Before entering fully into the definition of Sociology, what we have to do is determine the etymological origin of that term. Specifically, its antecedents are in Latin and more exactly in the union of words socĭus, which would be translated as "partner or individual", and lodge which has several meanings including "study." Therefore, based on this, we could make a literal translation that Sociology is the study of the partner or individual.
The sociology is a science which is dedicated to the study of social groups (group of individuals living together in different types of associations). This science analyzes the internal forms of organization , the relationships that the subjects maintain with each other and with the system, and the degree of cohesion existing within the framework of the social structure.
For example: “My son wants to study Sociology when he finishes high school”, "Last night I saw a very interesting debate on sociology on television", "The president can be a great economist, but he knows very little about sociology".
It could be said that sociology exists for a long time before it will develop as a science or that its object of study will be delimited. In the fifth century BC, Herodotus He dedicated himself to making complete descriptions of the customs and rituals of various peoples. Ibn Jaldún (1332-1406), meanwhile, was the one who proclaimed the notion of Ilm el Iytima (the science of society or of the social).
Auguste Comte On the other hand, he was in charge of shaping the concept of sociology, when in 1838 he presented his Positive Philosophy Course . Sociology was consolidated as an autonomous science only in the mid-nineteenth century. Already advanced the twentieth century, began to differentiate different schools and mainstream.
In this sense it is interesting to make a small parenthesis to establish that Sociology throughout history has not left indifferent. Hence, great thinkers of all time like the German Max Weber defined it as the science that is responsible for a very specific mission.
What he does for him is what he does is to face social action so he can undertake the explanation causally, from a knowledge approach called interpretive, both its development and its effects.
Sociology can be studied from different methods: qualitative , which includes detailed descriptions and explanations of behaviors, situations and subjects, and which can also include the participants' account told by themselves; and the method quantitative , which is responsible for the variables that can be represented by numerical values (numbers) and that allow to search for possible relationships through statistical analysis.
As for the main sociological paradigms, the functionalism (which states that social institutions are means developed collectively to meet the needs of society), the Marxism (conflict theory), the structuralism , he symbolic interactionism and the systems theory .
Thus, today it is very frequent that this science of the individual is used to carry out interesting studies around latent aspects in our society that concern us or interest us. In this sense, sociological studies are frequently carried out to determine the behavior of young people towards drugs or alcohol. Through those data will be obtained of the ages at which they begin to consume, of the reasons that lead them to drink or if they feel pressured by their group of friends to do so.