Research in sociology is varied and diverse: for instance it can include family studies, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, criminology, economics and globalization, and social identities. Most sociologists do field studies and work directly with the people or groups they are studying, using methods such as questionnaires, interviews, and observational studies. Many sociologists work in collaboration with those in other fields such as political science, economics, law enforcement, psychology, social work, and healthcare.
An example of sociological research concerns the disadvantaged such as the economically poor, ethnic minorities, immigrants, aboriginals, women, criminals, and the homeless. Sociologists are working on a variety of projects designed to either determine why these groups are disadvantaged, or to improve their social situations. This includes initiatives such as building shelters, changing economic policy, creating new laws, educational programs, and overcoming language and cultural barriers. As well, new social problems arise as Western society and technology advances: researchers are also working on issues such as computer addiction, workplace violence, and sexual identity.
Many sociologists work in tandem with anthropologists to determine the history of various societies and how modern-day societies are different from those of the past. As well, sociologists and anthropologists often study specific groups for clues to how neighboring societies and cultures are influenced by social interactions and geography.