Sociology is rooted in a theoretical stance called the sociological perspective, the view that human behavior is shaped by group affiliation and the social behaviors that take place within those groups. The sociological perspective is also an attempt to view social behavior neutrally and scientifically. Sociologists use this viewpoint to understand behavior by placing it within a social context.
The sociological perspective encourages sociologists to
- Step outside of their own experience, in an attempt to understand other experiences
- Appreciate and understand alternate viewpoints that differ from their own
- Become aware of what is going on in the world around them
- Look at familiar surroundings in a fresh way
- Explore areas of society that have been ignored or misunderstood
- Understand how humans create and change societies