What Kind of Questions Do Sociologists Ask?

Sociologists ask questions regarding humans, human behavior and the behaviors of groups of humans. Sociology is the study of human behavior and human society. The types of data sociologists record is not easily observable or quantifiable. Sociologists must try to view society as if they were an outsider, and then record the behaviors and characteristics most people do not notice.

Sociologists ask questions regarding the types of behaviors and activities that occur between people in groups. Their goal is to understand why humans act the way they do and why society has developed the way it has. Sociologists also question social change and the factors that contribute to these changes. Social institutions are questioned and observed in order to determine what their particular role is in contemporary human society.

The discipline of sociology emerged out of the tumult of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century when scientists sought to understand the effect of industrialization on communities. A prominent theory in sociology argues that social arrangements within a society are established in order to maintain harmony among different groups. Ethical concerns are a major factor for researchers interested in performing an ethnographic study of human subjects as all humans have certain rights that cannot be violated by researchers, even in the name of science.