The word sociology was coined by a French philosopher by the name Auguste Comte in 1837. Up to that time, the matter of sociology was categorized under philosophy. It comprised of brilliant ideas and literature concerning interpersonal actions, group life, and social organization.
Historical Summary of Sociology
Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, began a systematic thought about society. At that time, their follower persisted in identifying society with its political order. As science, sociology developed in the 1800s in Europe.
France, Great Britain, and Germany were undergoing a rapid change in the political and industrial revolution. Following the emergence of new social classes, old norms could not work anymore. Cities developed along with the issues faced in the urban centers. Sociology seeks to explain human beliefs and activities underlying social realities.
The Historical Emergence of Sociology
Sociology emerged as a tool of social activism. Liberation movements emerged following inspirations by the work of the sociological thinkers. Sociology also offers a great framework for understanding global economic trends as the sociologists continue to have interests in structural relations such as inequalities and technology on human life.
Sociology is considered different from other social sciences in the sense that it makes an attempt to describe different forces that set in the development of society at different times and places. Society is dynamic and sociologists endeavor to explain the change based on its nature. The changes themselves lead to different explanations of this change.
For instance, Marx in his political, economic theory explains capitalism as it developed in Britain. This theory couldn’t have developed earlier since the forces he describes were only starting to develop. Based on Webers analysis, bureaucracy and rationalization emerged sooner because bureaucratic structures resulted from rationalization.
Durkheim analyzed the industrial development, the change in the division of labor and social trends. As the society continues to change, this change became apparent. New approaches and theories come up to understand and explain these changes.
Emile Durkheim is one of the most successful founding fathers of sociology. He created history within sociology. He came up with an elite system in France with enough content and method that it could be built upon. He emphasized the importance of methodological research.
Herbert Spencer was also a prominent sociologist. He developed the concept of evolution being the development of the physical world. He contributed greatly to the subject of religion, and economics. He came up with the idea of social Darwinism.
The University of Chicago had great sociologists at the time. It brought them together and gave them together, providing a working hub and a network to link them. They focused on studying human social problems and how the world dealt with them. Many people were hesitant of sociology based on the controversial theories by Weber and Marx.
In the twentieth century, improvements were made on quantitative methods used in sociology. The developments come following increased research. The social network gives an instance if a new paradigm. In many sociological fields, the influence of social networks is pervasive.
Sociology plays a significant role in provision of solutions to social problems. Most of the world’s problems are being solved through a scientific study of society. Sociology studies, social problems through scientific research and give a solution to the problem.