The systematic study of social behaviour in human societies. Goals of sociology: describe the social world explain how and why: critique existing social arrangements. Emergence of sociology: 1838 auguste comte a new way of looking at the world =sociology, understand rapid social change industrialization 17th to 19th centuries . A theory is a statement of how and why certain facts are related. It explains patterns based on theoretical paradigms - a basic image of society guiding thinking and research. Theoretical paradigms: structural functionalism conflict theory symbolic interatctionism . Structural functionalism a macro-level orientation: broad patterns shape society as a whole, structures are stable patterns of social behaviour, institutions are subsystems" of enduring patterns of social relationships. The normal state of the system is equilibrium. Changes in one structure or institution provoke changes in others. There is a wide spread consensus about societal values.