A Summary for Anthony Giddens Essentials of Sociology Essay

The article begins with presenting that in the current world, several tragedies have occurred such as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, as well as the mass murder at the Columbine High School, which in previous times were not as likely to happen. The article questions the reasons behind why such occurrences are more frequent during the current time and not in previous generations. The article goes on to define Sociology as the “rigorous, organized, and meticulous study of human social life, groups and societies” (Giddens, 1).

Love is used as an example of a topic that has a different reception based on which country it may be viewed in, the key contrasting nations being Afghanistan and Western-countries. After explaining that the concept of love being a factor in marriage has not been common occurrence until recently, it concludes that what is considered natural currently, has not always been and may not always be and our accepted way of life is influenced heavily by what has occurred before.

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Once the definition and an example of where sociology comes in is given, the article expounds on how to develop a sociological perspective, also emphasizing that there is a need to do so as the world is now more interdependent than it had been in the past due to the progress of technology, relations and trading. The concept is explained to mean that every choice we make affects someone on the other side of the world and vice versa.

Because of this, there is a need to track and interpret the changes the society undergoes in order to properly address rising problems. Order and faith in order is explained to be the thread which holds society together but the article points out that although order is so carefully maintained, individuals can still break order and when such things happen the question is not to be why such breaks in order happen, but rather why they do not happen so frequently and then from there social traits and responses must be drawn.

The concept of sociological imagination is introduced as being important in the progress of sociology and requires one to be able to see the broader picture and sever himself from preconceived notions or personal experiences in order to see through the eyes of the category of persons in question. After tackling the sociological imagination, the article becomes a manual on pursuing Sociology answering a series of questions such as why patterns or looked for in human practices, then studied in relation to social norms followed by it’s significance in a global perspective.

The article briefly instructs how to decode globalization and then instructs how to conduct proper rigorous sociological analysis. It emphasizes the use of questions in Sociology and differentiates comparative questions and developmental questions before wrapping up and explaining that while factual questions play an principal role, theoretical questions are most important when tackling sociology.


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