Sociology is the study of human behavior in society. Sociologists are interested in the study of people and have learned a fundamental lesson: All human behavior occurs in a societal context. That context — the institutions and culture that surround us — shapes what people do and think. In this book, we will examine the dimensions of society and analyze the elements of social context that influence human behavior. Sociology is a scientific way of thinking about society and its influence on human groups. Observation, reasoning, and logical analysis are the tools of the sociologist, coupled with knowledge of the large body of theoretical and analytical work done by previous sociologists and others. Sociology is inspired by the fascination people have for the thoughts and actions of other people, but it goes far beyond casual observations. It attempts to build on observations that are objective and accurate to create analyses that are reliable and that can be validated by others (Andersen & Taylor, 2013, p. 4).
Andersen, M. L. & Taylor, H. F.(2013). Sociology: The essentials (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.