It is a systematic explanation of the relationship among phenomena; phenomena and events or happening things that concerned the society.

  1. Functionalist theory/perspective theory

Society is viewed as a set of interrelated part that work together to produce a stable social system i.e. the society held together through consensus.

Originators are Herbert Spencer and Emile Durkheim; here the element society is viewed in terms of their functions i.e. if what is happening in the society which is good is said to be good.

  • Malfunction (bad)
  • Dysfunction (negative)
  • Social function (good)
  • Intent (sleeping) function
  1. Conflict perspective theory

Advanced by Karl Max/Max Weber; focuses in the society that promotes competition and bring about change. The focuses may be:-

The economy

  1. Interactionalist Theory

It focuses on how individual interact with one another; it is interested in the way in which individuals respond to one another in every day situations. It also interested in the meaning to own action and the action of others.

It looks on issues such as labeling e.g. uncle, son; symbols e.g. flag



The comparative study of various aspects of past and present culture; it is the social science closet to sociology, it is a subject matter. Anthropologists traditionally have concentrated on examining the past culture and present simple society.

Sociology on the other hand is most interested in group behavior in complex societies; urban sociologist for instance, examines such things as the cultural characteristics of neighbourhood and communities in Western Nations.


The social science that deals with the behavior and thinking of an organism; it differs from sociology primarily in that it focuses in individual behavior and draws more heavily on tools of the natural science.

Areas of interest to psychologist include personality, perception, motivation and learning.

Despite differences in emphasis, sociology and psychology are related particularly in the area of social psychology.

Social psychology

It is the study of how individual behavior and personality are affected by social environment; its courses are taught both in psychology department and in sociology department and people in both disciplines claim the title of social psychologist.


The study of the choice people make in effort to satisfy their wants and needs; it examines the process by which goods and services are produced, distributed and consumed. It also examines the effect of government policies on stability on economic growth stability.

The examination of the organization and operations of the government is the forces of political sciences; the interest of sociology and political science after overlap.

Areas of mutual interest include rating, patterns, and the concentration of politics, power and the formation of politically based groups.


It is the study of past events; sociologists also are interested in the past in many social historians. Sociologists study past event in the effort to explain current social behavior and alteration over time, the division of the social science have become less distinct.

Many modes of social sciences in an effort to better understand the social forces that help to shape our lives.

Sociology as a science

Natural sciences deal with the objective facts whereas sociology deals with social phenomenon; the applications of a scientific method do not necessarily hold because the social arena is dynamic/undergoes through constant change. It varies with time, place and circumstances.


Where human behavior is sociologically predictive i.e. is not obvious, that given the same scenario, social behavior will be replicate and the various uniqueness of a people (society).


Like many other social discipline, sociology experience the challenges of growth and development. It is fair there to say, the human society is becoming more and more complex by the day hence sociologists are challenged to adopt to the changing trends of the society.


It is the largest group of people who live together and are tied with some common aspects that bring about some social order. These people usually share common territories, may have a common culture, common goals and objectives, kinship ties and some form social control systems (rules and regulations) e.g. ethnic groupings.


Characteristics of human society

  1. Common geographical area or territory

These people usually share common boundary or area within their set up.

  1. Common economic activities

Usually their system of production/manufacturing is common and aimed at achieving some goals, cultural behavior/common social system. Either they share some common cultural traits or common social system that regulates the behavior.

  1. Common social control system

They may have laws, rules, norms, sanction means/rewards and punishment for offenders.

  1. Common mode of communication

E.g. language, in Kenya we have English and Kiswahili and also indigenous languages.

Social Relations

People within the society relate with one another through social interactions, social relationship came between individuals e.g. friendship, work situation, profession.

  • Family level e.g. mother and children. Father and children and relatives
  • Group level e.g. seminars, workshops
  • Profession e.g. according to your profession

The ways you relate in the society determine the following:

  • Sense of belong ness
  • Sense of identity
  • Social integration/strength
  • Collective ability (energy)

Studying Society

Sociological study employs social research method to gather social facts about social phenomena.

Social research

Is a research technique or methodology used in social sciences looking to subjective tasks involving individuals, groups, community in their social set up. This method contrasts with other methods because it does not emphasize the objectivity.

Social research

Are the data/information gathered from social research e.g. facts about behavior, poverty, rape etc.

Social phenomenon

Are events or occurrences of situations of social problems studied by sociologist. The study of the society, the following techniques is applied:-

  • Hypothesis
  • Research
  • Data collection
  • Representation
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