Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: March 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939645 | Print ISBN: 9781412916080 | Online ISBN: 9781412939645 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 96: Applied Sociology
Applied sociology Applied sociology is the oldest and most general term for what Lester F. Ward (1903) identified more than 100 years ago as “the means and methods for the artificial improvement of social conditions on the part of man and society as conscious and intelligent agents” (p. vii). Applied sociology uses sociological knowledge and research skills to gain empirically based knowledge to inform decision makers, clients, and the general public about social problems, issues, processes, and conditions so that they might make informed choices and improve the quality of life (Rossi and Whyte 1983; Steele, Scarisbrick-Hauser, and Hauser 1999). In its broadest sense applied sociology encompasses evaluation research, needs assessment, market research, social indicators, and demographics. It would also include directed sociological research in medicine, mental health, complex organizations, work, education, and the military to mention but a few. Today, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, this concept ...