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Origins and Historical Background of Sociology

Systematic study of sociology started with the Greeks. They considered man as a social animal and the need of society is indispensable.

Plato in his “Republic” and Aristotle in his “Ethics and politics” discussed society. The Romans Cicero, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas discussed society.

The modern sociology was coined by August Comte, (Positive Philosophy). According to him social evaluation went hard to hand with progress. He is considered as the founder of modern sociology. He called it “Social Physics”. The others who followed him through their contributions in the field of sociology were, Herbert Spencer (Human & Social Evolution), Fredric Leplay (Case Study & Observation), Karl Marx, Durkheim, Sigmund Fraud, Gisbert, Max Weber, Burgis, Park, Gilding’s Morgan, Taylor, Sorokin, Ogburn, Tonnies, Pareto and so on.

Meaning of Sociology

The term has been derived from two words. The Latin “Social: means companionship and ■ the Greek “logos” mean study. So the term literally means the study of human companionship or association or society.

Definition of Sociology

Sociology has been defined differently by different social scientists.

  1. Auguste Comte/Ward/Gilding’s: “Sociology is the scientific study of society”.
  2. Max Weber: “Sociology is the study of social action”.
  3. “Sociology is the study of interaction arising from the association of living beings”
  4. Emile Durkheim: “Sociology is the study of social facts through social institutions”.
  5. “Sociology is the study of social relationships, the network of relationships we call society.”
  6. Kimball Young: “Sociology is the study of human behavior in groups”.
  7. Park & Burgess: “Sociology is the study of collective behavior”.
  8. Mack Young: “Sociology is the scientific study of the social aspects of human life”.
  9. Tonnies: “Sociology is the study of humans living together”.
  10. “Sociology is the study of social groups on the basis of social interaction”.

Conclusion

On the basis of the above definitions, we can conclude that sociology is the science of society, human behavior, human interaction and relationships.

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