You’re a college student, and you need to write a research paper for your sociology class. You have no idea what subject to choose! We’ve compiled this list of 15 Best Sociology Research Topics that are sure to spark an interest in even the most reluctant of students. Topics include gender roles, social media use among adolescents, race relations in America, and more!
What is Sociology?
Sociology is a social science field that studies the social behavior of individuals and groups. It helps to explain how people interact with each other in society.
Sociology can be traced back to the early nineteenth century when researchers like Alexis de Tocqueville studied the power dynamics between monarchies and aristocracies. Today, sociology has evolved into one of the most popular academic fields. There are different ways to study sociology–it can be applied or theoretical, depending on how you approach it.
Importance of Sociology Research
Sociology research and data help experts identify social problems in society to be resolved at the earliest. It also helps them come up with solutions to mitigate certain emerging issues.
Today, different countries adopt different methods of resolving social problems. For instance, some governments launch social development programs while others advocate for stricter law enforcement. Research about these aspects will be quite helpful while framing policies related to social problem-solving.
What Makes a Good Sociology Research Topic?
If you want to get relevant results from your sociology research, make sure that you focus on a topic of interest. There are dozens of topics available for research. However, not all of them are equally interesting and promising. You need to pick a topic that you can hold your interest in. Before choosing any specific sociology research topic, think about how much time and effort it will take. This will not be as easy as writing an essay or studying for an exam.
Sociology topics can focus on current issues (food security) or historical ones (slavery). The problem with picking a recent issue is that there may not be enough documentation available for your research work unless the government has already carried out some studies related to it. However, if you choose historical concepts, make sure that they are thoroughly researched and documented before beginning your project.
15 Best Sociology Research Topics
Here is a list of 15 interesting sociology research topics that you can choose from.
- Impact of Media on Society Today. The media has emerged as one of the most powerful influences in our society. Everyone around us seems to be glued to their TV sets or smartphones. This constant exposure makes it difficult for people to evaluate their needs and make unbiased decisions about climate change, terrorism, violence against women, etc.
- Impact of Disability on Society Today. According to a global survey conducted by World Health Organization (WHO), over 15% of people suffer from some form of disability worldwide. Policymakers are interested in knowing why this is so and what can be done about it individually and collectively to help make these people feel useful members of society again. Do policies introduced by various government agencies improve the lives of disabled individuals? Are such policies even working for those with developmental disabilities?
- How Sexism Affects Society. It is well-documented that men and women do not have equal opportunities in all parts of the world. While some countries are working towards eradicating cultural stereotypes, many nations continue to be discriminated against by men, and even educated women support such behavior. Gender inequality has its costs – most developed societies have reported higher levels of domestic violence, sexual assault, drug abuse among teens who feel deprived compared to their male counterparts.
- Impact of Ethnic Diversity on Society Today. The United States stands out as one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the world today due to large-scale immigration from other countries for work and education purposes. While many Americans see this as a point of pride, others complain that it harms social cohesion and inter-cultural integration. For instance, some white Americans believe migration from other countries has made life difficult for native-born citizens. At the same time, immigrants also face problems such as discrimination at their places of work. Does ethnic diversity have any benefits?
- Effect of Family Structure on Society. Most nations see married couples who live together as ideal parents who raise healthy children because they provide stability in the lives of their progeny. However, unmarried parenting families represent a vast majority in most western nations, with single mothers being more common than single fathers globally. Are there any hidden costs associated with living apart from one’s spouse?
- Socio-cultural Impact of Extramarital Affairs. Statistics show that the number of married women having affairs is likely to be equal to or even more than their male counterparts across different socioeconomic strata. While extramarital affairs are most common among celebrities and other leaders, it has become increasingly common in all sections of society. Are married people justified in having midlife crises? If yes, what impact does this have on family values and children who see such behavior by their parents?
- Impact of Human Migration on Society Today. This is a crucial issue for countries that open up borders for tourists and immigrants alike. It changes social makeup significantly over time as native-born citizens are replaced with people from other parts of the world.
- Socioeconomic Impact of International Terrorism. Terrorist groups like ISIS have become notorious for kidnapping innocent civilians to spread fear in western nations even though Muslims have been victims more than anyone else in recent decades. As a result, there has been an increase in hate crimes against people who belong to certain ethnicities or practice different religions. While most governments agree that acts committed by terrorists must be punished harshly, knee-jerk reactions may lead to unwarranted restrictions on civil liberties, especially freedom of movement without adequate checks and balances.
- Impact of Activism on Society Today. The use of social media to promote certain causes is a double-edged sword because it has empowered the ordinary citizen by raising awareness about pressing political, economic, and social issues such as racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination. However, some advocacy groups have been known to cross the line while campaigning for their cause, including violence against opposing parties which may not be acceptable even though they may be well-intended. Does activism have any negative impacts?
- Effectiveness of Implementation of Rights and Responsibilities. Although most developed countries like the United States have laws that protect citizens from abuse, plenty face exploitation by people in power, e.g., politicians or government officials. In other cases, the justice system is applied selectively, while in some instances, courts are used for political purposes to settle scores against opponents. Do such laws truly empower citizens?
- Impact of Political Protests on Society. Although there have been positive effects from rallies, including awareness about pressing issues and resulting policies implemented by politicians to address them, it has now become a common sight across most western countries like America where people get together to protest against government policy or individual leaders who they think are not doing their jobs properly, e.g., Donald Trump. Is it right to take up public streets and spaces for these protests irrespective of how disruptive they may be? What impact do such protests have on innocent civilians trying to go about their daily lives?
- Impact of Agenda 21. Even though agenda 21 is a non-binding term meaning sustainable development, there have been cases where citizens face oppression from government authorities who interpret it to mean environmental extremism. For instance, governments may build dams over rivers that displace thousands of people leading to poverty and even death in extreme cases. The true intention behind this global framework seems to be destroyed by political agendas and corruption, with both sides fighting each other instead of working together. Can positive aspects be highlighted so that they can benefit societies?
- Rise of Cyber Warfare. The use of the Internet and associated technologies over personal computers and mobile devices has changed how we live today, including how conflicts are fought between nations and terrorist groups alike. For example, ISIS recruited people from worldwide to join their ranks because of social media networks. At the same time, cyber-attacks by terrorist groups on western nations led to the loss of lives and destruction. Even though recent conflicts may have taken place due to political reasons, it is possible that technology played a role in escalating them, especially when airstrikes were involved. Are we helpless victims or perpetrators of this web?
- Impact of Terrorism in Asia. Asian countries like China and India are most hit by terrorism as they share borders with neighboring countries, mostly known for harboring militant activities against national interests.
- Change in Religious Attitudes. There has been a marked increase in religious extremism across both continents, Africa and Asia, as exemplified by recent attacks on churches, mosques, and temples across Sri Lanka. Because of growing poverty, people have turned to religion to interpret scriptures that serve their purposes rather than being spiritually guided. This has led to intolerance towards those not from the same faith contributing to the societal conflict, including killings which is inhuman even though religious freedom is guaranteed under every constitution of every country in the world.