I chose to pursue a degree in sociology because I have been raised in a country with a diverse population where races conflict more often. I was intrigued to know why human beings behave the way they do and what drives them to respond and act in a particular way. This is because sociology looks at the differences that exist among people and tries to understand them about culture, beliefs, customs, and human behaviors. Sociology is crucial in life because it guides an individual on how to best fit in the world. It is a mirror of how one can connect with people from different cultures and social groups. Therefore, sociology as a profession helps one look for renewed paths to different careers in life.
Being a black male, I have seen segregation, discrimination, and total isolation happening both to me and those around me. I have witnessed friends and neighbors taken to juvenile facilities for minor crimes. For these reasons, sociology is the best field to help one develop a clear understanding of how and why people think and act the way they do. More importantly, this field of study creates awareness of my culture. It also makes it possible to ask better questions and to expect more from those who are in positions to make a difference in society.
Subjects I Enjoy Most
One of the subjects that I enjoy while studying sociology is social control and deviance in society. In a world that is constantly evolving, it is crucial to have systems of control. Society is made up of systems of laws that govern people’s behaviors. Failing to abide by the laws set in place is a form of deviance that should be punished. For instance, the most severe punishment in the U.S is imprisonment. There are two types of laws in any society, formal and informal. The former refers to the guidelines put in place by the national, state, or local government to determine how people should behave and act. The latter refers to the unwritten rules of society that have no formal punishment but influence how people act for instance etiquette rules.
There is no society where people do not break rules. However, the probability of deviance occurring is attributed to the situation in which the crime occurs rather than the act itself. What is considered deviant varies from one community to another or across time? For instance, sexual norms have evolved with different communities having varied expectations. In line with this, my greatest accomplishment was when I undertook a study to find out why crime rates are higher in cities than in rural areas. This led me to conclude that social norms do not apply to everyone uniformly; the wealthy and those in power are considered not deviant.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, sociology is a field of study that examines human behavior and interaction in a social, economic, political, or religious context. Quantitative and qualitative methods of research are employed in data collection and analysis to help policymakers in creating laws that impact human beings. The income for a sociologist in the U.S as of 2020 is between $ 52,640 – $ 143,020 (Senter, 2020). This field of study can be studied for a profession or as a bridge to other fields of study for instance law, business courses, and medicine among others.
Potential Career Paths
Sociology will equip me with the necessary skills to be a peer-to-peer specialist. This is a profession that helps individuals suffering mentally, emotionally, and from substance abuse through mentorship and counseling. Being a peer-to-peer specialist allows one to work with different people towards the achievement of specific goals. This can be achieved through encouraging them to do volunteer work, engaging in their hobbies, and undertaking daily activities.
As a human factor engineer, I can improve the well-being of individuals with the help of technology. This instrument looks at human behavior and how they use technology. It attempts to bring an understanding of societal expectations on technology and how people interact with technology. This profession uses scientific research to develop systems using human factor engineering and ergonomic principles to improve cost, quality, usability, and general performance. However, a degree in sociology only is not enough―a master’s or doctorate is needed to help in executing complex tasks.
The last potential career path that I would be interested in is a community organizer. This is a profession that brings people together intending to educate and sensitize them. It gives people from the local, regional, and national levels the power to influence issues affecting them. As a community organizer, I will be able to work with communities in coming up with interventions that will improve their lives while also preparing them to be the voice of their communities. Sociology will equip me with the necessary research knowledge while putting me at an advantage to understand the different cultures, beliefs, and practices. Overall, sociology as a field is crucial for someone who wishes to understand how human beings behave and respond to social change.
Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook for sociologists. Senter, M. S. (2020). Implementing a Careers and Professional Development Course for Sociology Students. Teaching Sociology, 48(1), 28-39.