institution also highlighted in present report.

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1.1 Distinctions between sociological and common sense understanding

 Sociological thinking is generally based on theories which have been tested by unbiased research as well as attempt to take overall values into consideration. In general common sense theories are based on naturalistic and individualistic assumptions as per different opinions. Common sense ideas reflects a form of social perspective and defined as knowledge which is shared by majority of people. In context with 'the family' an institution in Britain, it has evaluated that common sense and sociological thinking are distinct in far manner. Common sense of people are based on their personal experience and assumptions while sociological views  on evidence and rigorous research (Atkinson, 2014). Common sense also reflects social traditions which reinforce the status quo as well as resist societal change also. While conflict approaches in sociological thinking are raise questions on status quo.

1.2 The way sociological approach differs from other social science

Sociology refers to study of society, particular patterns of social relationship, culture and way of interaction among people etc. It analyses the relationship between people and their societies. In comparison with other aspects of human behaviour like psychology, anthropology and more, there are many differences among these with social approaches. For example: Psychology studies the mind of human beings and give perceptions accordingly. Therefore, it can be said that psychology called as special science as it deals with individual behaviour. While sociology as general science because it conducts study on group behaviour. In context with Economics, it looks at economic activities and institution of people (Cohn, 2014). So, concept of this social science is also differs from social science.


2.1 Application of basic concepts in sociological explanation

Sociology refers to study of social behaviour which uses many methods of empirical investigation as well as critical analysis for developing a body of knowledge about social pattern or change (Lewis, 2015). It is filled with various sorts of sociological ideas like norms, values, culture, gender and ethnicity. Here, norm describes a specific expectation that shows how people should behave in society. For example: People should not allowed to speak loud or behave in unethical manner with others. Similarly, concept of values is extracted from norms and related to acceptable behaviours in society. It defines what aspires a society for example- being polite and give respect to other religions is core value of society. Furthermore, culture of certain group of people reflects beliefs, shared values and norms. Therefore, it binds or collaborate human beings with each other and unite them also. Other concepts of sociology like gender and ethnicity shows general perceptions of how male and female should behave.


3.1 Evaluation of contrasting sociological perspectives

Social institutions is itself a wider concept as it has integrated with set of norms that revolves around the social values of environment (Neal and Murji, 2015). Social institutions, according to Sumner and Keller, is an activity which are enclosed by the agglomeration of folk-ways. Generally, there are five categories of social institutions and these are family, economics, religions, education and state. All these primary institutions are furthermore operates in five different basic areas of human life. In sociological theory, social institutions have three prevailing interpretations and these are functionalist approaches, Marixt-inspired conflict orientation explanations and no-institutionalist approaches. All these are connected with the social institutions and its working. For instance: functionalist approaches given by Durkheim and Parsons majorly focuses on social system so that social system can be maintained.

Therefore, social institutions comes under functionalist perspectives and attempts to explain that social institution works in collaboration with the purpose of meeting all the need and requirements of an individual (Bridges and Pascoe, 2014). Furthermore, these perspectives defines that societies are maintained and functions like an organism where all organs work together so that human body can function in a better manner. Thus, it can be said that social institution perform their task just to maintain and form a stable system.


4.1 Analyse a specific social institution

The concept of social or 'the family' institution in Britain is considered as crucial aspect in entire study of sociology. It constitutes major building blocks of society as well as lies at the centre of attention of sociology (Adorno, 2018). As per perceptions of Summer and Keller, social institution embodies with specific values and procedures which meet basic needs of human beings. Here, common values refers to shared beliefs and goals and procedures as standardised behaviour. Along with this, family involves a set of values about affection and love with children. While common procedures with routine care of family members and a connection bond between them.


It has been concluded from this assignment that sociology defines as systematic study of all aspects of life such as human interaction and particular pattern of society. It helps in understanding the patterns of social relationship, common belief of people, culture and shared ideas. It is necessary to understand the concept of sociological perspectives which includes recognising as well as evaluating effects of human relationship and social structures. It also elaborates how human beings should behave with each other when live in a particular society on the basis of norms, culture, values, ethnicity, gender and more. All these aspects help in bringing collaboration among society members who belong to different religion.


  • Adorno, T. W., 2018. Introduction to sociology. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Lewis, S., 2015. Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Health promotion practice.16(4). pp.473-475.
  • Atkinson, P., 2014. Language, Structure and Reproduction (Routledge Revivals): An Introduction to the Sociology of Basil Bernstein. Routledge.
  • Giddens, T., 2015. Introduction. In Graphic Justice (pp. 15-21). Routledge.
  • Cohn, S., 2014. From health behaviors to health practices: an introduction. Sociology of health & illness. 36(2). pp.157-162.
  • Bridges, T. and Pascoe, C. J., 2014. Hybrid masculinities: New directions in the sociology of men and masculinities. Sociology Compass. 8(3). pp.246-258.
  • Neal, S. and Murji, K., 2015. Sociologies of everyday life: Editors’ introduction to the special issue.
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