Sociology involves the systematic study of social life and culture in order to understand the causes and consequences of human action. Sociologists study the structure and processes of traditional cultures and modern, industrial societies in both Western and non-Western cultures. They examine how culture, social structures (groups, organizations and communities) and social institutions (family, education, religion, etc.) affect human attitudes, actions and life-chances.
Sociology combines scientific and humanistic perspectives in the study of society. Drawing upon various theoretical perspectives, sociologists study such areas as culture, socialization, deviance, inequality, health and illness, family patterns, social change and race and ethnic relations. Combining theoretical perspectives with empirical research allows students an opportunity to develop new insights and a different perspective on their lives and to understand everyday social life as a combination of both stable patterns of interaction and ubiquitous sources of social change.