What is Sociology? What are some basic theories? How are experiments conducted? These are all questions that a student may ask themselves when deciding chose a course on Sociology. This article will seek to answer those questions.
Sociology is the study of how groups of human beings act. Sociology differs from Psychology in that Sociology studies how humans act within groups, where Psychology studies the behavior of a single person. The same goes for Political Science, which studies how governments and entities work, not how individuals within groups influence each other. 
Let’s look at a few sociological terms and theories next.
There are three major sociological theories. First, is conflict theory, which is the theory that believes that there are two sides in society that struggle for dominance; the powerful and the powerless.  The second theory is Functionalist Theory. Functionalist Theory states that there are hundreds of thousands of “pieces” that comprise society, all with a specific function.  The third is Interactionism. Interactionism believes that societies are fluid, and that societies change as humans interact. 
A important Sociological term is the “Sociological Imagination”. The Sociological Imagination is the relationship between an individual’s personal experience, and the society that the individual is living in. When discussing the sociological imagination, the only social events that matter are the events that take place after the individual’s birth. The Sociological Imagination is important to the study of sociology as it allows sociologist to see two things. First, it allows sociologist to view how various social events and factors impact individuals and groups at particular points in history. Second, it allows sociologist to have some basic parameters to look at individuals with. When they were born, where they were born and raised, and who they grew up with. 
What about experiments? There are two special problems that face sociologist that are not encountered by other scientific researchers. The first problem is that our test subjects are human. To perform a sociology experiment, we must observe our subjects. However, people will change how they behave when they know that they are being watched. On the other hand, if we do not inform our subjects, we start treading into unethical territory. This leads us to the second problem; using deceptive tactics such as pretending to be like your subjects can and does bring harm to your subjects after the research is published. 
Now we are acquainted with some of the basics of Sociology. The simplest way to put it is that Sociology is the study of groups, and the major theories center on why groups act the way they do.
1. J.H.W. Stuckenberg, Sociology: the Science of Human Society, pg. 1
2. Ritzer, George; Frontiers of social theory: the new syntheses pg. 68
3. Ferrante, Joan; Sociology: A Global Perspective pg. 28
4. McClelland, Kent; Symbolic Interactionism
5. Mills, C. Wright; Sociological Imagination
6. Kendall, Diana; Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials pg. 36-37