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100 Sociology Research Topics for College-Level Courses

sociology research topics

If you’re in need of some really good research topics for a college-level sociology course, the following list of original ideas is way different from the run-of-the-mill sociology topics to research you’re accustomed to seeing in most classes. By writing about something new or controversial or out-of-the-box you are more likely to make a positive impact on your reading audience by standing apart from others’ written assignments. These sociology research topics for college students can help stir your creativity if you are looking to develop your own ideas because they are completely free to use, modify or revise any way you like. Try combining sociology research topics if you feel you can handle the challenge – and use the list throughout the semester and for future courses.

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Sociology Research Topics for College Students

The following sociology research topics list is a great way to start brainstorming several interesting ideas. They were pieced together using the latest in news from all around the world and are perfectly suitable as they are presented here or in customized form to fit within the parameters of your specific assignment. Don’t forget to share them and our education topics with your friends and classmates, especially if they too are having trouble coming up with their own interesting ideas:

Easy and Fun Social Studies Topics

  1. How do students respond to teachers who are willing to cut back on weekly homework? Do students perform better or worse on tests?
  2. How do popular television shows help create water-cooler culture? Should employers encourage this camaraderie if it means less time committed to work?
  3. Should students learn to budget so early in life or should they enjoy the fact that they have no important bills or responsibilities?
  4. How does binge-watching a television series help students budget the time they have to do homework later in the week?
  5. Is it more important to be popular or successful in school? What are the repercussions for doing both?
  6. Should childhood playground games be made into semi-professional sports? Consider your favorite game and explain how it can succeed at the pro level.
  7. Should students be allowed to bring their pets to school? What if it meant that homework scores and test scores would go up?
  8. Should students be allowed to critique their teachers and possibly even have them put in a kind of detention similar to what students face?
  9. What kinds of advantages does playing video games for more than 15 hours a week have on a student’s ability to learn?
  10. What are the advantages of communicating virtually? Is this going to replace the telephone altogether?

Controversial Sociological Topics

  1. Why do high school students have so much trouble fitting in with certain social groups? Is this a matter of personal choice or are there deeper issues involved?
  2. Is it possible to teach sexual education to students at earlier ages? How young is too young to learn about sex in schools?
  3. Does homeschooling negatively affect the way young adults build inter-personal skills with people in their communities?
  4. Should more incentives be made for parents who wish to homeschool their children in response to the failing educational system?
  5. Should U.S. voters be allowed to impeach or call for the resignation of official cabinet members appointed by the President?
  6. How are young women portrayed on popular television comedies? Do they fit certain stereotypes are they viewed as progressive?
  7. Should certain jobs prevent employees from displaying tattoos? What is the biggest concern preventing freedom of expression?
  8. Is it progressive to have transgender actors/actresses play transgender roles? Is it wrong to have someone who isn’t transgender portraying this role?
  9. Can a person of color play a historical person who was white? What does this say about society’s perception of race in acting?
  10. Should we integrate federal regulations demanding that corporations hire diversely in accordance with the current population?

Stimulating Sociological Questions

  1. Should racially-motivated groups that promote hatred towards others be granted all the rights and protections that come with free speech?
  2. Does racial profiling and targeting work? Consider the number of potentially dangerous acts that have been prevented because of this system?
  3. Is it wrong for sport franchise owners to select and draft players based on race? For instance, consider the reasons why professional basketball is predominantly black.
  4. In spite of its unethical nature, were there any results that indicated a level of success for aversion therapy experiments conducted in the 1970s to “treat” homosexuality?
  5. How does positive and negative reinforcement affect the way children learn and behave in the classroom before reaching their teenage years?
  6. Are prisons an effective way of rehabilitating criminals in preparation for entering society as law-abiding citizens or do prisons worsen their thinking and behaviors?
  7. How do people react to persons of authority in a controlled group? For instance, are people more likely to commit acts against their moral or ethical baseline because they are given orders?
  8. Are people more likely to act in agreement to controversial social movements because they wish to be a part of a larger group in power or do they genuinely believe in these movements?
  9. Have U.S. citizens become mindless sheep that are controlled by what their media preferences communicate, without considering alternative and more logical reporting?
  10. Are people more or less likely to help stray animals they view as helpless or are people’s behaviors predetermined without thought to the animals’ condition?

Food and Nutrition Research Topics for Sociology

  1. How nutritious are meals for people living in rural areas versus those living in urban areas?
  2. Are people who primarily rely on fast-food for economic reasons in a position to suffer early adult-onset diseases?
  3. How much does culture play into the way people decide what they choose to eat regularly?
  4. How much do sociological factors play into the types of treats or snacks parents give to children for lunch?
  5. Are overweight and obese parents more or less likely to incorporate healthier food options for their children?
  6. How much have cultural cuisines changed since the importation and deportation of different food flavors across the globe?
  7. Why do people respond to diet fads despite there being little to no evidence that they work in the long term?
  8. How much do social factors play into what a person chooses to eat when in public? Does this make for healthier overall eating choices?
  9. Why are people fascinated with cooking reality competition shows? Consider the fact that viewers do not actually get to try out the food.
  10. Has cooking on live television reached the heights of a spectator sport? Why are these kinds of shows so popular?

Unique and Interesting Research Topics

  1. What role does the extended family play on a person’s upbringing in relation to he/she views their place in society?
  2. In what ways has consumerism affected the way people do their shopping each year? Consider web and in-store shopping.
  3. How much does social hierarchy differ across different cultures? How has this changed in the last 25 years?
  4. How much does an urban landscape determine whether or not it can sustain a professional sports team?
  5. Why are local governments willing to allow specific types of businesses in their commercial zones but not allow other types?
  6. How much do gun stores and liquor stores affect the way a community is perceived by non-locals?
  7. Why are men more likely to watch male professional sports that also have female professional sports counterpart (e.g., NBA vs. WNBA)?
  8. How much does physical attractiveness affect the ways in which people develop trust in others?
  9. How have social movements changed the landscape of how people vote on Election Day?
  10. Are interracial marriages still viewed upon as a challenge to societal norms or is it regularly accepted throughout the U.S.

Good Sociology Research Topics

  1. How did the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s affect the way people protest or fight for a cause in today’s world of social media?
  2. What changes have occurred in the number of calories people in the U.S. consume per meal over the past 50 years?
  3. Have technological advancements changed the way people in the United States eat? Has it been for better or for worse?
  4. How do we measure appropriate or normal deviant behavior in teenagers and young adults? When should caretakers become concerned?
  5. Are people more inclined to passively support a social cause by following an advocate group or organization online instead of actively attending rallies or demonstrations?
  6. How are cults able to seduce and influence young people to join their causes despite being predominantly anti-government and establishment?
  7. What does it mean to be a social activist in the 21st century? Does one have to be knowledgeable of the cause or can one simply provide passive support?
  8. How does popular music impact the way youth respond to people in positions of authority (e.g., police, teachers, parents, etc.)?
  9. Do Americans still care about altruistic acts? Or is this largely seen as a gesture to be made by the super-rich?
  10. Does society care for the kind of marital couple (gay or straight) will be raising children or is this an outdated thought?

Popular Social Experiment Ideas

  1. Why are certain hobbies or activities more socially acceptable in terms of popularity than others (e.g., stamp collecting versus record collecting)?
  2. How does modern music in any genre capable of telling people how to act and how to dress? Is this a form of shaming others who do not like certain types of music?
  3. What can be gained by using childbirth rates in different ethnic populations as a means to determine public policy?
  4. Are people who regularly study at the library more knowledgeable about world affairs than those who get information online?
  5. Are high school athletes better prepared to form strong social bonds with others as they become young adults?
  6. How much of an advantage do students who sit at the front of the class get over those that sit in the back of the class?
  7. Do students who score higher on homework assignments more likely to score higher on standardized testing?
  8. What effects does recycling for environmental reasons have on a person’s social well-being? What about recycling for financial reasons?
  9. How does geography factor into the way populations are perceived? For example, consider people who prosper in small or rural towns versus those who prosper in big cities.
  10. Should the rich be taxed more than the fair rate in order to offset the costs of expensive social programs they don’t need to rely on?

Compelling Sociology Research Topics Ideas

  1. Do certain reality shows that portray young people as privileged individuals distort perceptions about life in young adults?
  2. Should professional sports athletes have the right to holdout from playing season games even though it violates their contracts?
  3. Which of the four major sports leagues in America has the best collective bargaining agreement between owners and players?
  4. What are some of the biggest topics or issues most people in the United States refrain from discussing in a public setting?
  5. Is it acceptable in today’s society for a man to hit a woman? Are there instances of self-defense where a man can do so if he is physically smaller?
  6. Can you defend somebody who is morally or ethically in disagreement with your own beliefs? To what extent would you defend that person?
  7. What are the most common misconceptions about television and radio advertisements featuring today’s young people?
  8. Is it possible for a person of wealth and power to be fully-ethical in a society where the wealth gap continues to increase disproportionately?
  9. Some people argue that the decline of democratic countries around the world has seen a decline in power as a result of feminist movements. Argue for or against this opinion?
  10. Are people who are in poverty to blame for their own circumstances? Or are other people in society partly or wholly responsible for not aiding those in need?

Media and Communication Sociology Topics

  1. How have cities across the U.S. been affected by the way television news media outlets communicate information related to prosperity and distress in these areas?
  2. Are popular movies and television shows negatively impacting the way young adults view sexuality?
  3. In what ways do media outlets paint a negative picture of people with mental or physical disabilities?
  4. How do popular reality shows perpetuate stereotypes? Are viewers aware of the artificial portrayal of the people on these shows?
  5. Are young men and women between the ages of 21 – 25 presented differently on television? How is this different from men and women in other age groups?
  6. Do certain media outlets prevent people who are convicted of crimes from receiving a fair and impartial trial because of the way they are portrayed?
  7. Do the media focus too much on their own profit? How does this affect the way news is reported to the public?
  8. How has social media changed the way people learn about and react to global affairs? What problems arise from people who depend too much on social media?
  9. Do social media platforms promote cyberbullying and harassing behavior among youths? Should parents be held accountable for their children’s behavior on these sites?
  10. Why have social media sites become so popular? Do they discourage people from developing solid personal relationships with one another?

Sociology Research Proposal Topics

  1. How have the mainstream comedic animated television shows (e.g., The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park) become such a part of American culture?
  2. Do you believe that women have fewer educational and professional opportunities than men? Is this true in most industries or are some more discriminatory than others?
  3. What role does birth control have in the United States taking into consideration the current Presidency and the Republican’s control in the Senate?
  4. How does one’s choice in clothing affect the way he or she is perceived by co-workers and friends in today’s individualistic society?
  5. Is there a clear line between workplace harassment and compliments? Is this harder to identify or define in different cultural settings?
  6. How are gender and sexuality viewed by students in public school settings versus those who attend private schools?
  7. What does it mean to attain social status in today’s world where social media is a primary form of communication and expression?
  8. How important is it for people to retain cultural values and traditions (e.g., choice of food and familial connections) as a way to maintain historical identity?
  9. Is it better for students to take more courses at community college over six years than it is to take fewer courses at a four-year university?
  10. What are today’s most common student goals or aspirations and what is the likelihood for achieving them as fewer people that are currently in the workforce leave their jobs?

Need More Sociology Research Paper Topics or Ideas?

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