Studying sociology can involve understanding why society functions the way it does. From class to culture, religion to law and most sociology students find their own area of interest – their niche- and develop a passion for a certain facet of the social world or a certain issue or inequality. But after their education, sociology majors may find themselves wanting to do more than understand. Sociology can be used to enact great social changes, and one of the richest areas of opportunity can lie in advocacy work, where it’s possible to fight for a cause for a living.
- Child Advocacy
Advocacy for children deals mostly in the prevention of sexual and physical abuse. But they can also deal with cases of child neglect and making sure children have the proper food and care they deserve from their parents. Child Advocacy groups can address mental and behavioral issues, such as fighting for children with autism and attention deficit disorder. They are generally involved whenever justice for a child or the welfare of children is in jeopardy.
- Victims Advocacy
Advocating for victims can involve specialized areas in itself. There are organizations to fight for justice for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of violent crime. Various advocacy programs can fight to get victims financial compensation as well as support for their emotional trauma, usually working in conjunction with law enforcement or attorneys.
- Community Advocacy
Community advocates work for organizations that propose changes to policies and improvement of the local community such as working to improve schools and libraries, get funding for local projects, or provide low-income housing. They can also be involved with health and safety resources for the community and even homeless shelters – all things that benefit the local area as a whole as opposed to just individuals.
- Disability Advocacy
Working as a disability advocate can mean helping to support the rights of children and adults with a specific disability. They can advocate policy changes, help pursue legal action, and help provide housing and resources for the physically and mentally disabled. Often, they pinpoint discrimination and fight against it for some of society’s most vulnerable citizens.
- Environmental Advocacy
Fighting to make the planet greener – changing recycling laws, pushing for solar power, launching campaigns against oil rigs and the lowering of pollution standards – these are all part of environmental advocacy. It is one of the most up-and-coming areas of advocacy for a new generation, and organizations are directly involved with policies to support renewable energy.
There are many more types of advocacy organizations for the many issues that society faces and the many types of people who need determined professionals to work on their behalf. The great thing about sociology is everyone has a passion for at least one kind of change they would like to see in the world. Are you concerned with justice, equality, sustainability, or opportunities for all? I you are one of the people who would like to make the change happen, there are plenty of places to get started.