American Sociological Association

Application and Sociological Practice

American sociology has a long tradition of using social science research to both study and inform public issues and public policy as well as to inform efforts to assist individuals, groups, and organizations in their social contexts. Applied sociology and sociological practice date to the nineteenth century. Working to ensure social science is communicated to individuals and groups that can use and benefit from it, applied sociology has expanded in the modern era. It may also involve working with community-based organizations, social movements, or public agencies, to produce new knowledge.

Specific effort by sociologists to bring science-based knowledge to publics and policy makers by translating theory and research into usable form has recently been referred to as “public sociology.” 

Section of Interest

Sociologists interested in application and sociological practice should consider joining the ASA Section on Sociological Practice and Public Sociology.   The purpose of the Section is to advance sociologically-informed research and practice, to further public discussion of sociological issues, and to promote the use of sociology to inform public policy

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