Sociology maintains a belief that the way individuals act, the challenges they face, the opportunities open to them, and the path they choose to tread are not just dependent on their personal or individual efforts, but are likewise greatly determined by society. Aside from being distinct individuals, each person is a social being and an integral part of the society. Each person is influenced by culture and the norms of the members of the society. The immediate family has the greatest influence because of proximity and exposure. Other significant influences include the peer group, ethnic group, the social or economic class grouping, and gender affiliation. This is not however to discount the fact that individuals have the ultimate control of their lives, but this control is a reflection of who and how the person is within a societal context.
Society generally shapes human behavior like the way people react and respond to events and circumstances, the way people deal with crisis, the way people perceive and understand the attitudes and actions of other people within and outside of their community. The doors of opportunity are opened or closed depending on the dictates of society based on age, gender, race or economic status.
Sociology explores how individuals and groups build, sustain and change social organization in a variety of ways. It studies the sources and outcomes of change in social processes and institutions, and it examines the fulfillment and difficulties of planning, achieving and adapting to the change. Sociology looks at how people interact with each other in relation to the different aspects of society and the different societal institutions. It aims to analyze the degree to which individuals attain optimum growth and development through the policies and programs of the different institutions and the constraints in the attainment of this development like social inequality, which are present in society. It also aims to determine how the aspects of society like gender, age, economic capability, health condition, race, and religion bring forth advantages or disadvantages to certain individuals or groups.
The study of social dynamics include topics in values, culture, socialization, cooperation, conflict, exchange, power, inequality, social control, order, deviance, social change, and violence (Whati is Sociology, 2003). Sociology encompasses the study of all human relationships, groups, societies and institutions. The scope covered by the field of sociology include class, gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, social inequality, the family, work, the mass media, religion, the environment, organizations, the body, health and illness, and the national and global economy (What aspects of society and social life do sociologists study).
II. A Focus on the Health and Ageing Area of Study in Sociology
Sociology has several areas of study all dealing with social interactions in different areas of society and everyday living, and the basis and consequences of these interactions. One area of study is Health and Ageing. The Health and Agei