Micro vs Macro Sociology
Both, Micro Sociology and Macro Sociology, are major study points in sociology, but what is the difference between micro and macro sociology? Micro sociology deals with the nature of human behavior and human social interaction, based on small scale studies. On the other hand, macro sociology analyzes the social system and population studies in a larger scale. Usually, micro sociology focuses on the individual face to face interactions whereas in macro sociology, the small concepts are converted into wider social processes. In this article, we are going to discuss these two terms, micro and macro sociology.
What is Micro Sociology?
Micro sociology, as mentioned above, is concerned about the studies of people in face to face interactions. This basically studies the day to day connections of individuals with each others in a smaller scale. Since micro sociology is mostly dealing with individual interactions, it uses interpretation methods to analyze the collected data. It is difficult to use empirical data analysis or statistical methods in micro-sociological studies. In addition, the most common research method in this subject field is symbolic interactions. By observing the different methods of interactions among individuals, the micro sociologist can come into a conclusion.
Moreover, the subjects like social psychology, social anthropology can be considered as subdivisions of micro sociology. These subject fields focus more on individuals, thinking patterns in a smaller scale. When we consider about the micro level of a society, status of the society’s members, social roles are the most important phenomena in a particular social structure. Though the micro social analysis is important in understanding micro social interactions, it has its drawbacks as well. For example, we cannot determine the larger forces that might influence on individual behavior and interactions. However, micro sociology has been developed as a significant field in Sociology.
What is Macro Sociology?
This study area focuses on the social structure on a larger scale. Usually, macro sociology analyzes the social system as a whole and also it focuses on the whole population as well. Through macro sociology, we can come into broader concepts, unlike in micro sociology, and also macro studies can be applied to individuals as well. That means, macro sociology sometimes studies on the individual phenomena since individuals and their interactions are a part of a broader social system. Macro sociology deals with statistical analysis and also it incorporates empirical studies to come into conclusions. Further, macro-sociological studies focus more on the broad subject areas but later on the findings can be applied to small phenomena as well. For example, a macro sociology study can be based on the English speaking people as a whole and though they are scattered around the world, the final results are able to relate even to the smaller groups of people in a particular area who speaks English. However, the most common topics of macro sociology are war, poverty, social change, etc.
What is the difference between Micro and Macro Sociology?
When we look at both micro and macro sociology, we can identify differences as well as similarities. Both these fields are very important subject areas in Sociology. Also, they analyze the human behavior in the society in different angles. Both micro and macro-sociological theories can be applied to individual interactions.
• When we look at the differences, the major difference is that micro sociology deals with small scale human interactions whereas macro sociology focuses on wider social systems and structures.
• Moreover, micro sociology uses symbolic interpretation method in research and contrast macro sociology uses statistical and empirical analysis in its findings.
• Micro sociological results cannot be applied to broader concepts, but macro-sociological theories can be applied to the individual level as well.
• Macro sociology is more concerned in broad topics, such as war, gender relations, law, and bureaucracy whereas micro sociology is mostly interested in topics like family, social status and individual interactions.
• However, both micro and macro sociology are very important in understanding and analyzing human behavior and the society.