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BY: SONAM MONGA HARVEEN KAUR

ROLL NO: 682 ROLL NO: 786

INTRODUCTION Durkheim based his scientific vision of sociology on the fundamental principle i.e. the objective reality of social facts. Social fact is that way of acting, feeling or thinking etc which is more or less general in a given society. A social fact is that which is independent of the personal features of the individuals or the universal attributes. Examples are believe, feeling and practices of the group taken collectively. Social facts exist outside individual consciences. Their existence is external to the individual. For example domestic or civic or contractual obligations are defined, externally to the individual, in laws and customs. Religious believe in practices exist outside the prior to individual. An individual takes birth in a society and leaves it however social facts are already given in a society; example language continues to function independently of any single individual. Another important characteristic of social fact is that it exercises a constrained on the individuals. Social fact is recognized coz it forces itself on the individual for example the institutions of law, education, beliefs etc are already given to everyone. They are commanding an obligatory for all. There is constrained when in a crowd a feeling or thinking imposes itself on everyone. Such a phenomenon is totally social coz its basis, its subject is the group as a whole and not one individual in particular. In other words we can say social facts are coercive in nature and exist in their own right. They are independent of individual manifestations. The true nature of social facts lies in the collective or associational characteristics inherent in the society. Legal codes and customs, moral rules, religious believers and practices, language etc are all social facts. So the social fact is specific and is born of the association of the individual. It represents a collective contend of social group or society. It defers in kind from what occurring individuals consciousness. Social facts can be subjected to categorization and classification. Above all social facts form the subject matter of science of sociology. WHAT IS SOCIAL FACTS It is important to understand what are facts termed as social. Every human activity has a social character attach to it. Every individual drinks, sleeps, eats, or employs reasons and society has every interest in seeing that these functions are regularly exercised. In reality there is in every society a clearly determine a group of phenomenon separable because of their distinct characteristics, from those that form the subject matter of other sciences of nature. There are certain ways of acting, feeling and thinking which possess the remarkable property of existing outside the consciousness of the individual. Not only these types of behaviors and thinking external to the individual but they also have certain kind of power, whether individual wishes to confirm it or not, but they impose themselves upon him. When a person confirm to them with his own will this coercion is not felt. If one tries to violate rules of law they react against the individual and he can also be punished. If purely moral rules are at stake, public conscience restricts any act which infringes them by the surveillance it exercises over the conduct of citizen. There is a category of facts which prevent very special characteristics: they consist of manners of acting, feeling and thinking external to individual, which are invested with a coercive power by virtue of which they exercise control over him. Consequently since they consist of representations

and actions, they cannot be confused with organic phenomenon nor with psychical phenomenon which have no existence save in and through the individual consciousness. Thus they constitute a new species and to them must be exclusively assigned the term social. Moreover it is for such as these alone that the term is fitting for the word social, has the soul meaning of designating those phenomenons which fall into none of the categories of facts already constituted and labeled. Yet since it is indisputable today that most of our ideas and tendencies are not developed by ourselves but come to us from outside, they can only penetrate us by imposing themselves upon us. This is all that our definition implies moreover we know that all social constraints do not necessarily exclude the individual personality. Social fact can exist only where there is a well defined social organization but there are other facts which do not presents themselves in this already crystallized form but which also possess the same objectivity and ascendancy over the individual. These are called social currents. Sometime we are not conscious of the pressure we have upon us to confirm to the norms of the society but that pressure makes its presence felt immediately when one struggles against them. Hence we are victims of an illusion which leads us to believe we have ourselves produced what has been imposed upon us externally. A social phenomenon is when striped of all extraneous elements. As regard their private manifestations, they do have something social about them. But to a large extend each one depends upon the physical and organic constitution of the individual and on circumstances in which he is placed. Therefore they are not phenomenons which are strictly sociological. It may be objected that a phenomenon can be collective only if it so common to all members of the society or at least to the majority of the society, and consequently it is general. But if it is general it is because it is collective because it is general. It is a condition of a group repeated in individuals because it imposes itself upon them. It is in each par because it is in the whole, but far from being in the whole because it is in the parts. This is supremely evident in those believes and practices which are handed down to us ready fashioned by previous generations. We accept and adopt them since they are the work of collectivity and one that is centuries old, they are invested with a special authority that our education has taught us to recognize and respect. It is important to note that the vast majority of social phenomenon comes to us in this way. One important point is that the social fact is identifiable through the power of external coercion which it exerts or is capable of exerting upon individual. The presence of this power is recognizable because of the existence of some pre determines sanctions or through the resistance that the fact opposes to any individual action that may threaten it. The presence of constrained is easily ascertainable when it is manifested externally through some direct reaction of society as in case of law, morality, believes, customs and even fashions. But when constrains is indirect, as with that exerted by economic organization, it is not always so clearly discernible. Generally combined with objectivity may then be easier to establish. Moreover this second definition is simply other formulation of the first one, if a mode of behavior existing outside the consciousness of the individual becomes general, it can only do so by exerting pressure upon them. The facts which have provided us with its basis are all ways of functioning: they are physiological in nature. But there are also collective ways of being, namely social facts of an anatomical or morphological nature.

Durkheim after defining the subject matter of sociology, and the social facts describes the sociological method. For this he has given some rules. RULES FOR THE OBSERVATION OF SOCIAL FACT This is the first rule he gave and he calls it fundamental rule. He considered social fact as a things. It means social facts are real. It deals with realities and thus they are not subject matter of the science so they proceed from ideas to things and not from things to ideas. However instead of being dealt with as things, as concrete realities worthy of direct attention and study they have been dealt with by others writers in the light of concepts and notions. This is true of all sciences before they emerge as disciplines their thought and reflection precedes science. It means that it was valid for them to think and reflect like science when they were not emerging as science. So men did not wait on the coming of social science to have ideas about law, morality, the family, the state or society itself for such ideas were in dispensable to their lives. The social things are product of human activity and it appears to be the expression of and even equivalent to the ideas we have of it. Social phenomena are things and should be treated as such. To demonstrate phenomena as things is to treat them as data .social phenomena unquestionably display this characteristic. Social phenomena present themselves as external things and not as mental representation in the mind of social actors .The rule holds even for phenomena which gives the strongest impression of being arbitrary arrangements because facts will come to present after more attentive observation, quality of consistency and regularity that are symptomatic of their object. Social facts as a things have to be studied by empirical method and also they cannot be modified by a simple will. To study social fact as things three rules have to be followed:1) All preconceptions must be eradicated-It means that he must be free from all the notions that he has in his mind. The sociologist must emancipate himself from the common ideas that dominate his mind .He also says that the sociologist should have emotionally neutral attitude toward what he sets out to investigate. 2) Sociologist has to formulate concepts precisely at the outset of research-The sociologist may have very little knowledge of the phenomena. Therefore he must proceed by conceptualising his subject matter in terms of those properties which are external enough to be observed. 3) When sociologist undertakes the research he must be independent of its manifestation-The objectivity of social facts depends on their being separated from individual facts which express them.

RULES FOR THE DEMONSTARTION OF SOCIOLOGICAL PROOF Durkheim gave rules for demonstration if sociological proof. We have only one way of demonstrating that one phenomenon is the cause of other. This is to compare the cases where they are both simultaneously present or absent, so as to discover whether the variations they display in these different combinations of circumstances provide evidence that one depends upon the other.

We have seen that sociological explanation consists exclusively in establishing the relationships of causality, that a phenomenon must be joined to its cause, or the contrary, a cause to its useful affects. Moreover, since social phenomenon clearly rule out any control by the experimenter, the comparative method is the soul one suitable for sociology. It is true that COMT Did not deem it to be adequate. He founded necessary to supplement it by what he termed the historical method, but the reason for this lies in his special conception of sociological laws. According to him these should mainly express not the definite relationships of causality, but the direction taken by human evolution generally. They cannot therefore be discovered with the aid of comparisons: For it to be possible to compare the different forms that a social phenomenon takes with different peoples, it must have been isolated from the time series to which it belongs. It is true that JOHN STUART MILL declares that experimentation, even if indirect, is inapplicable to sociology. But what already suffices to divest his argument of most of its authority is that he applies it equally to biological phenomenon and even to the most complex physical and chemical data. The use of experimental reasoning in sociology offers more difficulty than in other sciences but one can see why it should be radically impossible. Moreover, Mills whole theory rests upon a postulate which is doubtless linked to the fundamental principles of his logic but which is in contradiction with all the findings of science. This conception of the causal link renders inaccessible to scientific analysis for it introduces such complications into the tangle of causes and effects that the mind is irredeemably confused. If an effect can derive from different causes the experiment would have to take place in conditions of isolation which are unrealizable in practice particularly in sociology. But this alleged axiom of the plurality of causes is a negation of the principle of causality. Doubtless if one believes with mill that cause an effect are absolutely heterogeneous and that there is between them no logical connection , there is nothing contradictory in admitting that an effect can follow sometimes from one cause and sometimes from another. If the relationship which joins C2A is purely chronological, it does not exclude another relationship of the same kind which for example joins C2B. But if on the other hand the causal link is at all intelligible it could not then be to such an extent in determinate. If it consists of a relationship which results from nature of things the same effect can only sustain this relationship with one single cause for it can express only one single nature. It is even more important to reject this principle in sociology because a number of sociologists are still under its influence even though they raise no objection to comparative method. Thus it is commonly stated that crime can equally be produced by the most diverse causes and that holds true for suicide, punishment etc. If we practice the experimental method we may collect together a considerable number of facts to no avail because we shall never be able to obtain precise laws or clear cut relationships of causality. If therefore we wish to use the comparative method scientifically we have to take as the basis of the comparisons established the following proposition: To the same effect there always corresponds the same cause thus to revert to the examples given above if suicide depends on more than one cause it is because in reality there are several kinds of suicide. However, if the various procedures of comparative method are applicable to sociology they do not all possess equal powers of proof. The so called method of residues constitutes a form of experimental reasoning is of no special utility in the study of social phenomenon. Apart from the fact that it can only be useful in the

advanced sciences , it assumes that a considerable number of laws are already known , social phenomenon are too complex to eliminate the effect of all causes save one. In fact that the cases compared either agree or differ only in one single point. No science exists which has ever been able to set up experiments in which the strictly unique characteristic of an agreement or a difference could ever be established. Yet in fact the physical and chemical sciences and even biological sciences approximate closely enough to it for the proof to be regarded in a large number of cases as adequate in practice. But it is not the same in sociology because of too great complexity of the phenomenon and impossibility of carrying out any artificial experiments. As an inventory could not be drawn up which would even come close to exhausting all the facts which co-exists within a single society. The chances of one phenomenon alluding our attention are very much greater that those of not neglecting a single one of them. Consequently such a method of proof can only yield conjectures which are almost devoid of any scientific character. It is true that the laws established by this procedure are not always presented at the outset in the form of relations of causality. The concomitance may be due not to the fact that one phenomenon is the cause of the other but to the fact that they are both the effects of the same cause, or, again, that there exists between them a third phenomenon, interposed but unperceived, which is the effect of the first and the cause of the second. The results to which this method leads need, therefore, to be interpreted. But what experimental method is there which obtains mechanically a relation of causality without some analysis of the observed data? It is essential only that this elaboration is methodically conducted, and here we shall proceed as follows. We shall first investigate, by the aid of deduction, how one of the two terms has produced the other; then we shall try to verify the result of this deduction with the aid of experiments, i.e. e., new comparisons. If the deduction is possible and if the verification succeeds, we can regard the proof as completed. If, on the contrary, we are aware of no direct bond between these facts, especially if the hypothesis of such a bond contradicts laws already demonstrated, we shall begin to look for a third phenomenon on which the other two depend equally or which have served as an intermediary between them. Another reason which makes the method of concomitant variations the supreme for instrument sociological research when circumstances are favourable to them, the other methods can be employed successfully only if the number of facts compared is very considerable. If one cannot find two societies which differ from, or resemble, one another in only one point, one must at least be able to establish that, in general, two facts either accompany or exclude each other. But, in order that this discovery may have scientific value, it must have been made a very great number of times; one would almost need to be assured that all the facts have been reviewed. Not only is an inventory as complete as this impossible, but also the facts thus accumulated can never be established with sufficient precision, because they are too numerous. Not only does one risk omitting some of the essential facts which contradict those which are known, but one is not sure of knowing the latter well. In fact, the conclusions of sociologists have often been discredited because they have chosen the method of agreement or of difference--especially the former--and have occupied themselves more with accumulating documents than with selecting and criticizing them. Thus it often happens that they assign the same value to the confused, hastily made observations of travellers as to the carefully prepared texts of history. When we see these demonstrations, not only can we not avoid saying to ourselves that a single fact could invalidate them but the very facts on The method of

concomitant variations compels us to accept neither these incomplete enumerations nor these superficial observations. In order to obtain results, a few facts suffice. As soon as one has proved that, in a certain number of cases, two phenomena vary with one another, one is certain of being in the presence of a law which they are established do not always inspire confidence. Having no need to be numerous, the documents can be selected and, further, studied more closely by the sociologist. He will then be able to take as the principal material for his inductions the societies whose beliefs, traditions, customs, and law have taken shape in written and authentic documents. Undoubtedly he will not disdain the information supplied by the ethnographer but he will put them in true place. But we must not believe that sociology is substantially inferior to the other sciences merely because it can use only a single experimental method. This inconvenience is, indeed, compensated by the wealth of variations at the disposal of the sociologist, of which we find no example in the other realms of nature. The changes which take place in an organism in the course of an individual existence are few in number and very restricted; those that one can produce artificially without destroying life are themselves narrowly limited. It is true that more important changes have been produced in the course of zoological evolution; but there are left only rare and obscure vestiges of these, and it is difficult to rediscover the conditions which determined them. Furthermore, a large number of social phenomena exist which occur throughout the entire extent of society but which take on diverse forms according to geographical location, profession, religious faiths, etc. Such arc, for example, crime, suicide, birth-rate, marriage-rates, practice of thrift, etc. From the diversity of these special milieus will result, for each of these orders of facts, new series of variations, outside those which historic evolution produces. If, then, the sociologist cannot employ with equal efficacy all the procedures of experimental research, the single method which he must use, almost to the exclusion of the others, can be very fertile in his hands, because of his incomparable resources for applying it. Unless it is applied with care and precision, however, it does not produce its best results. The way in which these series must be formed differs according to the case. They can include facts borrowed either from a single and unique society, from several societies of the same species, or from several distinct social species. The first process may suffice, if absolutely necessary, when it is a matter of facts that are widely distributed and on which we have statistical information that is rather extensive and varied. For example, when comparing the curve which expresses the trend of suicide during a sufficiently long period of time with the variations which the same phenomenon presents according to provinces, classes, rural or urban areas, sex, age, social status, etc., one can arrive, even without extending one's researches beyond a single country, at establishing genuine laws, although it is always preferable to confirm these results by other observations made on other peoples of the same species. When, on the contrary, it is a matter of an institution, a legal or moral regulation, or an established custom which functions in the same manner over the entire extent of the country and which changes only in time, one cannot limit one's self to the study of a single people. By taking into account several peoples of the same species, a more extensive field of comparison already becomes available. First of all, we can compare the history of one with that of the others and observe whether or not in each one of them, taken by itself, the same phenomenon evolves in time as a result of the same conditions. Then one can establish comparisons between these various developments. But this method in itself can scarcely be sufficient. It applies, in fact, only to phenomena which originated during the life of the peoples compared. A society, however, does not create its organization entirely alone; it receives it, in part, ready-made from preceding societies.

What is thus transmitted to it is not the product of any development in the course of its history, and consequently cannot be explained unless one transgresses the boundaries of the species to explain a social institution belonging to a given species, one will compare its different forms, not only among peoples of that species but in all preceding species as well. For example, in the matter of domestic organization the most rudimentary type that has ever existed will first be established, in order that the manner in which it grew progressively more complex may then be followed, step by step. This method, which may be called "genetic," would give at once the analysis and the synthesis of the phenomenon in question. Comparative sociology is not a particular branch of sociology; it is sociology itself, in so far as it ceases to be purely descriptive and aspires to account for facts. In the course of these extended comparisons, an error is often committed with correspondingly misleading results. The comparison can be valid only if we remove this disturbing factor of age. To arrive at a just comparison, it will suffice to consider the societies compared at the same period of their development. Thus, in order to know in what direction a social phenomenon is evolving, one will compare the youth of each species with the youth of the succeeding species, and, according as (from one of these stages to the next) it presents more, less, or equal complexity, one can say that it progresses, retrogresses, or maintains itself CONCLUSION Durkheim clearly considered sociology to be an independent scientific discipline with its distinct subject matter. He identified social facts, laid down rules for their observation and explanation. He stressed on social facts being explained through other social facts. According to him it is very imp for socialist to lay aside the preconceived notion that he held about the fact in order to observe social facts and he had to seek out explanation in order to proof them. The social facts can be explained by the use of comparative method.