Category Archive for: The Sociological Perspective

The Development of Modern Sociology

The Development of Modern Sociology  At the same time that urban problems were growing worse. natural scientists had been u sing reason. or rational thinking. to discover the laws of physics and the movement of the planets. Social thinkers started 10 believe that by applying the methods developed by the natural sciences. they might discover the laws of human behavior and apply…

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Early Thinkers: A Concern with Social Order and Stability

Early Thinkers: A Concern with Social Order and Stability Early social thinkers-such as Auguste Comte, Harriet Martineau. Herbert Spencer. and Emile Durkheim Were interested in analyzing social order and stability. and many of their ideas had a dramatic influence on modern sociology. Auguste Comte The French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798-1857) coined the term sociology from – the Latin socius (“social. being with others”)…

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Harriet Martineau

Harriet Martineau Comtes works were made more accessible for a wide variety of scholars through the efforts of the British sociologist Harriet Martineau (1802-1876). Until recently, Martineau received no recognition in the field of sociology, partly because she was a woman in a male-dominated discipline and society: Not only did she translate and condense Comte’s work. but she was also an active…

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Herbert Spencer

Herbert Spencer Unlike Comte, who was strongly influenced by the upheavals of the French Revolution, the British social theorist Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) was born in a more peaceful and optimistic period in his country’s history. Spencer’s major contribution to sociology was an evolutionary perspective on social order and social change. Although the term evolution has various meanings, evolutionary theory should be taken to…

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Emile Durkheim

Emile Durkheim French sociologist Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) was an avowed critic of some of Spencer’s views while incorporating others into his own writing. Durkheim stressed that people are the product of their social environment and that behavior cannot be fully understood in terms of individual biological and psychological traits. He believed that the limits of human potential are socially based, not biologically based.…

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