At least for an insider, sociology is not a very useful science, if it can be called a science or even a discipline. With its checkered history, it looks more like an “anomaly”. Although there are some glaring exceptions, the common denominator of most sociologists seems to be the belief that the individual, or at least the non-sociologist, is a product of society and that socialism is the solution to all problems. Current exceptions revolve around the rational-choice school of sociology, inspired by economists who apply their methods to “social” issues such as inequality, marriage, social capital, etc. Nobel Prize in Economics
In his Nobel lecture, “Economic Ways of Looking at Life,” Becker noted:
Specialists in fields that consider social questions are often drawn to economic methods of modeling behavior because of the analytical power afforded by the assumption of individual rationality. A rich school of rational choice theorists and empirical researchers is active in sociology, law, political science, history, anthropology, and psychology. The rational choice model provides the most promising basis currently available for a unified approach to the analysis of the social world by social science scholars.
In one of his most important works, Law, Law, and LibertyPublished in three volumes from 1973 to 1978 (University of Chicago Press, 2022, for a consolidated edition by Jeremy Shearmoor), Friedrich Hayek, also a Nobel economist, suggests that a distinct science of society (“sociology”) does no more than Meaning rather than a distinct science of the natural world (call it “natural science”):
I must confess here that, much as we should all be grateful for some of the descriptive work of sociologists, for which anthropologists and historians alike would have been worthy, I still see no argument for a theory. The discipline of sociology would stand for a theoretical discipline of natural science in addition to theoretical disciplines dealing with specific classes of natural or social phenomena. (p. 534)