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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Essay on Sociological Problem

The society and the social world are rich sources of knowledge about human behavior, emotion and intention.  As such, it has become the object of study of many researchers, sociologists and social scientists.  The most powerful and influential source of knowledge about the society and the social world is the mass media.  As the most influential source of knowledge, the mass media has presented to the public different kinds of information about the society and the social world.  Through the various traditional forms of media such as the television, movies, newspapers, periodicals and books, and the modern form of media such as the various internet and networking sites, it has exposed the good side and the bad side of the society and even attempted to help improve the society or, in some cases, make it worse.  For instance, there are countless number of magazines and books that discuss about the present condition of the society.  These magazines and books present studies and interviews conducted by researchers about the changes in the public attitude toward social life.  They discuss about how individuals feel about involvement in the community or in the organization and whether there is a high degree of involvement in social life.         The significant others whose opinions individuals value and respect are also source of knowledge about society and the social world.  For instance, the parents, other family members, friends and social networks may have knowledge about the present society which could be very influential to others.    

What makes sociological knowledge different from the different sources of knowledge about the society and the world is that the sociological knowledge is more scientific.  It is not based on hearsay or opinion on others.  Rather, it is based on research which followed the established procedure the conclusions of which have been scientifically tested.  Its conclusions are not only reliable but are also verifiable.  Most importantly, sociological knowledge utilizes social imagination as it can see the relationship between the changes in the history and its impact on the individual. 

Sociologists derive their data from interviews of their object of study.  It may also be based on past studies conducted by previous sociologists before them.  It may also be based on statistics made by social scientists.  Sociologists may use as basis for their sociological research different data and information that are available to the public.  What is important is that these bases should be empirical, observable and verifiable.  The reason for the same is so that the other sociologists may be able to verify the results of the research criticize it and add to the results of the sociological research.

The role of the social scientists is to address a particular sociological problem.  In the article “Thinking About Social Change in America”, John Lambert and Andy Boschma discussed about the rise and fall of the desire of the American for social engagement.  They discussed the situation during the 1950s until the latter part of the 20th Century which is described as the time when Americans were deeply engaged in their social life.  They also described the situation which started during the latter part of the 20th Century where Americans engagement in the social life started to wane down.  They hoped to find a solution to this problem so that the social life will once again be revitalized.  

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