Sociology is the scientific study of society, including patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture. It is a social science that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about social order, acceptance, and change. Many sociologists aim to conduct research that may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, while others focus primarily on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter ranges from the micro-sociology level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure.
Sociology, as a scholarly discipline, emerged primarily out of enlightenment thought, shortly after the French Revolution, as a positivist science of society. Its genesis owed to various key movements in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of knowledge. Social analysis in a broader sense, however, has origins in the common stock of philosophy and necessarily pre-dates the field. Modern academic sociology arose as a reaction to modernity, capitalism, urbanization, rationalization, secularization, colonization and imperialism. Late 19th century sociology demonstrated a particularly strong interest in the emergence of the modern nation state; its constituent institutions, its units of socialization, and its means of surveillance. An emphasis on the concept of modernity, rather than the Enlightenment, often distinguishes sociological discourse from that of classical political philosophy.
- ↑ sociology. (n.d.). The American Heritage Science Dictionary. Retrieved 13 July 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sociology
- ↑ "Sociology: A 21st Century Major". American Sociological Association. https://www.colgate.edu/docs/default-source/default-document-library/sociology-a-21st-century-major.pdf?sfvrsn=0. Retrieved on 19 July 2017.
- ↑ "An Introduction to Sociology". asanet.org. http://www.asanet.org/introtosociology/Documents/Field%20of%20sociology033108.htm#whatissociology.
- ↑ Ashley D, Orenstein DM (2005). Sociological theory: Classical statements (6th ed.). Boston, Massachusetts, US: Pearson Education. pp. 3–5, 32–36
- ↑ Ashley D, Orenstein DM (2005). Sociological theory: Classical statements (6th ed.). Boston, Massachusetts, US: Pearson Education. pp. 3–5, 38–40
- ↑ Giddens, Anthony, Duneier, Mitchell, Applebaum, Richard. 2007. Introduction to Sociology. Sixth Edition. New York: W.W. Norton and Company. Chapter 1.
- ↑ Harriss, John. The Second Great Transformation? Capitalism at the End of the Twentieth Century in Allen, T. and Thomas, Alan (eds) Poverty and Development in the 21st Century', Oxford University Press, Oxford. p325.