Sociology is the science of human relationships, the means by which people and groups behave towards each other, as well as socio-economic developments and changes. Sociologists study the origins, growth and interactions of human groups, for example; families, tribes, communities and social institutions such as: religious, political and economic groupings, ethnic groups and social classes.

They study the behaviour and interaction of groups, trace their origin and growth and analyse the influence of group activities on individual members. Sociologists can specialise in a wide range of areas, for example: social groupings, social stratification and mobility, racial and ethnical relationships, social psychology, as well as political, economic and applied sociology.

Other directions include research, demographics, gerontology and clinical sociology. Sociological research involves collecting information, analysing and interpreting data that is collected through surveys, in-depth interviews, case studies and other methods.

Sociologists also study social processes and phenomena, such as social deviant behaviour, group friction and migration. They may investigate topics on a large scale such as housing conditions, recreational patterns, drinking patterns and drug abuse as it occurs in groups of people, or they may examine the effects of different styles of leadership on individuals in small groups.

The sociologist can work in a variety of fields:

  • Social psychology
  • Clinical sociology
  • Political sociology
  • Economic sociology
  • Applied sociology
  • Research
Academic sociologists teach at universities; research sociologists do full-time research; administrative sociologists assist personnel sections; and planning sociologists are concerned with development and planning. Many sociologists work at universities, doing research and giving lectures. Since sociology overlaps many related fields of study, sociologists may interact and cooperate with psychologists, economists and town planners and do market and consumer behaviour research.

Personal Requirements

  • interested in human beings and their behaviour
  • intellectual curiosity and an inquiring mind
  • able to get on well with people from every population group or class
  • analytical skills and objectivity
  • able to undertake independent research
  • mathematical and statistical ability for research work
  • above-average intelligence
  • able to speak and write well and concisely


  • universities
  • government departments, municipalities and administration boards
  • non-governmental organisations
  • research institutions such as Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation or part-time work as an assistant to a research sociologist or as an interviewer for a market research company
  • undertake a relevant research assignment at school and/or enter a research project in the behavioural sciences section of the annual regional Science Expo
  • speak to a sociologist about this career
  • read the works of sociologists, historians and political scientists


Boston City Campus and Business College does not offer a programme that leads directly to this occupation. Please take a look at the related occupations below to see whether any of these appeal to you. Alternately, please send an email to and a Student Advisor will call you back.

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