Courses in Sociology
Appeared in many .universities in the 1890 s .The American Journal of Sociology began publication in 1895"and the American Sociological Society (now the American Sociological Association) .was organized in 1905. Whereas most of the early European sociologists came from ,the fields of history political economy, or philosophy, many of the early American sociologists had been social workers, ministers, or ministers' sons and nearly all were from rural backgrounds Urbanization and industrialization were creating grave social problems, and these early sociologists were groping for "scientific" solutions. They saw sociology as a scientific guide to social progress. The early volumes of the American Journal of Sociology contained relatively few articles devoted to scientific description or research but carried many sermons filled with exhortation and advice. For example, a fairly typical article in 1903, "The Social Effects of the Eight Hour Day," contains no factual or experimental data but is entirely devoted to. a recital of all the social benefits which the enter assures us will follow from the shorter working day [McVay, 1903]. But by the 193!)~ the several sociological journals were well filled with research articles and scientific descriptions. Sociology was becoming a body of scientific knowledge, with its theories based upon scientific observation rather than upon armchair speculation or impressionistic observation.