Welcome to the political and society section of SociologyOnline.

The options on the drop-down menu below provide an introduction to the themes of this section.
The menu to the left provides links to the various papers in the section.
Key Concepts
The section contains pages devoted to the key ideas in political sociology. These ideas include: democracy, citizenship, voting, political parties, NSMs and the state. Use the menu to your left to navigate through this section of the site.
Key thinkers
There are discussions of the works of a number of social and political theorists in this section of the site. From the 19th/20th century period these include Marx and Weber as well as Robert Michels and Vilfredo Pareto and TH Marshall. There are also discussions of the works of contemporary theorists such as Anthony Giddens, Paul Hirst, Barry Hindess, and Anna Yeatman in this section of the site.
The 'Third Way'
The 'third way' represents an attempt by perhaps the leading British sociologist of contemporary times, Anthony Giddens, to establish a politics of the centre-left in Britain. There are three pages in this section of the site devoted to an evaluation of the 'third way'. Use the menu to the left to locate that discussion.
This is a timeline of significant events and political theories in the development of democracy. It begins with the ancient Greeks and takes you through to the present day. If you think I've omitted something significant from the timeline, please do email me.
Citizenship Seo Agency
Finally, there is a discussion of the concept and idea of citizenship.
Tony Fitzgerald

political and society

Political sociology has always been an essential part of sociology.
Within the field of political sociology there are four sets of discrete, yet interrelated, areas of research and analysis:

1. The study of states and their relationships with their own societies and the social groups and classes in those societies.

2. The study of the development and nature of political movements and political organisations.

3. The relationship of individuals to political processes and political institutions.

4. The study of states and their international relations in the glo

Sociology Online UK The Sociology resource for students

  • Socio Quote

    Public Enemy (1991)
    "You can't see who's in cahoots, 'cos now the KKK wear three-piece suits." 
    (Apocalypse 91. The Enemy Strikes Back)

Article of the Week

Sociology is a relatively new study among other social science disciplines including economics, political science, anthropology, psychology
The term was coined by Auguste Comte, who hoped to unify all studies of humankind--including history, psychology and economics. His own sociological scheme was typical of the 18th century; he believed all human life had passed through the same distinct historical stages and that, if one could grasp this progress, one could prescribe the remedies for social ills.

In the end, Sociology did not replace the other social sciences, but came to be another of them, with its own particular emphases in terms of subject matter and methods. Today, Sociology studies humankind's organizations and social institutions, largely by a comparative method. It has concentrated particularly on the organization of complex industrial societies.

Further information on the Carbon Trust's main areas of activity. Learn about Carbon management and our support for low carbon companies and R&D programmes.

Major Branches
conflict theory
interactionism or Social Action theory and symbolic-interactionism
sociology of knowledge (or: social constructionism)

Specialised areas
Environmental sociology
Human ecology (sometimes included into sociology proper)
Industrial sociology
Medical sociology
Micro sociology
Political sociology
Rural sociology
Sociology of religion
Sociology of science and technology
Systems theory
Urban sociology

Key Sociological Topics:
justified irresponsibility
role and role homogeneity
social structure

Sociology and the internet

See our latest evidence briefings, on social mobility and innovation in the UK. 

    The internet is of interest for sociologists in three views at least: as a tool for research, for example by using online questionnaires instead of paper ones, as a discussion platform (see 'External links' section below), and as a research topic. Sociology of the internet in the last sense includes analysis of online communities (e.g. as found in newsgroups) and virtual communities, organisational change catalysed through new media like the internet as well as societal change at-large in the transformation from industrial to informational society (or to information society).

    Terms and Methods
    sociological perspective
    social fact
    Methods: quantitative method, qualitative method, ethnography