Chapter One: Meaning, Nature, and Scope of Sociology
Sociology is a new branch of social science, which primarily focused on society (social behavior). The term Sociology comes from the Latin “socius” meaning “companionship” and the Greek “logos”, meaning “science or study”. Literally, therefore, sociology means the study or the science of human society1. Sociology concerns on human behavior seeking to discover the causes and effects that arise in social relations among persons and in the inter-communication and interaction among persons and groups. It includes the study of the customs, structures, and institutions that emerge from interaction, of the forces that held together and weaken them, and of the effects that participation in groups and organizations have on the behavior and character of persons. Sociology studies human society at three levels: Society as a whole, Groups and associations, and Individuals within the social settings. In general, Sociology is a scientific study or science of: social phenomenon.
about human relationships.
relationship between man and his human environment.
human interactions, and interrelations, and their conditions and consequences. leaning about society. It is a description of ways to make society better. collective behavior.
seeking to discover the principles of cohesion and of order within the social structure. Common principle of human relationships and institutions which are studied in respect of social norms and values. Systematic study of origin, growth and development of institution as operated by the physical, mental and moral forces. 1.2 The Subject Matter of Sociology
In general, there are three paths that are available for delineating the subject matter of sociology: 1. The historical path: whereby we seek through study of the classical sociological writings to find the central traditional concerns and interests of sociology as an intellectual discipline. The historical path offers us the opportunity to benefit from the wisdom of the past. In brief, we ask, “What did the founding fathers say?” 2. The empirical path: whereby we study current sociological work to discover those subjects to which the discipline gives most attention. In other words, we ask, “What are contemporary sociologists doing?” 3. The analytical path: whereby we arbitrarily divide and delineate some larger subject matter and allocate it among different disciplines. Sociology emerged as a scientific discipline in early 19th century. The person who coined the word sociology was the French philosopher and thinker, Isidore Auguste Francois Marie Xavier Comte (1798-1857) who ‘freed’ sociology from social philosophy for the first time. He is regarded as one of the founding fathers of sociology. Sociology can also be defined as referring to the formal study of how humans behave in groups. Sociology tends to focus on how human groups originate, how they are organized, and how they relate to one another. It is the scientific study of human societies and human behavior in the many groups that make up a society. 1.3 The Sociological Imagination
It is an approach to the understanding of human behavior by placing it in its broader social context. To find out why people do what they do, sociologists look at social location, where people are located in history and on a particular society. Sociologists focus on such characteristics of people, as their job, income, education, gender, and race. The center of the sociological perspective lies the question “how people are influenced by society”. We usually think and speak of peoples’ behavior although it is caused by their sex, or their race, or some other factor transmitted by their genes. The sociological perspective helps us to escape from this narrow personal view by exposing the broader social context that underlies human behavior. It helps us to see the links between what people do and the social setting (social structure) that...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document