Sociology refers to the study and investigation of social life, the changes taking place in society and the consequences and causes of social behavior. The study of structures of societies, groups and organizations is carried out by sociologists employing a range of investigative and research techniques applicable to an almost inclusive spectrum of social life.
Sociologists rely upon critical analysis and empirical investigation to compile a body of knowledge that will often be applied to the development and enactment of social policies. Some sociologists focus mainly on the refinement of the theories relating to the social processes. Recently developed research techniques, both qualitative and quantitative, have included the use of mathematical, analytical and computer-based methods such as social network analysis and agent-based modeling. The varying areas of social research have been demonstrating a greater degree of overlap as the interest in remedying social problems increases.