• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Origins of Sociology. History and Major Figures.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Social thought is as old as society itself, yet the origin of sociology is traced back to 19th century Western Europe. Sometimes Sociology is called the child of the ?age of revolution?. The revolutionary changes in the preceding three centuries had decisively changed the way people lived thereby paving the way for the emergence of Sociology as we have today. Sociology took birth in such a climate of social upheaval. The roots of the ideas developed by the early sociologists lie in the then social conditions that prevailed in Europe. The modern era in Europe and the conditions of modernity were brought about by three major processes. They are: 1. The Enlightenment- dawning of the ?age of reason?. 2. The French Revolution-the quest for political sovereignty. 3. The Industrial Revolution-the system of mass manufacture. These revolutions completely transformed not only European society but also the rest of the world as it came into contact with Europe. The revolutions initiated a process of thinking about society particularly the consequences of revolutionary happenings. Industrial Revolution accelerated the process of urbanization. Urbanization, in its turn, created many social problems. ...read more.

Middle

There were many significant themes which arose due to the impact of this Revolution which have been the focus of interest of the early sociologists. These significant themes include the transformation of property, new social class etc. The Industrial Revolution The foundation of modern industry was laid by the Industrial Revolution, which began in England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It brought about great changes in the social and economic life of the people first in England, then in other countries of Europe and later in other continents. It had two important aspects: 1. Systematic application of science and technology to industrial production, particularly invention of new machines and harnessing of new sources of power. These facilitated the production process and give rise to the factory system and mass manufacture of goods. 2. Evolved new ways of organizing labour and markets on a scale larger than anything in the past. The goods were produced on a gigantic scale for distant markets across the world. The raw materials used in their production were also obtained from all over the world. Industrialization threw into turmoil societies that have been relatively stable for centuries. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus, social fact is exterior to human mind and but it constraints on human behaviour. Hence, social facts do not have their origin in the individual. Further, they should be explained by other social facts, rather than in terms of biological, psychological, environmental, or geographical acts. In Germany, the most influential work was of Max Weber (1864-1920). In comparison to Durkheim, Weber said that the sociologist studies ?social action?, which is an act an individual performs and assigns meaning. The task of sociologists is to understand the subjective meaning of an act. German social thinker Karl Marx?s ideas (1818-1883) were influential in Sociology. He argued that every society was divided into two classes, viz. ?Haves? and ?Have-nots?. He believed that conflict was initiator of change in history. He, therefore, gave central importance to class and class-conflict. Thus the development of Sociology in France (Comte, Durkheim), Germany (Marx, Weber) and England (Spencer) have been outlined as in above. Their contributions have profound influence in Sociology everywhere in the world. Sociology thus flowered in precisely those societies that had experienced the most pronounced or greatest social changes. France, Germany and England underwent a truly revolutionary social transformation; and in all these countries, the study of Sociology had emerged by the end of the 19th century. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Can and should sociology be a science?

    Human thoughts and ideas are not that simple, they have meaning to it. If someone is to commit suicide then there must be a meaning behind it. It cannot be assumed, yet it cannot be discovered since the real reason cannot be obtained.

  2. Corrupt Societies

    To each individual, it may seem important but they don't realize that someone in another state is saying the same thing.

  1. Did the development of capitalism alter women's work opportunities in Europe 1780-1900?

    It was done out of necessity and lack of alternative which is not as positive as something one would normally associate with a new opportunity which we assume is something favourable. Some have argued that the new labour organisation was an incentive for many to marry younger so that beneficial

  2. An investigation into people(TM)s belief about Hell

    Methodology Methodology This study aims to discover the distribution of the belief in Hell in society. As stated in the rationale and the context, it will focus on the distribution of the belief in Hell between religious and non-religious, male and female members of society and whether these people's beliefs have an effect on their lives or not.

  1. A Mental Revolution Re-Entering the African Diaspora.

    Eventually they invaded Africa taking advantage of the rich land. The Europeans gave the command and Africans (slaves) abided by it. This sort of practice mirrors the oppressor in the society which is known as the Banking System formulated by Paulo Freire in the Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

  2. Does Multi-Culturalism depend on Removing Ideas of Ethnicity from the Concept of Nation, and ...

    nationalism arises when we witness cultural debates that come to surface in discussions of names for places, buildings and events. Languages are suppressed, defended or promoted because people sense that a language is an item of culture which symbolises the value accorded to a whole population who have a 'shared sense of fate.'3 This is important in explaining civic nationalism.

  1. 16th Century rebellions of the Netherlands.

    Philip was not only to blame for souring relations with the grandees to the point where they felt able to challenge him directly. He also alienated the ordinary citizens of the Netherlands by garrisoning 3000 Spanish troops in the Netherlands in 1560.

  2. Compare and contrast any two major theoretical perspectives in Sociology.

    Functionalists see society as having a structure, with key institutions performing vital functions and roles directing people how to behave. Parson sees all societies as having a value consensus, a general agreement about what is desirable and valuable. Individuals will be ranked in accordance whatever their values are.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work