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About Sociology

Sociology is the study of human interaction and society. Sociology is social science and as such it examines people's interactions with one another on both an individual and group basis. Topics most often covered in sociology involve theories for different systems of human activity. These topics include economics, education, social stratification and other organizational parameters of society.

The study of sociology itself has a long history. Scholars and philosophers, possibly as early as Plato, conducted various forms of social analysis. Social theories such as conflict theory, Social Darwinism and the Protestant Ethic are part of the larger study of sociology.

Throughout history the study of sociology has shifted greatly. Classical sociology and sociologists often conducted informal research and made casual observations. Early sociologists such as Auguste Comte and Karl Marx observed society and created their own philosophical ideas based on their observations. Today, however, informal observations form only a part of the sociologists' research. With the advent of sociology as an academic discipline, informal observations gave way to case studies, data collection and field studies.

The Library's Role

The Mercer County Community College Library's subject guide is designed to identify important materials -books, e-books, journals, data and web resources- for the sociology department at Mercer County Community College. This guide is a starting point for those researching, taking a class or interested in sociology. Any feedback, suggestions or research questions should be sent to For more information on the social science programs at MCCC please visit the Liberal Arts Division website .

Collins, Randall. Four Sociological Traditions. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Henslin, James M. Sociology, a Down-to-Earth Approach. New York: Pearson, 2009.

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Compiled by Daniel Calandro
Last updated 1/23/09

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