factors that contributed to the rise and development of sociology

Topics: Sociology, Max Weber, Industrial Revolution Pages: 5 (1505 words) Published: September 20, 2013
This essay serves to outline the factors that contributed to the rise of sociology and the latter`s development. In simply terms, sociology is the scientific study of the society and human behavior. The emergence of sociology traces back to the eighteenth century up to present day. Johnson (1998) suggests that in summary, the rise and development of sociology is based on political, economic, demographic, social and scientific changes. Ritzer (2008) asserts that the immediate cause for the beginning of sociology were political unrests especially the French Revolution that took over from the eighteenth century to the nineteenth century. The turmoil of the French Revolution spread throughout Europe and other nations. Kornblum (2008) suggests that the political upheavals were associated with tremendous social changes. The political revolutions demolished the old social order and monarchies. There was social chaos and disorder in societies that were resulted in by the political revolutions especially in the French society. Social theorists were attracted by these societal changes that had been a result of the political unrests hence giving rise to the discipline of sociology. Auguste Comte (1798-1857) who is credited for being the founding father of sociology was attracted by the social changes that had arose in reaction to the political revolutions. The French philosopher Comte attributed his focus of study to the French society so as to restore social order. This marked the beginning of sociology. Therefore, it is wise to claim that the European political upheavals resulted in social changes which attracted a number of social theorists such as Comte thereby leading to the rise of the scientific study of society. Industrial Revolutions also contributed to the rise of sociology as a discipline and had great impact to the rise of sociology (Schaefer, 2010). Industrial Revolution was a period of transformation whereby economic modes of production changed from feudalism to capitalism. The industrial transformations gave in the establishment of factories and industries resulting in the creation of employment and social changes such as urbanization in the urban settlements. According to Kornblum (2008) ,individuals flocked from rural to urban settlements for employment that had been brought by the capitalist system. This resulted in over population, poor sanitation, poor health and high death rates due to poor working conditions in the urban settlements where industrialization had emerged upon. The lower classes that served as laborers for the capitalists were oppressed and exploited by the capitalists in the sense that both adults and children worked for long hours and were given low wages. Classical sociologists such as Karl Marx (1818-1883) were attracted to the study of society due to the unfair system of the capitalist economy that had been brought by the industrial revolution in Europe. Marx condemned the industrial societies and gave alternative models of society such as socialist and communist societies. As a result, it is wise to assert that societal changes brought by the industrial revolutions in Europe were one of the basic foundations of sociology. The industrial revolutions also had an impact in the beginning of American sociology. Johnson (1998) suggests that industrialization resulted in the beginning of sociology in the United States of America. Masses migrated from Europe to the United States of America due to the industrialization that had arisen in the United States of America. Individuals came to the United States of America in search of employment opportunities. The urban settlements of America were overpopulated thereby causing America social theorists to begin the scientific study of the society. American sociologists began studying social changes that had been resulted by the industrial revolution such as racism, theft and interaction among societal individuals. Charles Horton Cooley is one of the...
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