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Old Thursday, April 17, 2008
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Smile Some Important stuff about Sociology

Dear Brothers n Sisz.....

please find the below stuff on Sociology


Sociology is the scientific study of human social life, groups and societies.

There was no sociology as a distinct discipline before the advent of 19th century. As a distinct discipline it
emerged about the middle of the 19th century when European social observers began to use scientific
methods to test their ideas. It looks that three factors led to the development of sociology.

The first was the Industrial revolution.

By the mid 19th century Europe was changing from agriculture to factory production. There was
the emergence of new occupations as well as new avenues of employment away from the land.

Masses of people migrated to cities in search of jobs. Pull and push factors were instrumental in
such migrations. In the countryside, due to the nature of agricultural society, there were no
occupations that could be alternatives to agriculture. Hence people got pushed to look for new
places whereas the urban/industrial places with new job opportunities provided a pull to the same

At the new places there was anonymity, crowding, filth, and poverty. Ties to the land, to the
generations that had lived there before them, and to the ways of their life were abruptly broken.
Eventually the urban life brought radical changes in the lives of people.

The city greeted them with horrible working conditions: low pay; long and exhausting working
hours; dangerous work; foul smoke; and much noise. To survive the vagaries of life, families
had to permit their children to work in these uncongenial conditions.

People in these industrial cities developed new ideas about democracy and political rights. They did
not want to remain tied to their rulers. Therefore the ideas about individual liberty, individual
rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness emerged, which actually laid the foundation to future
political revolution.
The second factor that stimulated the development of sociology was imperialism. Europeans successfully
conquered many parts of the world. They were exposed to radically different cultures. Startled by these
contrasting ways of life, they began to ask why cultures differed.

The third impetus for the development of sociology was the success of the natural sciences. People moved
to question fundamental aspects of their social world. They started using the scientific method (systematic
observation, objectivity) to the study of human behaviour.

Auguste Comte

The idea of applying the scientific method to the social world, known as positivism, was apparently first
proposed by Auguste Comte (1798-1857). He was French. He migrated from a small town to Paris. The
changes he himself experienced, combined with those France underwent in the revolution, led Comte to
become interested in the two interrelated issues: social order (social static) and social change (social
What holds the society together (Why is there a social order)? And once the society is set then what causes
it to change? Why its directions change?

Comte concluded that the right way to answer such questions was to apply the scientific method to social
life. There must be laws that underlie the society. Therefore we should discover these principles by applying
scientific method to social world. Once these principles discovered then we could apply these for social

He advocated for building new societies on twin foundations of science and industry rather than on religion
and landowner-serf relationship.

This will be a new science and Comte named it as Sociology (1838) – the study of society. Comte is
credited with being the founder of sociology.

Other early pioneer names are:

Herbert Spenser (1820-1903)

He was an Englishman and is sometimes called second founder of sociology. He too believed that society
operates under some fixed laws. He was evolutionary and considered that societies evolve from lower to
higher forms. In this way he applied the ideas of Darwin to the development of human society, and hence
this approach may be called as Social Darwinism.

By following the basic principle of Social Darwinism Spenser advocated that ‘let the fittest survive’. There
should be no reform because it will help in the survival of lower order individuals. (Charity and helping the
poor were considered to be wrong). Spenser was a social philosopher rather than a social researcher.

Karl Marx (1818-1883)

Karl Marx was a German. According to him the key to human history is Class Conflict.
Not really a sociologist but wrote widely about history, philosophy, economics, political science.

Because of his insights into the relationship between the social classes, he is claimed to be an early
sociologist. He introduced one of the major perspectives in sociology – conflict perspective.

Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)

He was French. His primary goal was of getting sociology recognized as a separate academic discipline. His
systematic study comparing suicide rates among several countries revealed an underlying social factor:
People were more likely to commit suicide if their ties to others in their communities were weak. He
identified the key role of social integration in social life.

Max Weber (1864-1920)

Max Weber was a German. He used cross-cultural and historical materials in order to determine how
extensively social groups affect people’s orientations to life.

The Fields of Sociology

There is a big diversity in fields of interest in Sociology. There is long list of fields that have been provided
by the American Sociological Association as a Guide to Graduate Departments which is given below:

Biosociology Occupations/Professions
Collective Behaviour/Socioal Movements Penology/Corrections
Community Political Sociology
Comparative Sociology/Macro sociology Race/Ethnic/Minority Relations
Criminal Justice Religion
Criminology/Delinquency Rural Sociology
Cultural Sociology Small Groups
Demography Social Change
Development/Modernization Social Control
Deviant Behaviour/Social Disorganization Social Networks
Economy and Society Social Organizations/formal/complex

i will post 2nd chapter tommorow Inshallah

Be praying................
Obaid Khan

Last edited by Shooting Star; Friday, April 06, 2012 at 03:58 PM.
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recently koe barra name hey es field main contribute karne wala?
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great work.....................

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Yes, it is very useful material from Virtual University notes really helpful i also use this
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Default sociology

where is the second chapter?
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