Sociological imagination is the capacity to see the combined patterns that control character and group profile. Its main components are biographies, history and structure of the society. These components enable humans to understand why there are attitudes, behaviors and beliefs. The analysis of social issues is based on a critical analysis of these components (Anthony et al. 34). For example, if there is a child in a family that is a drug addict, then this would cause emotional distress to the family unit. There has to be a clear understanding of the biography and history within the family which would allow a justification of why the child is a drug addict. The structure of the society might as well be responsible due to permissiveness. Therefore, the impact of the issue is based on these three components (biography, history and social structure)
Sociological approach is how social phenomena is viewed. It is based on the paradigms of functionalism, conflict and symbolic interaction. In order to understand sociological perspective, there are questions that are framed to aid the understanding. These questions are: what is the structure of a society? What is the relationship between its components? Where does the society stand in human history? What varieties of men and women succeed in this society? Sociology, therefore, provides a rationale and basis on which social problems are addressed and solved (Anthony et al. 42).
The functionalism theory creates an understanding of society from a functionalist view. It views society as a system in which all the components function together. These components include the family, religion, institutions and other social components. Marxism or conflict theory views the society as divided by conflict and inequality. The society is viewed as less cohesive and is seen as an arena of conflict (Gerth 45). People achieve their goals at the cost of others. Contrary, the symbolic interactions theory sees the society as the outcome of individuals interacting with each other. The communication is one on one, and it focuses on everyday issues.
Sociology is a science. This is science because it uses the four different kinds of methodologies. These are observation, experimentation, comparison and historical research. Sociology, being a science, is different from natural sciences. The main difference is the subject matter. Natural sciences study nature while sociology studies people. They both use scientific methods of study. This is the main similarity between the two. They maintain objectivity in their study.
The main steps of the research methodology can be outlined as follows:
- Preparation - Identify the research topic
- Find – find background information
- Find books and media by use of catalogs
- Find journal articles from database
- Find internet resources
- Evaluate what has been found
- Give citation of what you encounter using a standard citation style
Sociology uses empirical analysis and fundamental data analysis in its research. The methodology used involves observation, correlation, case study, survey, experimentation, and cross-culturalmethods. Many sociological research activities use ethnography as their main design. The advantage is that it is more realistic, involving many factors that are generally excluded in other research designs. The disadvantage is that you cannot create a control group for the study.