Defining the Sociology
Need of sociology
Sociology and the Social SciencesSociology and the Social Sciences
The Development of Sociology
The term sociology was coined by Auguste Comte , a French philosopher
Sociology is derived from the Latin word “Societus” meaning society
and the Greek word “logos” meaning ‘study or science’
The meaning of sociology is thus the ‘the science of society’
1. The study of human social behaviour, especially the study of
the origins, organization, institutions, and development of
2. Analysis of a social institution or societal segment as a self-
contained entity or in relation to society as a whole.contained entity or in relation to society as a whole.
Sociology has been defined in a number of ways by different
sociologists. No single definition has yet been accepted as completely
satisfactory. For our purpose of study a few definitions may be cited
Auguste Comete, the founding father of sociology, defines
sociology as “the science of social phenomena subject to natural and
invariable laws, the discovery of which is the object of investigation".
Kingsley Davis says that "Sociology is a general science ofKingsley Davis says that "Sociology is a general science of
Harry M. Johnson opines that "sociology is the science that
deals with social groups".
Emile Durkheim: "Science of social institutions".
Park regards sociology as "the science of collective behaviour”.
Marshal Jones defines sociology as "the study of man-in-
Alex Inkeles says, "Sociology is the study of “systems of social
action and of their inter-relations".
Kimball Young and Raymond W. Mack say, "Sociology is the
scientific study of social aspects of human life".
A careful examination of various definitions cited above, makes it
evident that sociologists differ in their opinion about definition of
However, the common idea underlying all the definitions mentioned
above is that sociology is concerned with man, his social relations and
“Sociology is the scientific study of human society and
What makes sociology “scientific?”What makes sociology “scientific?”
The Scientific MethodThe Scientific MethodThe Scientific MethodThe Scientific Method
Science is “...a body of
knowledge that shows the Gather Data
operation of general laws.”
As a science, sociology
employs the scientific method Formulate hypotheses
Choose research design
Review of literature
Sociology is the scientific study of social behaviour of
Sociology studies the social, economic, political, and religious
activities of people.
Sociology has its importance in analysing the various aspectsSociology has its importance in analysing the various aspects
of communities and families, and their behaviour in social
change and mobility, bureaucracy, addictions, crime and law,
and all that influences people behaviour.
They can analyse stuff and it makes it better to know about
this information because it can get you somewhere .
Sociology is the study of the social part of us, the pattern of
interaction with other people which is necessary to our very
Sociology has been described as 'the scientific study of human
group behaviour and 'the application of scientific methods of
inquiry to the puzzles of social life.
We all participate in any number of social groups, many of which
overlap. Sociologists study how and why these groups interactoverlap. Sociologists study how and why these groups interact
with each other and how the interactions affect their members.
Such analyses not only yield a clearer understanding of society and
its components, but also allow sociologists to see both the causes
and the possible remedies for our social problems.
Here are two main schools of thought regarding the scope of
(1) The Specialist or Formalistic school and
(2) the Synthetic school.
There is a good deal of controversy about the scope of SociologyThere is a good deal of controversy about the scope of Sociology
between the two schools.
The supporter of first school believe that Sociology is a specific
science and the scope should be limited whereas others believe that it is a
general science and its scope is very vast.
The Sociological Perspective
It is the study of the various institutions, social groups,
social stratification, social mobility, bureaucracy, ethnic groups and
relations, and other similar subjects like family, education, politics,
religion, economy, and so on and so forth.
Areas of sociology
It is the study of human nature as an outcome of group life,
social attitudes, collective behaviour, and personality formation. It
deals with group life and the individual's traits, attitudes, beliefs as
influenced by group life, and it views man with reference to group
Social change and disorganization
It is the study of the change in culture and social relations
and the disruption that may occur in society, and it deals with the
study of such current problems in society such as juvenile
delinquency, criminality, drug addiction, family conflicts, divorce,
population problems, and other similar subjects.
It deals with the nature and behaviour of a given populationIt deals with the nature and behaviour of a given population
and its relationships to the group's present social institutions. For
instance, studies of this kind have shown the prevalence of mental
illness, criminality, delinquencies, prostitution, and drug addiction
in urban centers and other highly developed places.
Population or demography
It is the study of population number, composition, change,
and quality as they influence the economic, political, and social
Sociological theory and method
It is concerned with the applicability and usefulness of the
principles and theories of group life as bases for the regulation of
man's environment, and includes theory building and testing asman's environment, and includes theory building and testing as
bases for the prediction and control of man's social environment.
It utilizes the findings of pure sociological research in
various fields such as criminology, social work, community
development, education, industrial relations, marriage, ethnic
relations, family counselling, and other aspects and problems of
Nature of sociology
Sociology can be described as all of the following:
The study of society.
Academic discipline –
body of knowledge given to - or received by - a disciple
(student); a branch or sphere of knowledge, or field of study,
that an individual has chosen to specialise in.
Field of science –
widely-recognized category of specialized expertise withinwidely-recognized category of specialized expertise within
science, and typically embodies its own terminology and
nomenclature. Such a field will usually be represented by one
or more scientific journals, where peer reviewed research is
published. There are many sociology-related scientific
Social science –
field of academic scholarship that explores aspects of human