5 Characteristics of a Sociologist
- Strong Critical Thinking Skills
- Curiosity and Interest in Society
- Interpersonal Intelligence
- Intrapersonal Intelligence
- Strong Analytical Skills
By its broadest definition, sociology is the study of human society. Areas of interest under the sociology umbrella include social systems, social development, and social structure. While we all take part in producing material for sociologists to study simply by existing, not everyone is cut out to be a bona fide sociologist. These five characteristics are common to those who are.
1. Strong Critical Thinking Skills
Humans are dynamic. Therefore they create dynamic societies. Rules and structure are instantly developing and changing as people make discoveries and adapt to diverse environments. Inevitably, social problems also ebb and flow. To sustain a successful career in such a seemingly unpredictable field, sociologists must possess a high degree of critical thinking to say ahead of the curve.
2. Curiosity and Interest in Society
Sociology is not for those who prefer to steer clear of people and exist in isolation. To understand and influence society, one needs to spend time engaged in society in multiple ways. One must experience a constant genuine interest in human beings and the ways they live. It also helps for sociologists to possess a high degree of curiosity that leads to asking a lot of questions and seeking answers.
3. Interpersonal Intelligence
Interpersonal Intelligence involves the ability to identify, accurately interpret, and appropriately respond to the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of other people. Social psychologists need to have this skill. They must be able to assess how various facets of society affect diverse human populations emotionally, mentally, and physically. They must be able to propose solutions that will be well received by a wide variety of individuals.
4. Intrapersonal Intelligence
On the flip side of interpersonal intelligence, sociologists must also be intrapersonally intelligent. This means they can identify, accurately interpret, and appropriately express (or know when not to express) their own emotions, thoughts, and instinctual behaviors. Sociologists must be able to set aside their own biases and internal experiences. Both interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence requires a high degree of emotional intelligence, the importance of which is described in this article by the Huffington Post.
5. Strong Analytical Skills
Sociologists spend a great deal of time observing people and gathering a broad range of information. Such information comes in the form of live witnessing, photographs and videos, interviews, documents, and data. They must sift through all forms of information to identify patterns and significance. This takes a high level of analytical skill, which further requires a great deal of patience.
Related Resource: 15 Best Affordable Sociology Degree Programs
If you are thinking of pursuing a career in sociology, consider these five characteristics. If you find yourself constantly wondering about society, interacting with or observing others, and skilled at managing thoughts, emotions, and information, sociology might be the right career path for you. As society will always exist and forever be changing, sociology is a professional field that will never dry up.