Essay about Sociologists

Submitted By alycakes21
Words: 1340
Pages: 6

Sociology is considered a science because it uses the scientific method. Using various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis, sociology is considered a social science. Sociology looks at a wide range of behavior than economist or political scientist. Political science studies the organization and functioning of system government. Sociology also studies political life but less as an isolated phenomenon and more in terms of general sociological principles. The focus of the economist is on the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. Sociology also study economic behavior but it relates closely to social and cultural factors such as age sex, social class and ethic groups. Where psychology studies individual behavior, sociology studies social behavior. Sociology deals with social behavior that goes beyond the psychology on a single individual and necessarily focuses on the observation of categories or groups. ("The relationship between,”) Sociology emerged in the early 19th century in response to the challenges of modernity. Advances in technology and increased mobility resulted in the increasing exposure of people to new cultures and societies different from their own. “The impact of this exposure was varied, but for some people it included the breakdown of traditional norms and customs and warranted a revised understanding of how the world works.” (Crossman) Thinkers of the Enlightenment period in the eighteenth century also helped set the stage for the sociologists that would follow. This period was the first time in history that thinkers tried to provide general explanations of the social world. French philosopher, Auguste Comte (1798-1857) is often called the ‘father of sociology’. Comte first used the term sociology in 1838 to reference the scientific study of society. Comte believed that all societies developed and progressed through three stages—religion, metaphysical, and scientific. He argued that ‘society needed scientific knowledge based on facts and evidence to solve problems—not speculation and superstitions, that characterize the religious and metaphysical stages of social development.’ ("The founders of,”) Englishman, Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) compared society to an organism with interdependent parts. Changing one part of society causes a change in other parts that every part contributes to the stability and survival of society as a whole. Spencer suggested that society will correct its own defects through the natural process of “survival of the fittest.” The societal “organism” naturally leans toward homeostasis, or balance and stability. Social problems work themselves out when the government leaves society alone. The “fittest”—the rich, powerful, and successful—enjoy their status because nature has “selected” them to do so. In contrast, nature has doomed the “unfit”—the poor, weak, and unsuccessful—to failure. They must fend for themselves without social assistance if society is to remain healthy and even progress to higher levels. Governmental interference in the “natural” order of society weakens society by wasting the efforts of its leadership in trying to defy the laws of nature. German political philosopher and economist Karl Marx (1818–1883), who observed society's exploitation of the poor by the rich and powerful. Marx argued that Spencer's healthy societal “organism” was a falsehood. Rather than interdependence and stability, Marx claimed that social conflict, especially class conflict, and competition mark all societies. Unlike Spencer, Marx believed that economics, not natural selection, determines the differences between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. He further claimed that a society's economic system decides peoples' norms, values, mores, and religious beliefs, as well as the nature of the society's political, governmental, and educational systems. Not until Emile Durkheim (1858–1917) did a person systematically