101 Sociology Research Topics That Make an Impact

, Staff Writer
Updated May 19, 2021
Sociology research topics with woman at library
    Sociology research topics with woman at library
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    Used under Getty Images license

Do you need to write a paper for a sociology class and aren't sure what to write about? Review this big list of impactful sociology research topics for inspiration. Whether you choose one of these topics or they spur another idea, you're sure to come up with a great basis for your research project.

Culture and Society Sociology Research Topics

Sociologists study culture and society, so there are many great ideas for sociology research related to these broad areas.

  • long term impact of cultural appropriation
  • impact of media on human behavior and attitude
  • key social justice issues impacting society
  • factors contributing to extreme polarization in society
  • impact of sensationalized media coverage and perceptions of current events
  • how political differences impact family relationships and friendships
  • militarized approach to policing
  • rise of hate groups in society
  • association between religion and political affiliation
  • evolution and impact of cancel culture
  • public distrust in elected officials and political appointees
  • senior citizens staying in the workforce beyond traditional retirement age
  • adult children caring for their aging parents while also caring for their own children
  • unique work-life separation challenges faced by those who work from home

Relationships are ideal subject matter for sociology papers. There are many options to consider, including subjects related to family, marriage, dating, and friendships.

  • impact of social media on human relationships
  • factors that contribute to spousal abuse
  • characteristics of childhood friendships that last a lifetime
  • impact of the industrial revolution on family structure
  • how marriage has evolved over time
  • unique challenges of interracial or multiethnic marriages
  • pros and cons of arranged marriages
  • relationship factors that commonly lead to divorce
  • prevalence of shared custody arrangements with children alternating weeks with each parent
  • impact of living together prior to marriage on long-term relationship success
  • impact of infertility on marriage success
  • unique challenges of utilizing a surrogate to carry one's baby
  • married couples who opt to refrain from having children
  • single adults who seek to have children without a co-parent
  • impact of polyamorous relationships on intimacy
  • impact of birth order (youngest child, middle child, oldest child) on behavior
  • causes and impact of helicopter parenting

Education Topics for Sociology Papers

Sociologists are very interested in topics related to all levels of education, from preschool through college and beyond. If you're interested in the impact of education on society, you're sure to find some of the topics listed below to be fascinating.

  • impact of preschool on success in elementary school
  • relationship between socioeconomic status and success in school
  • extent to which poor families depend on the school system to provide food for children
  • differences in school quality based on demographics of the population served
  • homeschool student outcomes compared to classroom-based learning
  • impact of inclusion on academic outcomes for students with learning disabilities
  • prevalence of bias in state-approved K-12 curricula
  • ensuring equality for schoolchildren from economically disadvantaged backgrounds
  • role of in-person school attendance on development of social skills in children
  • relationship between success in K-12 and success in college
  • extent to which standardized admissions exams predict success in college
  • impact of peer pressure on schoolchildren

Race and Ethnicity Sociology Research Topics

Sociologists often research societal factors related to race or ethnicity. If this subject matter interests you, there are plenty of options to consider.

  • impact of racial bias in the workplace
  • lack of minority representation in leadership roles
  • racial profiling by law enforcement
  • code-switching as a mechanism for fitting in with mainstream/majority population
  • occurrence of officer-involved shootings by race or ethnic group
  • impact of unconscious bias related to race and ethnicity
  • how race and ethnicity are represented in the media
  • separating children from parents attempting to enter a foreign country to seek asylum
  • extent of migrant assimilation into the culture of their new country of residence
  • ways immigrants stay connected to homeland culture while becoming part of a new country
  • extent of immigrant responsibility for financially supporting extended family members in their homeland
  • resistance to equality by the mainstream majority population
  • impact of gerrymandering voting districts on election outcomes

Conducting sociological research related to gender is a timely choice of subject matter for your research paper. Whether you're exploring gender in the workplace or in another context, the results of your research are sure to be fascinating.

  • types of sex-based workplace discrimination
  • impact of bro culture on women's rights
  • prevalence of the glass ceiling for women seeking executive roles
  • pay differentials for women vs. men performing similar jobs
  • gender stereotypes commonly presented in the media and entertainment industry
  • unique challenges faced by men in jobs traditionally held by women
  • common difficulties experienced by women in jobs traditionally held by men
  • ways to reduce violence against women
  • same-gender co-parenting considerations and concerns
  • unique challenges faced by individuals who are transgender
  • incorporating gender-neutral pronouns and other terms into everyday interactions
Sociology research topic gender in the workplace
    Sociology research topic gender in the workplace
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Drugs and Crime Topics for Sociology Papers

Sociologists often explore factors related to criminal activity and drug use, both from the perspective of what causes problems associated with these and how they impact people and society overall.

  • occurrence of opioid addiction based on population demographics
  • change in crime rate in areas where marijuana has been legalized
  • impact of unemployment rate on crime
  • amount of jail and prison space used for inmates with only minor drug offenses
  • association between drug abuse and prostitution
  • long-term success rate of addiction treatment programs
  • impact of methadone treatment on overcoming addiction
  • association between family socioeconomic status and juvenile crime
  • factors leading to gang affiliation or membership
  • drug of choice based on socioeconomic status

Many factors of interest to sociologists can be associated with or have an impact on mental health. If its aspect of sociology interests you, consider writing a research paper on one of the topics below.

  • impact of bullying on mental health
  • impact of competitive sports on kids' mental health
  • recognizing the signs of substance abuse
  • impact of medical marijuana use on depression in terminally ill patients
  • association between social media usage and social anxiety or depression
  • impact of school shootings on student, faculty, staff, and parent mental health
  • ways to overcome the stigma associated with mental illness and/or mental health treatment
  • relationship between mental illness and homelessness
  • ways to improve access to mental health care for those living in poverty
  • challenges of transitioning out of inpatient mental health care to independent living
  • difficulties associated with managing a mental health condition on a day to day basis
  • mechanisms people use to cope with or manage daily stressors
  • relationship between social media usage and narcissism

Health and Wellness Sociology Papers Topics

Mental health topics aren't the only health-related factors relevant to the field of sociology. Physical health and wellness also have important sociological implications.

  • high cost of health insurance and its impact on healthcare options for the working poor
  • limited access to quality healthcare for those with lower incomes
  • limited access to prenatal care by impoverished expectant mothers
  • short- and long-term physical and psychological impacts of living with a chronic illness
  • how herd immunity is impacted when parents choose not to follow medical recommendations for vaccinating their children
  • dietary differences as a function of socioeconomic status
  • health impact of eating a diet high in processed foods with little nutritional value
  • impact of fad diets on health outcomes
  • negative health outcomes associated with a sedentary lifestyle
  • impact of excessive screen time for work and/or entertainment on eyesight
  • impact on exposure to blue light from electronic devices on sleep habits
Sociology research topic health with men in gym
    Sociology research topic health with men in gym
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Writing Your Sociology Paper

Now that you have a lot of sociology papers topics ideas, the next step will be to choose one subject about which to write. As you prepare to write your paper, review this list of key sociology terms and concepts. Then, get ready to use your sociological imagination so you can consider the issue you're researching from multiple perspectives. From there, you'll just need to apply what you know about how to write a research paper. You'll be on your way to writing an impactful paper that imparts important information.