Thus far we have seen that Sociology is the study of human social behaviour. More accurately, we can characterise it as the study of the way people behave in groups; in basic terms, how the fact of belonging to a group (and the various social relationships this involves) affects our behaviour.
As you will appreciate, there are various types of social group we can define and these include groups such as:
We will, throughout this Pathway, be looking at these and other types of social group, since, as I have argued, the main purpose of sociology is to understand the way human beings forms social groups and how our membership of these groups affects:
a. The way we think about the social world and
b. The way we behave in the social world.
We can start by looking at the largest group to which we belong, namely a society. This is a good place to start because membership of a society is something that we all have in common and by understanding the idea of a society (and thinking about how our membership of this group affects our behaviour) we can begin to understand the similarities and differences in our behaviour.
This will also provide us with a lead into the idea of different sociological perspectives, something we will discuss in more depth at the appropriate point.