Published on February 23, 2014
THE DEVELOPMEN T of SOCIOLOGY in EUROPE The Sociologists' Perspective
The Industrial Revolution, which took place from the 18th to 19th centuries, was a period during which predominantly agrarian, rural societies in Europe and America became industrial and urban. Industrialization marked a shift to powered, special-purpose machinery, factories and mass production.
While industrialization brought about an increased volume and variety of manufactured goods and an . improved standard of living for some, it also resulted in often grim employment and living conditions for the poor and working classes
Auguste Comte (1798-1857) coined the term "sociology." He believed the study of social phenomena should employ scientific techniques. But Comte was disturbed by the chaos of French society and was critical of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. He also stressed the systematic character of society and accorded great importance to the role of consensus. These beliefs made Comte a forerunner of positivism and reformism in classical sociological theory.
According to Comte, each branch of our knowledge passes successively through the different theoretical conditions. It is known as law of three stages. The main aim of this principle is that it provides the basis of sociological thinking.
1. Theological or fictitious stage, "all theoretical conceptions, whether general or special bear a supernatural impress". Unable to discover the natural causes of the various happenings, the primitive men attributed them to imaginary or divine forces. (a) Fetishism - man accepts the existence of the spirit or the soul. (b) Polytheism - man begins to believe in magic and allied activities. He then transplants or imposes special god in every object. Thus they believed in several gods and created the class of priests to get the goodwill and the blessings of these gods. (c) Monotheism - man believes that there is only one centre of power which guides and controls all the activities of the world. Thus man believed in the superhuman power of only one god.
2. Metaphysical or abstract stage being an improvement upon the earlier stage, it was believed that the abstract power or force guides and determines the events in the world. Metaphysical thinking discards belief in concrete god. 3. Scientific or positive stage The observation and classification of facts are the beginning of the scientific stage, where there is no place for any belief or superstition. Everything concludes rationally.
*Positivism means the philosophical system of Auguste Comte, recognising only positive facts in observable phenomena, and rejecting metaphysics and theism and religious system founded on this. Thus, Comte was against all types of irrational elements in social thinking. Comte argued, "As long as man believes that social events are always exposed to disturbances by the accidental intervention of the legislators no human or divine no scientific provisions of them would be possible".
Karl Marx (1818-1883) ―Society was not formed by survival of the fittest but by the consolidation of those similar economic interests and experiences and it could only be changed by class struggle not by scientific planning.‖
He believed that: *the economic structure of the economy shaped all other aspects of social life and bred persistent internal strife. *the conflict between these 2 classes (capitalists & proletariat) would continue until the conditions of the workers became so bad that they would unite and overthrow the capitalists.
CONTRIBUTION # his penetrating insights into his role of economic factors in shaping social patterns # his awareness of class consciousness and false consciousness. # His use of historical research to understand how social structure and institutions change over time and his deep humanitarian concern for the plight of industrial workers at a time when pay scales and conditions in many factories.
Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) Coined the phrase “SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST” (not DARWIN) Through natural selection, only the optimal social arrangements would eventually remain which made his viewpoint led to adopt a highly conservative, laissez-faire* attitude. * a doctrine opposing governmental interference in economic affairs beyond the minimum necessary for the maintenance of peace and property rights.
He strongly opposed such policies as public education, public health care and laws protecting workers, because he felt that the fittest are capable of offending themselves. Those who are unable to care for themselves would soon be eliminated --- society “progresses” by eliminating its weak links.
Emile Durkheim (1858 -1917) His Interest in solidarity --- led him to consider how crime and deviance affect the social order. His interest in deviance – led him to conduct a systematic study of suicide in a number of populations, a study that has served as a model of scientific research for other sociologists.
CONTRIBUTIONS: -- pioneering use of statistics to investigate social life –his insights into the social forces that underlie seemingly individual acts –his theory of how modern industrial societies work
Max Weber (1864- 1920) He argued that economics, politics and culture are the social forces that divide and stratify people into groups and link one group to another. He believed that those who share the economic fate—whether they be landlords or peasant, workers or industrialists—form distinct social classes.
Weber developed major theories on stratification and bureaucracy and studied the similarities and differences that underlie the institutions of various societies. He stressed that in looking at the group patterns, one must not forget that people have feelings, thoughts, conscienc e, attitudes, and values that affect their relationships.
He employed the concept -- IDEAL TYPE -- a pure model of a particular social pattern or process that sociologists use to examine and compare social arrangements in the real world. These are mental constructs that allow sociologists to highlight the critical properties of a phenomenon. Capitalism and Protestantism – were ideal types.
Oyco, Karene Amparado, Karyn Ysabella Espida, Richelle Ravina, Brillant Sola, Doni Lee Gaylan, Grethel Benito, Jarvin