One upon time, those who taught English–specifically, composition–and who adhered to the advice of Strunk and White believed they had, in the discipline of sociology, a perfect example of a jargon-fountain. Then came Structuralist and post-Structuralist literary theory, a Niagra Falls of jargon, as well as a more clear-eyed view of Strunk’s and White’s limitations, including the fact that some of their “rules” were, of course, merely idiosyncratic preferences.
If you are looking for a clear, spare definition of sociology, look no further than the work of sociologist Emile Durkheim, who wrote . . .
“Sociology can then be defined as the science of institutions, of their genesis and their functioning.” (from The Rules of Sociological Method)
Strunk, White, and Orwell might have objected to the use of the passive voice here, but I think Durkheim’s use of it here is appropriate and, at worst, a nit to pick.
I have borrowed the definition from the excellent site, http://www.emile-durkheim.com/ .