History Os Sociology

Topics: Sociology, Max Weber, Social sciences Pages: 26 (8059 words) Published: March 18, 2011
History of sociology
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Sociology emerged from enlightenment thought, shortly after the French Revolution, as a positivist science of society. Its genesis owed to various key movements in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of knowledge. Social analysis in a broader sense, however, has origins in the common stock of philosophy and necessarily pre-dates the field. Modern academic sociology arose as a reaction to modernity, capitalism, urbanization, rationalization, and secularization, bearing a particularly strong interest in the emergence of the modern nation state; its constituent institutions, its units of socialization, and its means of surveillance. An emphasis on the concept of modernity, rather than the Enlightenment, often distinguishes sociological discourse from that of classical political philosophy.[1] Within a relatively brief period of time the discipline greatly expanded and diverged, both topically and methodologically, particularly as a result of myriad reactions against empiricism. Historical debates are broadly marked by theoretical disputes over the primacy of either structure or agency. Contemporary social theory has tended toward the attempt to reconcile these dilemmas. Whilst postmodernist trends in recent years have seen a rise in highly abstracted theory, new quantitative data collection methods have also emerged, and remain common tools for governments, businesses and organizations. Social research sprang from sociology, but has since gained a degree of autonomy as practitioners from other disciplines share its purpose. Similarly, "social science" has come to be appropriated as an umbrella term to refer to various disciplines which study society or human culture. Contents[hide] * 1 Precursors * 1.1 Ancient times * 2 Origins * 2.1 Comte, Spencer and Marx * 2.2 Other precursors * 3 Foundation of the academic discipline * 3.1 The canon: Durkheim, Marx, Weber * 4 19th Century: From positivism to antipositivism * 5 20th Century: Critical theory, postmodernism, and positivist revival * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 Further reading * 9 External links| [edit] Precursors

[edit] Ancient times
Sociological reasoning may be traced back at least as far as the ancient Greeks (cf. Xenophanes′ remark: "If horses would adore gods, these gods would resemble horses"). Proto- sociological observations are to be found in the founding texts of Western philosophy (Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Polybius and so on), as well as in the non-European thought of figures such as Confucius.[2] The characteristic trends in the sociological thinking of the ancient Greeks can be traced back to the social environment. Because there was rarely any extensive or highly centralized political organization within states this allowed the tribal spirit of localism and provincialism to have free play. This tribal spirit of localism and provincialism pervaded most of the Greek thinking upon social phenomena.[3] The origin of the survey can be traced back to the Doomesday Book ordered by king William I in 1086.[4][5] There is evidence of early Muslim sociology from the 14th century. Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406), in his...

References: Burt, S., L. Code and L. Dorney, Changing Patterns: Women in Canada, second edition (Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1993). HQ1453 C48 1993
Columbia Encyclopedia, third edition, New York, Columbia University Press, 1963. AG5 C725 1963.
Eisenstein, Zillah, The Radical Future of Liberal Feminism (Boston, Notheastern University Press, 1986). HQ1154 E44 1986
Hunt, E. K., Property and Prophets: the Evolution of Economic Institutions and Ideologies, sixth edition, New York, Harper and Row, 1990.
Ritzer, G., Sociological, Theory, third edition, New York, McGraw-Hill, 1992. HM24 R4938
Sydie, R. A., Natural Women Cultured Men: A Feminist Perspective on Sociological Theory, Toronto, Methuen, 1987. HM51 S97 1987.
Tong, Rosemarie, Feminist Thought: A Comprehensive Introduction (Boulder, Westview Press, 1989). HQ1206 T65 1989
Zeitlin, Irving M., Ideology and the Development of Sociological Thought, fourth edition, Englewood Cliffs, N. J., Prentice Hall, 1990. HM19 Z4
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