Emergence of Sociology

Topics: Sociology, Max Weber, Anthropology Pages: 10 (1858 words) Published: August 27, 2013
Emergence of Sociology and the
History of Sociological Thought


Socius (Latin)
-which means groups or partners

Logus (Greek)
-which means science or study


A.) Scientific study of patterns of human interaction that deals with the study of group life.

B.) Study of patterns and processes of human relations.

C.) Study of current issues and problems such as ethnic relations, family life, community life and participation, social mobility, etc.

D.) A body of scientific knowledge with theories based on scientific investigation rather than “Armchair speculation”.

The History and Development of Sociology as a Discipline

Origins of Sociology

Philosophers/religious authorities way of observing human behavior were not tested and verified. Although they predicted that a systematic study of human behavior would one day emerge.

How sociology as a discipline evolves:


Mechanization/Technological advancements
* Nature of work affected social relations and social interaction * Development of education/structures/communication
* Rural to urban migration – urbanization
* Mass production, trade, employment and unemployment
Power, Bureaucracy, growth of mass movements

Evolution of economic systems:

* Mercantilism
----- gold and silver
* Feudalism
------- land, landlord and tenancy system
* capitalism
------- labor and capital
* Socialism
------private ownership
* Communism
------classless society

Pioneers in the Development of Sociology:

Abdel Rahman Ibn-Khaldun

* Scientific study of society;
* Empirical research;
* Search for the causes of social phenomena;
* Interested in comparing primitive and modern societies; * Devoted considerable attention to various institutions.

Auguste Comte ( 1798-1857 )

* Father of Sociology
* Coined the word Sociology, insisted that it could make a critical contribution to a new and improved human community * Positive Philosophy (1855)
* Positivism – positive method/scientific method emphasizes the techniques of observation, comparison and experimentation in the development of knowledge concerning the nature of society and human action * Sociology as the queen of sciences and practitioners as “scientist-priests”

Law of the Three Stages (Comte)

* Theological
God is the center of everything
* Metaphysical
Supernatural, Greek gods and goddesses
* Philosophical
“armchair speculation”/pedantic academic or not socially grounded * positivism, empirical investigation

Harriet Martineau
* English sociologist, wrote a book Society in America which examined customs and social practices in US and Britain; * People learned Comte’s work through her translations; * Her writings emphasized the impact of law, economy, trade, health and population to the social problems of contemporary society. * Gave special attention to social class distinctions to such factors as gender and race; * Conducted research on the nature of employment of women; * Asserted the role of scholars and intellectuals not only on observations of social conditions but to ACT on these conditions.

Herbert Spencer ( 1820-1903 )

“One need not be highly critical for the change of society”.

* Victorian Englishman, noted in understanding the society not in changing it * Adapted Darwinian’s principle “survival of the fittest” (it is natural that the rich are rich and the poor as poor)

Emile Durkheim ( 1858-1919 )

* French philosopher, Father of Scientific Sociology;
* “Behavior to be understood within a social context”; * Religion reinforces social solidarity;
* Viewed that the growing division of labor and specialization results to lost of direction and purpose in life leading to anomie and eventually to suicide; * Sociology to provide...
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