People pursue degrees in sociology for many reasons. Some pursue it in hopes of becoming a sociologist and many seek the knowledge that an undergraduate degree will equip them with as they pursue higher degrees or careers in law, education, counseling, journalism, politics, business, social work, public relations, human resources, or the medical field.
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Along with the expected benefits and skills that come from studying sociology come some less expected ones as well. People with a sociology background often find that they are well equipped with skills to help in everyday social interactions both at work and at home. Since a family is basically a miniaturized extension of society as a whole, a thorough understanding of society can often help when handling family disagreements or estrangements.
1. Appreciation of Diversity
Those who understand sociology tend to appreciate diversity of all sorts. What others may interpret as people being difficult, seeking attention, or being uncooperative, sociologists may view as simply being unique, extroverted, or strong willed. This understanding and appreciation of behavioral diversity can help facilitate the mending of damaged relationships.
2. Good Communication Skills
Communication skills are essential when dealing with people in conflict. Miscommunication is the root cause of much strife among people. Having the ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and effectively, as well as help others to do the same, is very beneficial in mediating both work conflicts and family fall-outs.
3. Strong Listening Skills
Students who earn an online sociology degree often have hopes of entering social work or counseling fields. Strong listening skills are essential in these careers. Having the ability to make people feel heard and understood is an invaluable skill when dealing with family conflict as well.
4. Desire to Help Others
While many people find disagreements to be bothersome or disheartening, and better left alone, those with sociological leanings often appreciate the challenge of bringing people together and have a true desire to help others. Unless you have this innate characteristic, dealing with the problems of others can quickly become annoying and draining. Sociologists tend to thrive off of helping others reach common ground.
5. Insight into Group Behavior
Families are groups, and a thorough understanding of group behavior is extremely beneficial in dealing with estranged family members, even in work-families. Sometimes situations that seem straightforward are significantly more complex than they initially appear. Someone who has been educated to identify the intricacies of group behavior can help take a more thorough examination of the situation as a whole.
Family units as well as professional co-workers are often made up of people with strong beliefs, emotions, loyalties, and convictions making relationships challenging when conflicts arise. A member with training in the field sociology is in the perfect position to help resolve those disagreements and restore relationships.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. Lizzie went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.