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Sociology as a Solution

Why the American Future Lies in Sociology

The society faces more social ills today than any other time in history. The advancement in technology has brought additional challenges in various ways. The 21st century is largely engrossed in gadgets, and people are not having a candid discussion about the social problems that affect America. Criminals like General Sex Offenders (GSOs) have mutated into Internet Sex Offenders (ISOs). The new forms of crimes can be understood well by sociologists who understand effects of social change.

One of the tactics that can be used to tackle social problems is having a curriculum that produces highly informed sociologists in our learning institutions. Sociology basically teaches students the basics of a specific society and goes ahead to analyze the structures that constitute the society. Students seek to comprehend individual and social behavior in different aspects such as traditions, culture, marriage, communication, social stratification, social interactions, social class, power and power structures and so on.

Outside the classroom, students apply sociology in different spheres of life to make a positive impact in society. Applied sociology offers active intervention of social problems by identifying the problem, conducting relevant research, analyzing the data and ultimately coming up with solutions. Using sociological methods such as Scales of Intercultural Sensitivity (SIS), a sociologist can be able to explain why issues like religious intolerance and racism exist in our society and how such vices can be dealt with.

The kind of social issues affecting America today include drug abuse, gang culture, depression, obesity, divorce and so on. In a way, some of the problems tend to be interrelated. Picture a scenario where a couple divorces when their children are still young. Confused and hurt, the children/teenagers turn to drugs to numb their pain. Parents are too engrossed in the divorce procedures to give their children any meaningful attention. Children eventually find solace in gangs where they feel a sense of belonging. Such a sequence of events is likely to lead to depressed adults. The adults then find various coping mechanisms such as overeating, alcohol, violence and so on. The problems go full circle-a vicious cycle thrives. Once a single issue is left unchecked, it spirals out of control.

Teaching sociology in school will enable the students identify and stop the social problems at the infant stage. In the sample case above, all these issues could have been avoided if the marriage had stayed intact. By dealing with one issue, the ripple effects are also avoided.

Applied sociology can be practiced in private institutions, government agencies and non-profit organizations. The ultimate goal of sociology is to improve the quality of life for its subjects through formulation and enforcing of relevant policies.

How can sociology solve some of the rampant social problems?

Drugs: In most cases, the youth engage in drugs as a coping mechanism. By addressing the underlying issues, they can be helped to stay away from drugs. How is this possible? It can be done by imparting enough knowledge on social change and deviant behavior in budding sociologists. In this respect, Durkheim’s structural functionalism theory  and Karl Marx conflict theory  are two important perspectives that students of sociology should be fine-tuned on.

Divorce: The divorce rate in America is at an all-time high. Marriage seems to be an institution in crisis. Sociologists can formulate policies that provide for counseling and conflict resolution in marriage. Once families stay together, a lot of social issues can be avoided.  The family systems theory is among the important cogs that students of sociology should be versed in so that they can understand what makes families hold together. The 8 concepts of the theory  help sociologists to understand how the family operates and why some family members behave as they do.

Depression: A vast number of people are living with mental instability due to the surrounding circumstances. Such people need an avenue to vent their issues, and eventually get counseling Sociology and Psychology as sister subjects as they share theoretical perspectives.

These are just some of the interventions that sociologists can facilitate. They can be relied upon to improve the state of social life in different societies. Teaching sociology in school will definitely make America a better place for the current and future generations.






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