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The field of sociology offers a great multitude of interesting essay and research paper topics. This list of sociology topics for essay and research paper writing has been constructed to assist students who wish to explore a number of ideas in the field of sociology and social sciences. Sociology is a form of social inquiry that takes wide-ranging forms. As is the case with many disciplines, it is contested and there is no generally accepted definition of what constitutes sociology. To begin, it is helpful to look at sociology in terms of its subject matter, its approach, and some of the classical works that have shaped the discipline.

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Sociology Topics for Essays and Research Papers

 

Sociology is the only science specifically devoted to the study of society in the broad sense of the term, meaning the social world and the open field of the social. Like many of the social and human sciences it does not have a clearly defined subject matter. This situation often leads to the assumption of a crisis. Sociology today is often faced with three broad choices. One is the classical vision of a field that is based on the interpretation of the results of other sciences from the perspective of a general science of society guaranteed by a canonized sociological heritage.

Those who reject the first as too generalist, parasitic, and lacking a clearly marked out specialized field argue that sociology must confine itself to a narrow territory based on a tightly defined conception of sociological research and disciplinary specialization. Those who reject the highly specialized understanding of sociology and resist the generalist understanding of sociology tend to look to post-disciplinarity, whereby sociology is not confined to the traditional discipline and occurs largely outside sociology.

These are false dilemmas, despite the fact that there are major challenges to be faced. Interdisciplinarity is unavoidable today for all the sciences, but it does not have to mean the disappearance of sociology any more than any other discipline. It is also difficult to draw the conclusion that sociology exists only in a post-disciplinary context. However, it is evident that sociology cannot retreat into the classical mold of a general science. Sociology is a versatile and resilient discipline that takes many forms. One of its enduring characteristics is that it brings to bear on the study of the social world a general perspective born of the recognition that the sum is greater than the parts.

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