Sociology: A Very Short Introduction explores the tension between the individual's role in society and society's role in shaping the individual, and demonstrates the value of sociology as a perspective for understanding the modern world. Sociology is both popular and reviled. People who pursue it professionally risk being mocked. Traditional academic disciplines deride it as unscholarly. However, many of its assumptions are taken for granted and its perspectives adopted. What is sociology? What isn't sociology? What does it mean to describe sociology as a social science? Social scientists find it harder to agree with each other than natural scientists.