Sociology is a vast area of study, with hundreds of officially recognized sub fields which examine human thought, actions, structures, and systems. Virtually every type and purpose of human thought and activity and action is studied in one field of sociology or another.
Human action and thought are on one side of the equation. The cultural and social structures that people have around them are on the other side of the equation. Sociology’s purpose is to understand how the cultural and social structures shape human action and thought; and, conversely, how human action and thought shape cultural and social structures.
The purpose of sociology is to study at all levels of human thought and activity, from the individual and personal level to the global level. Human thought about race, romance, friend, family or foe is studied at the interpersonal level, where the surrounding social structure, family structure, community and legal system shape their beliefs and attitudes, and eventually determine what is and is not allowed under the law.
On the larger scales of interpersonal, community and national level, religion is studied as both a cultural and social structure that shapes and human action and thought, and how the human action and thought shape the organization and structure of religions. The same goes for the governments and their laws that both shape and are shaped by human action and thought.
The purpose of sociology can be to study in order to classify, quantify, identify, and perform functions that are very anthropological in their construct in observing societies in the whole. Sociology can develop hypothesis of cause and effect, then measure the strength of the relationship or the validity of the hypothesis using the scientific methodology of the “hard” sciences. Additionally, sociologists can develop other models, algorithms, and structured analysis that can be used to quantify, forecast or examine complex interactions between large groups of humans within the larger and more established social structures and systems. .
Even chaos in human action and thought, for example, in the form of mob violence, in situations of combat, catastrophic disaster, and riots are studied. The tools, techniques and methodology that is developed evolves into practical tools for a variety of agencies of society.
Finally, the ultimate purpose of Sociology is to formulate a discipline of thought and methodology that leads to objective, comprehensive, effective, honest, and critical thinking when observing and and describing human thought, interaction, systems, structures, and action.