Sociology as a discipline aims at understanding the social influences which help to shape our lives. A sociologist’s main task is therefore to understand what lies beneath the visible aspects of social life as well as what factors influence the behaviour of people.

Because of the complex nature of social reality, sociologists usually specialise in issues related to a particular aspect of social life. Students working towards a degree in the Commerce Faculty might therefore be more interested in industrial & economic sociology as part of the curriculum.

At Rhodes University students do a core year of general sociology and then specialise at second and third year in industrial and economic sociology. If we say that sociology is a discipline concerned with the scientific analysis and understanding of society, it follows that industrial & economic sociology can be seen as the application of sociological knowledge to the industrial sphere.

Industrial & economic sociologists are concerned with understanding the nature and functions of industry, and its impact on society. This ranges from a study of the rise of modern corporations and the spread of industrialisation to an examination of changes in managerial strategies.

Industrial & economic sociology equips the student with the analytical tools to understand the social context in which industries function. This includes an analysis of:
• industrial relations
• industrialisation and development
• organisational studies
• trade unions
• technological changes
• the nature of work in modern societies.

A premium is placed on research and report writing skills. Both Industrial & Economic sociology 2 and 3 contain a research component which is designed to take students step-by-step through the process of social scientific research. These skills will prove invaluable to most career paths a commerce student may choose.

A background in industrial & economic sociology provides a student not only with a wide-ranging introduction to industrial societies, but also allows for an insight into the group dynamics that shape the evolution of industrial organisations. Our students have found employment as human resource managers, industrial relations consultants, development consultants, researchers, advisors to policy makers and public relations officers. Industrial & economic sociology can be a great asset to any commerce student and will reveal the human and social side to all business decisions.

For more information: Sociology

Last Modified: Fri, 28 Jul 2017 11:56:01 SAST