New Ways of Thinking through the Sociology Course
The fact that sociology may resolve all kinds of societal problems is the most interesting feature of this subject. Relating the topics covered in this course to actual societal problems covered in many other subjects is, in fact, what I found most interesting about taking this course. To explain how studies in sociology help to answer societal problems, let us consider the fact that sociology is simply the study of society while law enforcement concerns the prevention of and struggle against crime within the same society. For effective law enforcement, therefore, the study of society may provide invaluable information. So as to eradicate the roots of crime, this information is essential. After all, by understanding why crime takes place within society, law enforcement agencies would be able to enhance their efforts to fight crime.
There is a branch of sociology referred to as the sociology of law, investigating the interaction of society with law. This sub-discipline of the study of society helps law enforcement agencies to understand the effect that their laws have on society, in addition to the practices and procedures that are most practicable in a given situation. Seeing that social change affects law enforcement, the sociology of law may explain the interaction while also describing the kinds of laws that are necessary at any given time (“Sociology of Law,” 2008). As an example, law enforcement agencies may surely see the need to develop new laws during a time of revolution in a nation. Sociology of law would help law enforcement agencies in effectively doing so.
Indeed, considering how sociology answers for other subjects related to society has changed my mindset about the study of social sciences as a whole. Studies in sociology may help explain economic problems faced by a society at any given time. Likewise, sociology relates to psychology in that the latter describes individual behavior while sociology discusses individuals in a group called society. I have been deeply interested in both psychology and sociology. Taking the sociology course has made me look upon both subjects as complements to each other. So, for example, while psychologists refer to individuals with high levels of intelligence as geniuses, sociologists talk of deviance from norms, even though geniuses may help to change norms in a positive direction.
Sociologists refer to socialization as the “adoption of the behavior patterns of the surrounding culture,” while free will refers to the individual’s choice to agree or disagree with the idea of socialization (“Social Control,” 2008). We refer to the socialization of American children to the norms of the American culture. However, a child who grows to reject the norms of his culture is said to use his free will in choosing his own way to think and behave. We refer to such an individual as an ‘individualist’ in our culture. In point of fact, individualism exists because there is no hard and fast rule for individuals to accept the norms of the culture.
Social control leads to conformity as well as compliance to the rules of society. This sociological concept is also expressed through rules and laws that are established in every society to control deviance. Hence, an unruly teenager knows that he must not murder his classmate even if he is angry at him because this action would land him in jail. Social control expressed through homicide laws advises him not to murder. Moreover, news reports and other programs on television – a form of socialization – have informed the teenager that it is bad to kill another. Therefore, the teenager would conform to the norms of his culture which clearly state that it is bad to murder, and this kind of behavior would be severely punished.
Still, every individual on earth has the choice to accept or reject the norms of culture as well as the methods of social control utilized by societies. Individuals may also reject the norms of their culture by using their free will to introduce new norms. Such is the case of leaders in all cultures. These are individualistic people who decide that the present norms are not good enough to meet the challenges faced by a particular society. The introduction of new norms as well as new forms of social control is an ongoing process. As a matter of fact, there is no society in the world that does not deal with evolutionary and revolutionary changes in its norms and methods of social control at one point or another. But, the fact that the psychological concept of leadership cannot be rejected based on the sociological theory of social control has led me to believe that no branch of knowledge may be rejected because it does not cover all other areas of knowledge. This is not only an interesting concept, but also mind-blowing in its own way. Indeed, studying sociology helps to view human knowledge as a vast whole.
Social Control. (2008). The Free Dictionary by Farlex. Retrieved Dec 4, 2008, from
Sociology of Law. (2008). Answers. Retrieved Dec 4, 2008, from