1. What are the benefits of studying sociology? That is, in what ways does understanding the social world make us better people? Better citizens? Better prepared for our careers? (See the “Seeing Sociology in Your Everyday Life” essay in MySocLab).
2. Which of the social sciences (for example: psychology, political science, economics, anthropology, gender studies) strikes you as closest to sociology? Which is most distinct? Why?
3. Sociologists and political scientists both study political behavior. Sociologists and economists both study economic behavior. Is this simply duplication of effort, or do sociologists, with their characteristic perspectives, have the ability to develop insights that might not occur to their colleagues in other departments?
4. Sociologists have in the past several decades developed and refined a specialization called applied sociology. Like applied psychology, it focuses on coping with problems rather than studying what causes those problems. In what ways can sociology contribute to the more effective resolution of social problems at the individual, group, and community levels? Should we promote development of this subdiscipline or would it be better left to the social workers?