Who made the claim that religion is the public's opium? Who engaged Marx in argument through their writing? Who developed reception theory during colonial times? Several well-known sociologists will be introduced to you in this explanation. 

Every academic field has its own iconic figures, from founding fathers to founding mothers who have altered the way we perceive the field. Let's start by learning about sociologists and what they do with their work.

I. What is the definition of Sociologist? 

A sociologist is a social scientist who focuses on human society's institutions and growth.

Sociologists research how people behave, interact, and work together. They keep an eye on what various social, religious, political, and commercial groups, organizations, and institutions are doing. They look at how various people and groups are impacted by social factors, such as institutions and organizations.

A sociologist thinks that people's individual choices are not made in a vacuum. Cultural trends, values, and beliefs have an impact on us as individuals and our behavior. Sociologists study the behavior of the larger collective group, which is made up of people living in the same area and being influenced by the same social forces, in order to identify and assess these factors. 

Sociologists analyze individual interactions, group dynamics, and social processes to assess human behavior. Individual encounters, or face-to-face interactions in small groups, are studied by micro-level sociologists. A micro-level sociologist, for instance, might study the accepted discourse norms among various groups, such as teenagers or business executives. Such research may have concentrated on in-person interactions before the pandemic.Sociologists today offer insight into how virtual and hybrid environments influence behavior. 

Macro-level sociologists look at patterns within and between larger groups and societies, while micro-level sociologists concentrate on small groups. An analysis at the macro level may look at how language use has changed over time or in social media. A macro-level sociologist may also research the past, present, and future effects of significant historical events on a society. 

To draw connections, sociologists compile their knowledge of social structures and interactions. The term "sociological imagination" refers to this process.

1. What does a Sociologist do?

Sociologists use scientific methods to find empirical solutions to challenging social questions while researching social change, various communities, and their interactions. Studying sociology fosters analytical problem solving, communication, critical thinking, creativity, and innovation. You are pushed by sociology to view the world from the perspective of various communities and cultures.

In order to test theories about social issues, a sociologist is involved in the research project design process. Sociologists research social structures, including groups, organizations, and processes of interpersonal interaction. Sociologists frequently get together with other researchers to discuss research projects on a variety of topics, including education, religion, family, and many others, in order to compare findings and gather data on social problems and society.

2. How to become a Sociologist?

A master's or doctoral degree is needed to be a sociologist. There are two different master's degree pathways that one can choose from. One is a conventional sociology program created for those who want to pursue a Ph.D. afterward. The alternative route is to pursue a master's degree in an applied, clinical, or professional field that will better prepare you for the workforce. 

These courses frequently impart the analytical abilities needed to conduct research in a professional setting. For both levels of education, statistics and research methodology courses come highly recommended. 

These programs frequently provide internship opportunities. Prior to entering this career field, you can use your educational training during this time while also gaining experience. Strong communication, analytical, writing, and critical thinking abilities are also expected of sociologists. All of these abilities are required when working with colleagues, research participants, and other academics.

2. Sociologist Jobs Description

Despite the fact that they typically focus on a wide range of social issues, many sociologists study human behavior, interactions, and organizations. Health, families, crime, gender, poverty, education, aging, racial and ethnic issues, and population are just a few of these social topics. They consequently function in a range of contexts. No matter the environment a sociologist works in, they always gather data through surveys, interviews, or observations and then make inferences from it. In addition, they write articles and reports and present their research in.

A sociologist studies social influences and how they impact individuals or groups of people. Sometimes a sociologist tracks the development and beginning of these interactions and groups. An illustration could be the impact of a new law or policy on a specific demographic. A sociologist frequently conducts research using statistical analysis software, numerical measurements, and qualitative techniques. 

Sociologists typically work full-time and during regular business hours. They frequently use computers and work in offices. Organizations that create and conduct research in the humanities and social sciences are the largest employers, followed by educational services, federal and local governments, and then organizations that develop and research these fields. Since this industry is growing more slowly than average, those with a Ph.D. will have better job opportunities, though there will still be competition because there aren't many openings.

2. Career Video Transcript for Sociologists

People build relationships and eventually a culture when they engage in interaction, form a group, or collaborate. Sociologists investigate how groups of people interact, how human behavior evolves over time, and what factors influence the success or failure of cultures and organizations. To test their theories about how people interact with one another, sociologists gather survey data, make observations, and conduct interviews. They examine the data and present their conclusions in presentations or written reports. 

These social scientists might work with and provide guidance to groups looking for solutions to sociological problems, other social scientists, or policymakers. Sociologists can concentrate their research and study efforts on a variety of social issues, such as gender, poverty, crime, aging, the labor market, families, racial and ethnic relations, health, and education. The majority of the time, sociologists are office workers.The majority of the time, sociologists are office workers. They might travel to conduct research or give conferences presentations of their findings. 

A master's or doctorate is typically required for most jobs. Master's degree programs in applied, clinical, and professional studies train graduates to conduct sociological research in a workplace environment. Many sociology Ph.D. graduates end up teaching college-level courses. Other Ph.D. holders direct research for businesses, governments, or nonprofits. A bachelor's degree in sociology can be used to get more entry-level jobs in related industries like social services, education, or public policy.

II. Famous Sociologists now and then

A sociologist is anyone who specializes in the research of social institutions in society and the growth of socially connected individuals in communities. Sociologists research the origins, evolution, and other aspects of human behavior, including its development, interactions, and collective behavioral patterns in social groups. 

Therefore, sociologists are involved in the scientific analysis and examination of any social institution, as well as how it relates to and has an impact on the different facets of human society. They investigate the causes of behavioral change in humans over time and identify the various factors that contribute to behavior change.

1. Famous Sociologists in the history 

Sociology was developed in the 18th and 19th centuries, when Western Europe was undergoing a number of economic, technological, and social changes that had a significant impact on the social order. Sociologists can specialize in a number of different areas, including social problems, social psychology, social statistics, industrial sociology, sociology of work, sociology of occupations and professions, and other topics. Race, gender, sex, cultural diversity, labor and industrial relations, personnel management, and business relations are a few other areas of specialization.

Learn about some of the most well-known sociologists in history by consulting their biographies, which also include timelines, interesting facts, and life histories.

W.E.B Du Bois

  • Birthdate: February 23, 1868
  • Sun Sign: Pisces
  • Birthplace: Great Barrington, Massachusetts, United States
  • Died: August 27, 1963

American sociologist, pan-Africanist, and civil rights advocate W. E. B. Du Bois. Du Bois was a key figure in the struggle for full civil rights for people of color worldwide. Du Bois played a significant role as the head of the Niagara Movement in addition to being a co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Max Weber

  • Birthdate: April 21, 1864
  • Sun Sign: Taurus
  • Birthplace: Erfurt, Germany
  • Died: June 14, 1920

Max Weber was a political economist, historian, lawyer, and sociologist from Germany. Weber, who is regarded as one of the most significant and influential theorists, had a significant impact on social theory and research. Weber, along with Karl Marx, Auguste Comte, and Émile Durkheim, is frequently regarded as one of the founding fathers of sociology, despite the fact that he did not identify as one.

Emile Durkheim

  • Birthdate: April 15, 1858
  • Sun Sign: Aries
  • Birthplace: Épinal, France
  • Died: November 15, 1917

Sociologist Emile Durkheim was from France. He is widely regarded as the principal developer of contemporary social science and is credited with founding the academic discipline of sociology. Emile Durkheim wrote a number of books about morality, religion, and education during his lifetime. Additionally, he had a significant impact on the growth of the disciplines of anthropology and sociology.

Karl Marx

  • Birthdate: May 5, 1818
  • Sun Sign: Taurus
  • Birthplace: Trier, Germany
  • Died: March 14, 1883

Karl Marx, a philosopher, economist, political theorist, and socialist revolutionary, is best known for his three-volume work Das Kapital and the 1848 pamphlet The Communist Manifesto. Marx's theories, also known as Marxism, held that internal tension in capitalism, which would eventually be replaced by the socialist mode of production, is what drives the development of human societies.

Georg Simmel 

  • Birthdate: March 1, 1858
  • Sun Sign: Pisces
  • Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
  • Died: September 26, 1918

German sociologist, philosopher, and critic Georg Simmel is regarded as the father of structuralist social science logic. He established sociological antipositivism's foundations with his neo-Kantian methodology. He wrote extensively on the philosophy of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche and broadly rejected academic standards. He had a son with philosopher Gertrud Kinel while they were married.

George Herbert Mead

  • Birthdate: February 27, 1863
  • Sun Sign: Pisces
  • Birthplace: South Hadley, Massachusetts, United States
  • Died: April 26, 1931

George Herbert Mead, an American philosopher and social psychologist, was a pioneer of pragmatism and symbolic interactionism. His theories later became referred to as the Chicago school of sociology. He was a professor at the University of Chicago. Books based on his famous lectures weren't released until after he passed away.

2. Famous sociologists Today - modern sociology

The contemporary stage of sociologists is now upon us. Even though not all of these theorists are still alive today, their contributions to the development of the discipline in the twenty-first century are enormous. 

The Strain theory, developed by Robert K. Merton, is a foundational functionalist theory for understanding crime, and C. Wright Mills examined the importance of the sociological imagination. Continue reading to find out more about the well-known sociologists of today.

Robert K. Merton

  • Birth & Death : 1910. 2003
  • Birthplace: United States
  • Area of study : Crime and deviance, Strain theory

Merton had a wide range of interests and studies. He deserves the most credit for popularizing concepts like the self-fulfilling prophecy and role models. Merton also had a keen interest in the American dream. The American dream is the conviction that success is possible for anyone who puts in the necessary effort.

Clifford Geertz

  • Birthdate: August 23, 1926
  • Sun Sign: Virgo
  • Birthplace: San Francisco
  • Died: October 30, 2006

An anthropologist named Clifford Geertz greatly promoted and influenced the field of symbolic anthropology. He went to Harvard University and finished an interdisciplinary course of study there. After that, he started a career in academia and published a number of theoretical papers and essays on symbolic anthropology. His legacy has had a significant impact on contemporary anthropology and communication studies.

Albert Cohen

  • Birth & Death : 1918. 2014
  • Birthplace: United States
  • Area of study : Status frustration, Crime and deviance

Cohen put forth a hypothesis regarding the increase in antisocial behavior in Western Societies. According to Robert K. Merton's Strain Theory, he created the idea of status frustration.

Pierre Bourdieu

  • Birth & Death : 1930. 2003
  • Birthplace: France
  • Area of study : Capital

Bourdieu developed theories about various forms of capital and their importance in contemporary society.

Anthony Giddens

  • Birthday : 1938
  • Birthplace : England
  • Area of study : Structuration

Giddens' theory of structuration is one of his most significant contributions to sociology. He has served as a political consultant for various administrations.

Howard Becker

  • Birthday : 1928
  • Birthplace: United States
  • Area of study : Interactionism, Labeling Theory, Crime and deviance, Education

Becker used his action-focused sociology to demonstrate that deviance is not innate in an act but rather results from how the act is perceived.

3. Famous female sociologists

As can be seen, men have made up the majority of those studied, but there are still some very well-known female sociologists. In addition to being essential to the early development of sociology, Harriet Martineau went on to become a pillar of British feminism. 

Not to be overlooked is Catriona Mirrlees-Black, whose study of domestic violence served as the foundation for subsequent domestic violence research in the UK. 

Ann Oakley is another notable female sociologist who has discussed a number of issues affecting women, such as the division of labor, domestic duties, and the experience of motherhood.

4. Famous sociologists and their theories




Auguste Comte


Herbert Spencer

Emile Durkheim

Charles H. Cooley

Talcott Parsons

Kingsley Davis

Robert K. Merton

Wilbert E. Moore

Albert Cohen


Karl Marx

Louis Althusser


Howard Becker

Weberian theory

Max Weber


Anthony Giddens

Urban sociology

Robert E. Park

George Murdoch

W.E.B. Du Bois

Pierre Bourdieu

Stuart Hall

Ulrich Beck

Jeffrey Weeks


Harriet Martineau

Jessie Bernard

Judith Stacey

Ann Oakley

Nancy Chodorow

Judith Butler

Catriona Mirrlees-Black

III. Examples of Sociology in real life

Sociology is not an intangible idea. We encounter numerous examples that sociologists study in daily life and in our interactions. Here are examples to think about:

1. Conflict Theory Sociologist: Class or Social Inequalities

Experts are debating and evaluating social classes in great detail, including how they are formed, what motivates them, and what inequalities result. Social standing, social class, and social life can all be impacted by social inequality, which is connected to an imbalance in the distribution of wealth and resources. 

Sociologists, for instance, research how gender and race affect social disparities both within and between societies. Sociologists study the factors that contribute to gender wage gaps as well as the role that racial bias plays in the disproportionate use of force by law enforcement against minority groups.

Sociologists categorize social inequality into two main groups: 

  • Inequality of conditions: the imbalanced and unequal distribution of wealth and income. For instance, in the United States, the wealthiest 10% of people held 69.8% of the nation's net worth, with the top 1% controlling 32.1 percent in 2021. 
  • Inequality of opportunities: the unequal availability of life opportunities, such as education, criminal justice, jobs, and health care. For instance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stillbirths are more common among black women. In order to reach conclusions and promote change, a sociologist would investigate contributing factors and social inequalities that disproportionately affect black mothers.

2. Symbolic Interactionism

Another important sociological framework, symbolic interactionism, seeks to understand human behavior by examining the symbolic meanings people acquire and construct over the course of their lives. In society, various things, motions, actions, and occurrences could signify various things. 

Let's take emojis as an illustration. Emojis, which are now a part of everyday mobile communication, can have various meanings to various audiences. An emoji with a smile may just be used to express happiness, but it can also be read as passive-aggressive. 

Another illustration of symbolism is a rainbow. A rainbow is technically a straightforward meteorological phenomenon. A rainbow, on the other hand, can signify happiness, hope, and positive emotions. A rainbow is a symbol of togetherness, unity, and pride for the LGBTQ+community as well.

3. Social Roles

These are a few instances of how we assign social roles in various contexts. Sociologists may investigate why society expects women to act in particular ways and how this affects bigger problems, like the wage gap, through the lens of socially constructed gender roles. 

The idea of roles emphasizes predictable behavior because, for humans, predictability preserves stasis and reduces risk. These roles are "defined" by society through the development of predictable expectations for behavior; a person's actions should be consistent with their social role. 

A political joke told by a cashier to a customer may be viewed as offensive and inappropriate because it violates the social norms that have been established for this role and this type of social interaction. However, because this is a different social setting, if the cashier tells the same political joke to a friend, it might not be interpreted as potentially offensive or inappropriate by the customer.

4. Emotional Expectations

Expression of emotions is extremely complicated. The gender roles that have been established in our society may have an impact on how we express our emotions, so it's not just a physical reaction to stimuli. One unwritten rule in our society is that men shouldn't cry because it isn't "masculine behavior." However, women shouldn't act aggressively because it isn't "feminine behavior." 

According to the gender norms of society, people express their emotions differently through these expectations of behavior. Gender inequality, however, is a more significant social issue that is exacerbated by this. 

5. Environmental Sociology

Environmental protection and combating climate change are still top priorities in our society today. Environmental sociology seeks to comprehend how we interact with our natural and artificial environments and how those interactions affect us personally, nationally, and internationally. 

Environmental-social movements, for instance, support boycotts of businesses that use animals, have large carbon footprints, or destroy areas and groups that are protected from development. An environmental sociologist might try to figure out why a company would make such choices rather than think of more environmentally friendly alternatives.