Sociology Term Paper Topics

SociologySociology offers a great variety of term paper topics partially because this field of study is comparatively old. The origins of sociology are usually traced back to 1839 and the coining of the term by Auguste Comte, one of the important thinkers in the history of the discipline. However, others trace intellectual concern for sociological issues much further back, and it could be argued that scholars (and non-scholars) have been thinking sociologically since the early history of humankind. However, it was not until about a half-century after Comte’s creation of the concept that sociology began to develop as a formal and clearly distinct discipline, primarily, at least at first, in Europe and the United States. It was another French thinker, Emile Durkheim, who in the late 1800s was responsible for distinguishing clearly the subject matter of sociology from neighboring fields such as psychology and biology. Sociology became institutionalized in France (thanks, importantly, to Durkheim’s efforts), as well as in Germany, Great Britain, and the United States. While sociology in the United States did not take the early lead in the development of key ideas and theories, it did move strongly in the direction of institutionalization (as did sociology in other nations, especially Great Britain). Sociology has grown enormously in the one hundred- plus years since the work of Durkheim and the early institutionalization of the field and is today a truly globe-straddling discipline.

The field of sociology had been growing and evolving rapidly in the post-World War II period. Possibly the decades of the 1960s and 1970s will be seen in retrospect as one of the periods of great change for the discipline.

Sociology is a highly dynamic discipline that is constantly undergoing changes of various types and magnitudes. This greatly complicates choosing a good sociology term paper topic. This is traceable to changes both within the field and in the larger social world that it studies.

In terms of changes in sociology, this section includes many traditional concepts, such as primary groups, dyad and triad, norms, values, culture, and so on, but supplements these with a broad assortment of more recently coined and/or popularized topics, such as distanciation and disembedding, glocalization, simulation, implosion, postpositivism, and imagined communities.

The List of Sociology Term Paper Topics

The broad headings give the students a sense of the great sweep of sociology that includes such diverse subjects as crime and deviance, demography/population, education, family, gender, health and medicine, media, politics, popular culture, race/ethnicity, religion, science, sexuality, social psychology, social stratification, sport, and urbanization.

To take just one example, the crime and deviance category includes not only a general overview of crime, but also articles on such specific topics as capital punishment, child abuse, cybercrime, hate crimes, male rape, political crime, victimization, and many more. To take another example, articles on the economy range all the way from major events (Industrial Revolution and the rise of post-industrial society), theories (rational choice), and people (Karl Marx) to a wide array of other topics including money, occupations, poverty, wealth, shopping, and the ethnic/informal economy. We hope to give you a full range of possible term paper topics in the wide field of sociology.

The list that follows offers hundreds of ideas for you to choose from. The broader categories are in bold, with suggested topics listed below (10 for each category). The links will lead you to more topical overviews.

Sociology of Crime and Deviance

  • Addiction and Dependency
  • Aggression
  • Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
  • Capital Punishment
  • Child Abuse
  • Crime
  • Criminology
  • Cybercrime
  • Death Penalty as a Social Problem
  • Violent Crime

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Sociology of Culture, Media, and Sport

  • Acculturation
  • Censorship
  • Cultural Capital
  • Cultural Relativism
  • Cyberculture
  • Media and Globalization
  • Politics and Media
  • Popular Culture
  • Sport and Culture
  • Values

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Sociology of Demography and Ecology

  • Aging
  • Demography
  • Ecological Problems
  • Environmental Movements
  • Family Demography
  • Gender, Work, and Family
  • HIV/AIDS and Population
  • Immigration Policy
  • Population and Gender

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Sociology of Economy and Consumption

  • Bankruptcy
  • Brand Culture
  • Capitalism
  • Consumption and the Internet
  • Division of Labor
  • Economic Development
  • Global Economy
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Marxism and Sociology
  • Poverty

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Sociology of Education

  • Affirmative Action
  • Community College
  • Educational Inequality
  • Gender and Education
  • Hidden Curriculum
  • Literacy/Illiteracy
  • School Segregation and Desegregation
  • Sex Education
  • Status Attainment
  • Tracking

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Sociology of Family and Friendship

  • Childhood
  • Cohabitation
  • Divorce
  • Domestic Violence
  • Family Poverty
  • Intimacy
  • Lone-Parent Families
  • Love and Commitment
  • Motherhood
  • Same-Sex Marriage/Civil Unions

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Sociology of Gender and Sexuality

  • Bisexuality
  • Body and Sexuality
  • Compulsory Heterosexuality
  • Cultural Feminism
  • Female Masculinity
  • Gender Bias
  • Homophobia
  • Patriarchy
  • Pornography and Erotica
  • Sexual Health

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Sociology of Health and Medicine

  • Sociology of AIDS
  • Death and Dying
  • Epidemiology
  • Euthanasia
  • Health Care Delivery Systems
  • Health and Culture
  • Health and Medicine
  • Socialized Medicine
  • Sociology in Medicine
  • Women’s Health

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Key Figures in Sociology

  • Comte, Auguste
  • Du Bois, W. E. B.
  • Durkheim, Emile
  • Foucault, Michel
  • Freud, Sigmund
  • Kinsey, Alfred
  • Marx, Karl
  • Schumpeter, Joseph A.
  • Tocqueville, Alexis de
  • Weber, Max

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Sociology of Management and Organizations

  • Bureaucratic Personality
  • Corporate Crime
  • Japanese-Style Management
  • Labor Markets
  • Labor Process
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Organizations
  • Outsourcing
  • Transnationals

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Sociological Methods

  • Bell Curve
  • Chance and Probability
  • Correlation
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Ethnography
  • Gini Coefficient
  • Historical and Comparative Methods
  • Hypotheses
  • Paradigms
  • Theory and Methods

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Sociology of Politics and Law

  • Anarchism
  • Authority and Legitimacy
  • Conservatism
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Empire
  • Fascism
  • Global Politics
  • Imperialism
  • Political Economy
  • Welfare State

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Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

  • Affirmative Action
  • Assimilation
  • Decolonization
  • Diaspora
  • Ethnic Enclaves
  • Ethnocentrism
  • Immigration
  • Multiculturalism
  • Prejudice
  • Tolerance

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Sociology of Religion

  • Asceticism
  • Belief
  • Buddhism
  • Fundamentalism
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Myth
  • Ritual
  • Scientology
  • Secularization

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Sociology of Science

  • Actor-Network Theory
  • Chance and Probability
  • Ecology
  • Eugenics
  • Experiment
  • Fact, Theory, and Hypothesis
  • Genetic Engineering as a Social Problem
  • Human Genome and the Science of Life
  • Scientific Revolution
  • Technology, Science, and Culture

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Social Change, Social Movements and Globalization

  • Animal Rights Movements
  • Anti-War and Peace Movements
  • Collective Action
  • Collective Identity
  • Crowd Behavior
  • Cultural Imperialism
  • Economic Development
  • Gay and Lesbian Movement
  • Global Justice as a Social Movement
  • Women’s Movements

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Social Problems

  • Abortion as a Social Problem
  • Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
  • Capital Punishment
  • Discrimination
  • Divorce
  • Domestic Violence
  • Ecological Problems
  • Eugenics
  • Gambling as a Social Problem
  • Homelessness

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Social Psychology

  • Affect Control Theory
  • Aggression
  • Behaviorism
  • Collective Action
  • Group Processes
  • Identity Control Theory
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Public Opinion
  • Social Learning Theory
  • Symbolic Interaction

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Social Stratification

  • Bourgeoisie and Proletariat
  • Caste: Inequalities Past and Present
  • Dual Labor Markets
  • Educational Inequality
  • Family Poverty
  • Gender Oppression
  • Leisure Class
  • Power Elite
  • Status Attainment
  • Wealth

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Social Theory

  • Actor-Network Theory
  • Affect Control Theory
  • Conflict Theory
  • Deterrence Theory
  • Exchange Network Theory
  • Family Theory
  • Grounded Theory
  • Identity Control Theory
  • Organization Theory
  • Power-Dependence Theory

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Urban Sociology

  • Suburbs
  • Urban Ecology
  • Urban Policy
  • Urban Political Economy
  • Urban Poverty
  • Urban Renewal and Redevelopment
  • Urban Revolution
  • Urban Space
  • Urban Tourism
  • Urbanization

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