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The purpose of this assignment will be to discuss the distinction between the sociological approach and other social sciences. This piece of writing will also discuss the distinction between sociological understanding and common sense understanding.
Firstly, what is sociology? (Browne, 2011, p4) explains, ‘sociology is the systematic scientific study (or planned and organized) study of human groups and social life in modern societies’. Along with studying people sociology unlike other social sciences looks at the relationship people have with social institutions. For example, people in society are connected to health institutions like hospitals, or general practice clinics where people can go to receive medication or treatment for illnesses like disease or infection.
Fitness institution’s such as sports centres and gym facilities are places where people with a shared interest in health and fitness can congregate and socialise through membership schemes and health programmes.
People within a society interact and relate with some form of institution, a group of social institutions in a society forms a social structure. This represents the way society is looked at through a sociological perspective. Psychology for example studies the brain of humans and their behaviour, and is not concerned with looking at institutions or structures and there links to people.
Anthropology and sociology are thought to be very similar; this is because both sciences study humans and behaviour.
Differences however occur in ways such as anthropology is more in lined with the scientific study of culture, and the characteristics of culture, such as, gender, age, or language.
Sociology focuses more on the study of society this includes things like social classes, social institutions and social movements. Sociology studies many institutions that people already have general views and assumptions around, people have opinions on the subjects of sociology and defines them as things ‘ everybody knows about’ or common sense. The problem with this is negative rhetoric can be carried by people as statements of fact, and encourages stereotyping of Human groups or individuals. For example, statements of people in society deriving from a common sense understanding may say in relation to unemployment, for example it is perceived by those from upper class society that the poor in Britain are poor because they are too lazy to work.
Sociologists use what is referred to as the sociological imagination to get to the bottom of topics like the above example. It uses research methods as described by (Browne, 2007, p2) how things were in the past, how they’ve changed, how they differ between societies, and how they might change in the future. Sociological thinking is often the cure to widely held common sense understandings within societies.
This piece of writing is aimed at giving a brief background to what sociology is, and addresses some of the differences between sociology and other social sciences. This piece will explore some of the approaches and methods sociology uses to understand society are. And look at the relationship between sociological understanding and common sense understanding.

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