"Why does it even matter?" - "What is the point?" - Sometimes when you're learning or revising for A-level sociology, reading your tenth theorist on a dull part of a topic, it's easy to lose track of why sociology is important. Well, here are five reasons why some of you reading this will need to persevere through to become the sociologists of the future.
1. Politics is strange and getting stranger
"Politics is politics, not sociology" - And you're right. But understanding the attraction of particular politics desires of parts of society is very much a sociological issue.
Recent political events such as Trump's election and Brexit have sent shockwaves around the world, giving hope to a range of politicians and parties who's chances of success would have been previously been written off.
It is not enough to say that someone who supports the far left or far right is an 'idiot'. We need to understand what makes people feel the need for extreme measures.
Issues such as migration, safety and inequality are behind many people's votes. Sociologists study the causes and impacts of such issues and play a vital role in separating 'fake news' from the truth.
2. Global migration is only going to increase
According to the United Nations, the rapid increase of people moving from one country to another is set to continue in the near future.
Sociologists have a role to play in understanding the reasons why people leave a country, why another country is attractive to them, but perhaps most relevant to today's Britain, sociologists analyse the impact of migration in a number of ways.
According to some, immigration is essential for parts of our society such as the NHS. However, others believe migration puts a strain on our infrastructure and it takes away jobs for British people. Which view is closer to the truth? Sociology can find some answers.
3. Inequality is rife in Britain
Where do we even start? Here's a selection of three.
Young black people are NINE TIMES more likely to be jailed than young white people. Yes, in Britain. LOOK.
The difference in life expectancy between someone born in a wealthy area and someone born in a poorer area is increasing. If you're born in an affluent area, you can expect to live over eight years longer. In 2007 it was only seven years longer.
Women get paid less than men. "No they don't" - Yes they do. "Actually these studies don't take into account the different number of hours women work" - Yes they do. "Well they don't take into account the type of job or level of qualification" - Yes they do.
4. Sociology offers solutions
People often forget about this, but it's a large part sociology. Sociologists do not just seek to understand, observe and measure. They aim to imagine, create and solve.
Some of the greatest changes made in our society have been assisted by the tireless work of sociologists, ranging from legal changes such as the Equality Act (2010), to changes in social attitudes.
5. Providing a skill set for your future
All of the above points refer to sociology being important for society. But remember, sociology is important for you on a personal level. From studying sociology, you are going to be equipped with an insight into modern society which all universities and employers are going to admire. Add to this your analytical skills, your engaging writing style, and your passion for social issues, you'll be prepared for whatever your future holds.