Sociology is the study of social life. Sociologists examine the ways in which living in a society shapes and is shaped by individuals’ actions and identities. Society is made up of many parts including families, communities, workplaces, cities, countries and cultures. Sociologists look at social patterns and institutions and consider the contexts in which humans interact with each other and their environments. An enduring theme in sociology is examining the ways in which various inequalities – social class, gender, race, and poverty – affect the kind of life and opportunities individuals can experience. Sociologists view individuals as social beings influenced by their social context and location and not as simply as ‘free’ or isolated entities. A second major theme is the ways in which social life changes both in its local settings as well as broader social changes that might be brought about by political unrest, revolution, technological change. Broad social changes include industrialisation, modernisation, and globalisation.
In understanding society and social life sociologists develop and work with theories and undertake empirical research, including surveys, interviews, and observations. Specific topics of study in sociology are diverse and can include: culture, deviance and crime, family life, health and illness, gender and sexuality, media, nature and the environment, popular culture, race and ethnic relations, social and sociological theory, social control, social problems, work and occupations, youth and identity. The Australian Sociological Association provides information on the wide range of areas studied by sociologists in Australia.
Flinders sociology is one of the premier sociology disciplines in Australia with an intensive research culture, eminent staff and a diverse student body. It has a strong commitment to theoretically informed empirical research.
Flinders Sociology has played an important role in shaping the course of social research and policy in Australia. Sociology continues its rigorous research culture and engagement with public policy issues.
Sociology graduates may enter a number of fields including public relations, marketing, journalism, youth services, administration, the social services, criminal justice & correction, research, the government sector and urban planning. Study in sociology also provides an excellent foundation for further study in professional degrees such as law, social work, journalism, and others.