Sociology Essay Topics

Sociology is ultimately the study of society and human beings within it. It is a varied subject, an umbrella term that includes a wide array of theories, perspectives and topics across the social sciences, political science, anthropology, economics and psychology amongst others. If you are looking for inspiration for your sociological essays, our list of the best essay questions for sociology, includes the best sociological theory essay questions, sociology dissertation ideas, research methods in the social sciences, inclusion and justice and more.

Contents

Research Methods in Sociology Essay Topics

The Social Sciences utilise empirical research to provide an insight into people’s behaviours and their interaction with society. This topic often includes questions related to the research methodology used to do this, such as:

  • Karlsson et al (2015 p. 565) state that all research within the social sciences is affected by some elements of bias due to a ‘systematic tendency to favour one outcome over another’. With reference to the above, consider the most effective ways social scientists can identify and avoid bias in research.
  • Using examples of different types of research surrounding the same topic, compare and contrast the use of qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Design a study that utilises micro-scale research on a topic of your choice.
  • With reference to the United Nations Convention to the Rights of a Child, discuss the benefits of including children and young people as active participants in research pertaining to their own lived experiences.
  • Why is it essential that researchers make ethical considerations when conducting research in sociology?

Sociological Theories Essay Topics

As a wide discipline, it is considered that there are five basic sociological perspectives, including Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism, Social Action Theory, and Postmodernism. Within these, there are hundreds of different theories that attempt to explain the nature of society. Essay questions related to these could include:

  • Compare and contrast sociological perspectives regarding the role of the family and discuss the changes to the family institution that have occurred since the latter half of the twentieth century.
  • Early evidence has indicated that the COVID 19 pandemic hit those at the bottom the hardest. With reference to this, consider whether we should have a universal basic income? Discuss this with reference to two or more sociological theories.
  • With reference to the sociological imagination, discuss the main critiques C. Wright Mills had of Talcott Parsons.
  • Is social class still relevant in the 21st century? Discuss with reference to social inclusion and conflict theory.
  • Provide an analysis of Foucault’s work with reference to the use of mass surveillance and online privacy legislation.

Global Sociology Essay Topics

In an increasingly globalised world, countries are becoming increasingly interrelated due to worldwide interdependence, and significant advances in travel, technology, and communication. Questions related to global sociology could include:

  • Domestic violence is the cause of more death and disability worldwide than war, cancer and malaria combined (Tischler 2010). Discuss the continued fight for gender equality on a global scale, with reference to violence against women and girls.
  • How might a rights-based approach to food security transform the problems of food inequality?
  • Discuss the global media’s role in the creation and maintenance of negative societal attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers in the West.
  • Compare and contrast two countries’ responses to homelessness, with reference to national and international policy and legislative frameworks.
  • Provide an overview of the current situation five years since the ‘refugee crisis’ in 2016 and discuss how globalisation has impacted immigration around the world?

Social Inclusion and Justice Essay Topics

The study of social patterns is essential in developing our understanding of inequality, why it exists, and how it can be addressed.  Questions related to social inclusion and justice could include:

  • Is social class still relevant in 21st Century Britain?
  • Inclusive education: With reference to a specific learning difference, compare and contrast inclusive education within two countries of your choosing.
  • Is Britain racist? Provide a critical analysis of the government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (2021) report, with reference to current statistics pertaining to racial disadvantage in the UK.
  • Discuss whether there remains to be a gendered division of labour, with reference to Taylor’s theory of scientific management.
  • How and why has there been a shift away from person first language in recent years?

Social Policy Essay Topics

If sociology is the study of society, then it is social policy that provides the framework for addressing its perceived ills. Essay questions related to social policy in sociology could include:

  • Since the 2010 Welfare Reform Act, health and social care services in the UK have been experiencing cuts to financial expenditure as part of the period of austerity. How may the current situation in health and social care have been impacted upon by the COVID 19 pandemic?
  • Within Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it states that each global citizen has the right to a ‘standard of living’, which includes ‘food, clothing, housing and medical care’. However, there is varied support from signatories around the world. Should housing be considered a human right?
  • Critically analyse the application of neoliberalism beliefs to social protection policies.
  • What is a welfare state and why did the idea and the model of the welfare state spread?
  • With reference to a specific group of people that are marginalised in society, provide an overview of the relevant policy and legislative framework.

Controversial Sociology Essay Topics

In society, there are certain topics that are particularly emotive and may be considered controversial by some. For an in-depth essay, you could include one of the following controversial sociology essay questions:

  • Is limiting, restricting, or censoring speech ever warranted or justified?
  • With reference to theories regarding rehabilitative and restorative justice, is the death penalty ever an acceptable form of punishment?
  • Deconstructing the Gender binary: Discuss the recent changes in thinking pertaining to what gender is and how it impacts our lives.
  • Mental health and stigma: Consider whether therapeutic pessimism can impact a person’s long-term outcomes, with reference to a specific mental health disorder.
  • Should Sex and Relationships Education be compulsory and why?

 

 

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