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Why Study Sociology

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The topics of emotions, suicide, and intelligence are easily grouped into the study of psychology by many in today’s society. Though psychology is “the study of human emotions, behavior, and the mind,” these subjects are better suited to be studied by a Sociologist. Sociology is defined as “the study of the nature of and the consequences of the relationships of people. According to this definition it would make sense that a persons reasons behind emotional highs and lows, the external causes of a person’s motive behind suicide, and the value placed by society on the acquisition of knowledge that these be studied by a Sociologist rather than a Psychologist. An argument can easily be made that those around you, in some way or another, have an affect a person’s development and/or mood.

Emotion is a subject that is more appropriately studied by a Sociologist rather than a Psychologist because of the obvious affect peers have on one another’s emotional condition. A child growing -up in society is constantly concerned with what his or her friends think or say about him or her. The need to belong or to “fit in” is a constant concern of most young people in their developmental years. This does not apply only to children though. Adults face the same need. They, in many cases are dealing with significant others and/or relationships that affect their emotional status on a day to day basis.

These examples above all support the definition sociology in that others besides ones self is affecting how that person feels and shows emotions such as love, hate, joy, fear, or sorrow. This can be studied in many ways. An experiment that would support the information above would be: Take 50 people who are moving to a new place in which they know absolutely nobody (you would also take a control group of 50 people who were not moving at all). Interview these people, post move, about how emotionally stable they feel and connected to society after one week, one month, six months, one year, and three years.

Suicide relates directly to emotion in that the acts of people around and towards you can cause a person to look for answers, and in certain cases lead them to self destruction. People need for social acceptance and interaction is a strong factor in their emotional well being. The statistic that more people commit suicide in the winter supports the previous statement. Most people do or can not satisfy their need for social interaction during the months in which it is more difficult to go out and intermingle. They, in turn, become depressed and feel detached from society. This can cause a person to feel lonely, depressed, and/or cause a dramatic drop in their self-esteem. When this occurs, in their desperation, a person might feel that the answer is suicide. An experiment to prove this case would be to pick a group of people and interview them over a period of three to five years drawing parallels between their emotional stability and the season in which their low points occur.

Finally, society places a high value on intelligence and education. It is a common social construction that the more educated a person is the more intellectually sound they are perceived. On a micro level, parents have an extremely strong influence on whether their child becomes educated, therefore being viewed by society as intelligent. It is a known fact that the majority of college students had one or more parents attend a college or university. It is also a fact that children perform better in a classroom when they are put in a competitive environment. This shows that they are affected by the success of their peers. A way to test this would be by survey. Ask college students how much they were motivated by their peers in high school. Then ask young adults who did not choose to attend college how motivated they were to learn due to their peers success. Analyze the data and compare the two groups.

These three topics very well tread ground in the study of sociology. It is easy for one to see why. The effect society has and a person’s emotions, intelligence, and feelings for their need to commit suicide is very relevant and is better suited for study by a Sociologist, rather than a Psychologist.

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