What Is Social Location in Sociology?

Social location is a set of information that determines an individual's place within his community. Many factors determine social location, such as race, gender, socio-economic status, education, etc.

In addition to affecting an individual's place within a society, social location also shapes an individual's view of the world around him. Sociology is the study of people within societies, and societies arise from and shape social norms. Being within the social norm of a society based on one's social location may make it difficult to understand the social norms of another society.

Certain elements of social location cannot be changed; someone who is born caucasian cannot stop being caucasian. However, other aspects of social location are alterable; someone's socio-economic status, for instance, can change. When this happens, this may conversely affect the individual's social location and worldview.

Sociologists also believe that social location affects reality. The social location of one group of people may create a very different life scenario and subsequent values and belief systems for them than that of those of a different social location. This principle is used to help students understand the principles of different cultures and how our own view of the world affects our role within it.