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Areas of Sociology

The term “sociology” was coined by August Comte in the nineteenth century from the Latin word “socios”(companion with others) and the Greek word “logos” (study of reason) to describe the new science of social life.

For purposes of scientific investigation, sociology as a discipline is divided into several areas. These are:

  • 1. Social Organization This refers to social institutions, social groups, social inequality, social

mobility, religious groups, and bureaucracy.These are the examples of social organizations: social institutions, social groups, social inequality, religious groups and bureaucracy.

Social Institution- Family and School

Social Groups- Farmers Association and Professional Associations Social Inequality- Unemployed ,peasants, and poor people Religious Groups- Catholic, Protestants and Muslims Bureaucracy- Government Agencies and Local government Units

  • 2. Social Psychology This refers to human nature and its focus on social processes as they affect

the individual. The observations in their emotions, attitudes, perceptions and culture in ther community, school market and church.

  • 3. Social Change This studies ecological changes, population, migration, technological change,

new production techniques, culture change, political processes, social transformation, modernization, mass communication, and the impact of natural disaster. The Point of Inquiry in Social Change A.Ecological Change · Why are there so many diseases that occur now a day? · As a nursing student, what can you do to prevent these diseases? · Why there is global warming? B.Migration · Why do people migrate? C.Technological change

· What are the technologies in the 80’s? · What are the new technologies now? D.New production · What are the things that man produce? E,Culture Change · What are the fading values that we have now? F.Political Processes · What political activities you are joining? G.Social Transformation · What are the good and bad ways of having social transformation? H.Mass Communication · Do you think television and computers strongly influence the behavior of the people? 4. Population This studies size, growth, demographic characteristics, as well as corruption, migration, changes vis-à-vis economic, political and social systems. Question: What do you mean by population growth and demographic characteristics? 5.Applied Sociology This is concerned with resolving social problems through sociological research. Question: What are the social problems of our society? Squatters, prostitution, large family size, migration of nurses, and poor nutrition .

SQUATTERS. Those who are living in the squatter area, what might be the reason for them to migrate in the urban area or in the city? What are the research variables when we study this problem?

Those people living in a certain area but they do not own the land. For the sociological research to solve the problem of squatters , what is the reason for them to migrate in the city? The research variables to study the problem of squatting are the background on employment, educational qualifications, occupation and source of income.

The migration of the city is to find gainful employment for the family. However, they cannot find a job that suit there educational qualifications. They are usually farmers, fishermen, laborers on unskilled workers. The low income of the people is still the main reason why they cannot afford to buy their own house and lot.

PROSTITUTION. Do you think prostitution and squatting have the same research variables as social problems? Usually those who are living in squatter areas are also the breeding ground for prostitution even drug abuse and illegal gambling. The research variables may still on low income and unemployment. The given research variables for squatters have the same reason for this social problems.

MIGRATION OF NURSES. What might be the reason why nurses would like to work in other countries? The high salary and lucrative remunerations for nurses who are working in Europe ,USA, Canada and Australia. As compared with the Staff Nurse who is working in government hospital they are only receiving meager salary which is 10 times higher once you work in other country.

The research variables to study the migration of nurses are the salary, overtime pay, exchange rate ( Peso-Dollar) and the country that they want to work.

POOR NUTRITION. Who are usually affected by poor nutrition? The children have usually the problem of malnutrition. The research variables are the income of the family, food intake, employment and occupation of the family. The usual cause of poor nutrition is the result of low income and unemployment in the family.

6. Sociological Theory and Research This is a set of statements that seeks to explain problems, actions or behavior; or the discovery and development of research that tests the validity, applicability and usefulness of the results of the investigation for the improvement of life

History of Sociology

Sociology has a relatively short history.

The systematic study

of "patterns of behavior" began in the early part of the 19th

century in France, and then appeared in other European societies and the United States as that century progressed.

Why did sociology appear at that time and place?

Answer: there was a need to understand the rapid social changes that were occurring throughout these societies as they experienced dramatic political, economic, and social upheavals. What was happening in France around 1800?

There was a great desire to know what was happening, why it was happening, and where it was leading. Were these changes beneficial ones? Were they harmful ones? Could anything be done to influence the course of change? These were the central questions that all the founders of sociology addressed.

 
 

Founders of Sociology

Person/Orientation

Key Concepts/Short Excerpts

August Comte

"Sociology", Positivism

"The Liberal"

"The Liberal"

Excerpt from Positive Philosophy (1830-42) "The Positive Philosophy offers the only solid basis for that Social Reorganization which must succeed the critical condition in which the most civilized nations are now

living

It alone has been advancing during a course of

.... centuries throughout which the others have been declining. The fact is incontestable. Some may deplore it, but none can destroy it, nor therefore neglect it but under penalty of being betrayed by illusory speculations. This general revolution of the human mind is nearly accomplished. We have only to complete the Positive Philosophy by bringing

has become complete, its supremacy will take place

 

Social phenomena within its comprehension, and afterward consolidating the whole into one body of homogeneous doctrine. The marked preference which almost all minds, from the highest to the commonest, accord to positive knowledge over vague and mystical conceptions, is a pledge of what the reception of this philosophy will be when it has acquired the only quality that it now wantsa character of due generality. When it

spontaneously. and will re-establish order throughout society." click for more ...

Herbert Spencer

Herbert Spencer "The Conservative" Karl Marx "The Radical" Evolution, "Survival of Fittest" Excerpt from The Principlesy , bein g transmitted in an indirect way." click for more ... Class, Revolution, Dialectical Materialism Excerpt from The Communist Manifesto (1848): "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes .... It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the spectre of communism with a manifesto of the party itself .... In short, the Communists everywhere support every " id="pdf-obj-4-5" src="pdf-obj-4-5.jpg">

"The Conservative"

Karl Marx

Herbert Spencer "The Conservative" Karl Marx "The Radical" Evolution, "Survival of Fittest" Excerpt from The Principlesy , bein g transmitted in an indirect way." click for more ... Class, Revolution, Dialectical Materialism Excerpt from The Communist Manifesto (1848): "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes .... It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the spectre of communism with a manifesto of the party itself .... In short, the Communists everywhere support every " id="pdf-obj-4-11" src="pdf-obj-4-11.jpg">

"The Radical"

Evolution, "Survival of Fittest"

Excerpt from The Principles of Sociology, Vol. 1 (1876)

"Society is an organism

It undergoes continuous growth;

... as it grows, its parts, becoming unlike, exhibit increase of structure; the unlike parts simultaneously assume activities of unlike kinds; these activities are not simply different, but their differences are so related as to make one another possible; the reciprocal aid thus given causes mutual dependence of the parts; and the mutually dependent parts, living by and for one another, form an aggregate constituted on the same general principle as an individual organism. The analogy of a society to an organism becomes still clearer on learning that every organism of appreciable size is a society; and on further learning that in both, the lives of the units continue for some time if the life of the aggregate is suddenly arrested, while if the aggregate is not destroyed by violence its life greatly exceeds in duration the lives of its units. Though the two are contrasted as respectively discrete and concrete, and though there results a difference in the ends subserved by the organization, there does not result a difference in the laws of the organization: the required mutual influences of the parts, not transmissible in a direct way, being transmitted in an indirect way." click for more ...

Class, Revolution, Dialectical Materialism

Excerpt from The Communist Manifesto (1848):

"The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes .... It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the spectre of communism with a manifesto of the party itself .... In short, the Communists everywhere support every

revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things. In all these movements, they

bring to the front, as the leading question in each, the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time. Finally, they labor everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries. The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.

Emile Durkheim

revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things. In all these movements, theyclick for more ... Social Fact, Anomie Excerpts from The Rules of the Sociological Method (1893) "Before beginning the search for the method appropriate to the study of social facts it is important to know what are the facts termed 'social'. .. When I perform my duties as a brother, a husband or a citizen and carry out the commitments I have entered into, I fulfill obligations which are defined in law and custom and which are external to myself and my actions. Even when they conform to my own sentiments and when I feel their reality within me, that reality does not cease to be objective, for it is not I who have prescribed these duties; I have received them through education Here, then, is a ... category of facts which present very special characteristics: they consist of manners of acting, thinking and feeling external to the 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 phenomena, nor with psychical phenomena, 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. " id="pdf-obj-5-9" src="pdf-obj-5-9.jpg">

"The Scientist"

Working men of all countries, unite!"

Social Fact, Anomie

Excerpts from The Rules of the Sociological Method (1893) "Before beginning the search for the method appropriate to

the study of social facts it is important to know what are

the facts termed

'social'. ..

When I perform my duties as a

brother, a husband or a citizen and carry out the commitments I have entered into, I fulfill obligations which are defined in law and custom and which are external to myself and my actions. Even when they conform to my own sentiments and when I feel their reality within me, that reality does not cease to be

objective, for it is not I who have prescribed these duties; I

have received them through education

Here, then, is a

... category of facts which present very special characteristics: they consist of manners of acting, thinking and feeling external to the 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 phenomena, nor with psychical phenomena, 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.

The Founders of Sociology

Each field of academic study has its own cast of characters, and sociology is no exception. Although countless individuals have contributed to sociology's development into a social science, several individuals deserve special mention.

Each field of academic study has its own cast of characters, and sociology is no exception.

Auguste Comte

The French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798–1857)—often called the “father of sociology”—first used the term “sociology” in 1838 to refer to the scientific study of society. He believed that all societies develop and progress through the following stages: religious, metaphysical, and scientific. Comte argued that society needs scientific knowledge based on facts and evidence to solve its problems—not speculation and superstition, which characterize the religious and metaphysical stages of social development. Comte viewed the science of sociology as consisting of two branches: dynamics, or the study of the processes by which societies change; and statics, or the study of the processes by which societies endure. He also envisioned sociologists as eventually developing a base of scientific social knowledge that would guide society into positive directions.

Herbert Spencer

The 19thcentury Englishman Herbert Spencer (1820–1903) compared society to a living organism with interdependent parts. Change in one part of society causes change in the other parts, so that every part contributes to the stability and survival of society as a whole. If one part of society malfunctions, the other parts must adjust to the crisis and contribute even more to preserve society. Family, education, government, industry, and religion comprise just a few of the parts of the “organism” of society.

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.

Karl Marx

Not everyone has shared Spencer's vision of societal harmony and stability. Chief among those who disagreed was the German political philosopher and economistKarl 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.

The class of capitalists that Marx called the bourgeoisie particularly enraged him. Members of the bourgeoisie own the means of production and exploit the class of laborers, called the proletariat, who do not own the means of production. Marx believed that the very natures of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat inescapably lock the two classes in conflict. But he then took his ideas of class conflict one step further:

He predicted that the laborers are not selectively “unfit,” but are destined to overthrow the capitalists. Such a class revolution would establish a “classfree” society in which all people work according to their abilities and receive according to their needs.

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. Also unlike Spencer, Marx urged people to take an active role in changing society rather than simply trusting it to evolve positively on its own.

Emile Durkheim

Despite their differences, Marx, Spencer, and Comte all acknowledged the importance of using science to study society, although none actually used scientific methods. Not until Emile Durkheim (1858–1917) did a person systematically apply scientific methods to sociology as a discipline. A French philosopher and sociologist, Durkheim stressed the importance of studying social facts, or patterns of behavior characteristic of a particular group. The phenomenon of suicide especially interested Durkheim. But he did not limit his ideas on the topic to mere speculation. Durkheim formulated his conclusions about the causes of suicide based on the analysis of large amounts of statistical data collected from various European countries.

Durkheim certainly advocated the use of systematic observation to study sociological events, but he also recommended that sociologists avoid considering people's attitudes when explaining society. Sociologists should only consider as objective “evidence” what they themselves can directly observe. In other words, they must not concern themselves with people's subjective experiences.

Max Weber

The German sociologist Max Weber (1864–1920) disagreed with the “objective evidence only” position of Durkheim. He argued that sociologists must also consider people's interpretations of events—not just the events themselves. Weber believed that individuals' behaviors cannot exist apart from their interpretations of the meaning of their own behaviors, and that people tend to act according to these interpretations. Because of the ties between objective behavior and subjective interpretation, Weber believed that sociologists must inquire into people's thoughts, feelings, and perceptions regarding their own behaviors. Weber recommended that sociologists adopt his method of Verstehen (vûrst e hen), or empathetic understanding. Verstehen allows sociologists to mentally put themselves into “the other person's shoes” and thus obtain an “interpretive understanding” of the meanings of individuals' behaviors.