My academic interests to this point may not scream that sociology is the logical choice for me, but I do feel as though it is a good fit. The programs I considered at the same time as sociology were counseling and a liberal studies degree. Counseling was and is my first choice, but things just did not align for that, so I am restricted to a more academic pursuit. In retrospect I was drawn to counseling because of status and stigma, I am not drawn to it as an academic discipline as I am with sociology.
So, why sociology? Sociology is the academic discipline that is able to contain all of my academic interests neatly in a single program. Mental health and psychology do not cover my interests in social customs such as marriage and religion. Psychology treats my deviant behavior I interests as things to be treated and not things to be understood in a social context. My belief is that most behaviors and factors that affect daily life are based in some form of social learning or socialized construction. For this reason sociology interests me and is an academic discipline that I feel strongly toward. I feel that I can benefit the field of sociology and I feel that it can benefit me.
I will have a hard time trying to decide what I want to put the most emphasis on in my degree as there are so many areas that draw me in.
Deviant behavior is a big area for me. I am interested in it generally from the aspect of why deviant behavior exists or why deviance is a classification of behavior. I am also interested in the cultures of deviance such as those involved in fetish and sadomasochistic communities. A key question in this area is "why do non-conforming people form communities?".
On the other side of deviance is the conforming world of family, marriage and religion. Religion fascinates me because I don’t have one and thus the social forces involved in religion is a total mystery to me. From my first sociology class as an undergrad (in 2004) I have contemplated the meaning of family and the origins of it’s definition. I suppose my question here is: "what is a traditional family and why is the concept of the traditional family perceived as critical to social cohesion?".
Why sociology? I am intrigued by structural systems of power and their influence on the individual.