What Does Sociopolitical Mean?

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Many topics studied by sociologists, economists and political scientists are not strictly sociological, economic or political in nature. Issues such as environmental protection, social inequality and the role of religion in society, among others, involve social and political factors, making them sociopolitical in nature.

1 Identification

The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the adjective “sociopolitical” as involving or pertaining to political and social factors. The dictionary states that the first known use of the term was in 1884.

2 Theories/Speculation

The field of political sociology offers various theories to explain issues involving politics and society. These include pluralism, which suggests that society’s diverse groups hold conflicting interests and try to resolve them in the political arena. Elite theory suggests that an elite group holds most of the sociopolitical power, and manipulates the political system to serve its own ends.

3 Features

Sociopolitical matters apply to many contemporary issues, including immigration, poverty, the role of religion in politics, and social inequalities along racial lines.

Shane Hall is a writer and research analyst with more than 20 years of experience. His work has appeared in "Brookings Papers on Education Policy," "Population and Development" and various Texas newspapers. Hall has a Doctor of Philosophy in political economy and is a former college instructor of economics and political science.