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What is sociology?

  • Course: Sociology
  • Professor: Dr. williams
  • School: M.s 334
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Sociology as a science and particularly as a separate field of study is of recent origin. It is the youngest of the social sciences. August Comte, the father of sociology, first of conceived the word ‘sociology’ in, 1839. He had intended to name the new science social physics, but he rejected this term after a Belgian scholar, Adolphe Quetelet, began to make statistical studies of society and to call his area of Endeavour social physics.

The word sociology is a barbaric combination of Latin word ‘socius’ and Greek word Logus, Logus connotes study on a high level and socius points to society. Thus, etymologically, sociology means the study of society on a highly generalised or abstract level. In other words, the etymological meaning of sociology is the ‘science of society’.

In a primary way, society may be defined as men or human beings in interdependence. Men in interdependence therefore may be taken as the subject matter of sociology. Other sciences study men as individuals or as collections of individuals but do not study their interdependence.

Sociology is the science of society as a whole. No other social science endeavours to study society in totality. Social sciences like history, economics, political science, anthropology, psychology etc. deal with particular aspect of society. Political science deals with political institutions and political activities.

History deals with unique events relating to past. Economic is concerned with activities relating to production and consumption. These social sciences do not give a complete picture of the society. Sociology on the other hand, studies society in its entirety.

It essentially and fundamentally deals with that network of social relationships we call society. Science has been defined as a body of knowledge. Sociology is also a body of knowledge about society. Sociology as science of society refers to a body of knowledge about society which has been empirically tested. Society may be defined as...