These concepts built a foundation for the field of sociology, and are still being used today by Robert Merton and others. Durkheimian traditions are primarily established as sociological, sometimes Criminological because his principles apply over the whole of society, including its deviant aspects. Until Durkheim's work, social science was not studied empirically.
Is the systematic study ofsocial behavior and humangroups. It focuses primarily on theinfluence of social relationshipsupon and behavior and on howsocieties are established andchanged.(Schaefer, 1989:5)
It is the ability to break ourselvesfree from our particularcircumstances and see our socialworld in a new light. Threecomponents that form thesociological imagination are: History – how society came to be and how it is changing and how history is being made in it.
Biography – the nature of “human nature” in a society; what kind of people inhabit a particular society. Social Structure – how the various institutional orders in a society operate which ones are dominant and how are they held together and how they might be changing
A sociological perspective will help usto understand this world and thefuture it is likely to hold for us. Ithelps us in the following ways: An improved understanding of a given set of social circumstances often gives us a better chance of controlling them.
Sociology provides the means of increasing our cultural sensitivities. Critical sociological thinking compels us to investigate the consequences of adopting particular policy programs that benefit the greater majority. It provides self-enlightenment, offering groups and individuals an increased opportunity to alter the conditions of their own lives.
History of Sociology Auguste Comte (1798-1857) Who coined the term sociology in1838 to describethis new wayof thinking
applying the scientific approach, which was first used to study the physical world to the study of society. favored positivism, defined as a way of understanding based on science; he believed that society is governed by invariable laws just as the physical world operates according to the laws of nature.
18th & 19 th centuries striking informations changed European society. Three changes were essentially important in the development of Sociology: The rise of factory-based industrial economy
The explosive growth of cities The new ideas about democracy and political rightsDiscipline of Sociology was bornin England, France, andGermany – where changes weregreatest.
20 thcentury Sociologybecame an academicdiscipline in the UnitedStates, stronglyinfluenced by Comte’sideas.
The Major Sociological ThinkersKarl MarxEmile DurkheimMax Weber
Marxs theories aboutsociety, economics andpolitics, which are collectivelyknown as Marxism, hold that allsocieties progress through thedialectic of class struggle. He washeavily critical of the currentsocio-economic form ofsociety, capitalism.
Under socialism, he argued that society would be governed by the working class in what he called the "dictatorship of the proletariat", the "workers state" or "workers democracy". He believed that socialism would, in its turn, eventually be replaced by a stateless, classless society called pure communism.
Along with believing in theinevitability of socialism andcommunism, Marx actively foughtfor the formers implementation,arguing that both social theoristsand underprivileged people shouldcarry out organised revolutionaryaction to topple capitalism andbring about socio-economic change.
Emile Durkheim founder ofmodern sociology; introducedthe theory ofStructural/Functionalism earlyin his career, and this theorywould prove as a foundationfor other principles as well.
He drew in theory from the Conflict ideologies of Karl Marx (1818 - 1883), and of Auguste Compte (1798 - 1857) who is considered the Father of sociology.The Durkheim Era contributed in a major way to expand the perspective of the Social discipline by taking it to a new level when he applied scientific and empirical research.
the idea of the whole being greater and different than the sum of its parts,anomie or normlessness,the concept that religion is equal to society and the sacred and the profane (Collins, 1994).
Max Weber arguedagainst abstract theory, andhe favored an approachto sociological inquiry thatgenerated its theory fromrich, systematic, empirical,historical research.
This approachrequired, first of all, anexamination of therelationships between,and the respective rolesof, history and sociologyin inquiry.
He argued that sociology was to develop concepts for the analysis of concrete phenomena, which would allow sociologists to then make generalizations about historical phenomena. He contended that understanding, or verstehen, was the proper way of studying social phenomena. Derived from the interpretive practice known as hermeneutics, the method of verstehen strives to understand the meanings that human beings attribute to their experiences, interactions, and actions.
Webers greatest contribution to theconceptual arsenal of sociology is known asthe ideal type. The ideal type is basically atheoretical model constructed by means of adetailed empirical study of a phenomenon.An ideal type is an intellectual construct thata sociologist may use to study historicalrealities by means of their similarities to, anddivergences from, the model.Note that ideal types are not utopias orimages of what the world ought to look like.