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Significant Sociologists - DR. URBAN'S WEBSITE

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Significant Sociologists
How did these individualsshape the field of sociology?
Auguste Comte
The principle of co-operation, spontaneous or concerted, is the basis of society, and the object of society must ever be to find the right place for its individual members in its great co-operative scheme. There is, however, a danger of exaggerated specialism; it concentrates the attention of individuals on small parts of the social machine, and thus narrows their sense of the social community, and produces an indifference to the larger interests of humanity. It is lamentable to find an artisan spending his life making pin-heads, and it is equally lamentable to find a man with mind employing his mind only in the solution of equations.-Course of Positive Philosophy, 1830
Auguste Comte
France, 1798-1857Founder of SociologySocial Statics– study of social stability and orderSocial Dynamics–study of social changePositivism- applying scientific approach to social world
Karl Marx
The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guildmaster and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted….The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society, has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones.The Communist Manifesto
Karl Marx
Prussia/Germany/Paris/London, 1818-1883Society is influenced by how its economy is organizedClass conflict--struggle betweenworkers (proletariat)andcapitalists (bourgeosie)--was key to human history and societyConflict Perspective
Herbert Spencer
There is no way of coming at a true theory of society, but by inquiring into the nature of its component individuals. To understand humanity in its combinations, it is necessary to analyze that humanity in its elementary form – for the explanation of the compound, to refer back to the simple. We quickly find that every phenomenon exhibited by an aggregation of men, originates in some quality of man himself. A little consideration shows us, for instance, that the very existence of society, implies some natural affinity in its members for such a union. It is pretty clear too, that without a certain fitness in mankind for ruling, and being ruled, government would be an impossibility. The infinitely complex organizations of commerce, have grown up under the stimulus of certain desires existing in each of us. And it is from our possession of a sentiment to which they appeal, that religious institutions have been called into existence.Social Statics
Herbert Spencer
1820-1903; CivilEngineerApplied principles of biology tosocietyTo explain stability, he argued that society is like human body…To explain social change, he developed Social DarwinismPopularizedevolutionary theory of social changeCoined the phrase,“survival of fittest”
Emile Durkheim
“Anyone who has truly practiced a religion knows very well that it is [the set of regularly repeated actions that make up the cult] that stimulates the feelings of joy, inner peace, serenity, and enthusiasm that, for the faithful, stand as experimental proof of their beliefs. The cult is not merely a system of signs by which the faith is outwardly expressed; it is the sum total of means by which that faith is created and recreated periodically. Whether the cult consists of physical operations or mental ones, it is always the cult that is efficacious.”―The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
Emile Durkheim
France, 1858-1917Society exists because of consensusFunctionalistPerspectiveMechanical Solidarity– (Preindustrial societies) - social dependency based on wiespead consensus of beliefs and values; conformity; tradition; family.Organic Solidarity– (Industrial societies) – social interdependency based on high degree of specialization in roles.
Max Weber
“Sociology . . . is a science concerning itself with the interpretive understanding of social action and thereby with a causal explanation of its course and consequences. We shall speak of 'action' insofar as the acting individual attaches a subjective meaning to his behavior--be it overt or covert, omission or acquiescence. Action is 'social' insofar as its subjective meaning takes account of the behavior of others and is thereby oriented in its courseWithin the realm of social conduct one finds factual regularities, that is, courses of action which, with a typically identical meaning, are repeated by the actors or simultaneously occur among numerous actors. It is with such types of conduct that sociology is concerned, in contrast to history, which is interested in the causal connections of important, i.e., fateful, single events”
Max Weber
Prussia, 1864-1920Studied separate groups withinsocietyHumans act based on their own understanding of situtations.(Interactionist Perspective)Verstehen- an attempt tounderstand social behavior by putting yourself in the place of others.Rationalization– mindset emphasizing knowledge, reason, and planning (as opposed to tradition and emotion).
Harriet Martineau
• It is my deliberate opinion that the one essential requisite of human welfare in all ways is scientific knowledge of human nature.• All women should inform themselves of the condition of their sex and of their own position. It must necessarily follow that the noblest of them will, sooner or later, put forth a moralpower…andburst asunder the bonds (silken to some but cold iron to others) of feudal prejudice and usages. In the meantime is it to be understood that the principles of the Declaration of Independence bear no relation to half of the human race? If so, what is the ground of this limitation?
Harriet Martineau
England, 1802-1876Conduction early sociological studies of England and U.S.Believed scholars should try toimprove society, not just study it.Promoted women’s rights,feminism, religioustolerance, and abolition ofslavery
W. E. B. DuBois
“After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world,—a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro... two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife, — this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self.”―The Souls of Black Folk
W. E. B. DuBois
United States, 1868-1963First African American Ph.D. from HarvardUsed community studies to underscore significance ofracein AmericansocietyStudied African-American communitiesBelieved sociologists should work forsocial reform
Jane Addams
“We slowly learn that life consists of processes as well as results, and that failure may come quite as easily from ignoring the adequacy of one's method as from selfish or ignoble aims. We are thus brought to a conception of Democracy not merely as a sentiment which desires the well-being of all [people], nor yet as a creed which believes in the essential dignity and equality of all [people], but as that which affords a rule for living as well as a test of faith.”
Jane Addams
United States, 1860-1935Settlement HousemovementUndertook surveys ofpovertyin U.S.Detailed impact of industrialization andurbanization on imbalance of power among social classes.Wrote about democracy andsocial reform

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Significant Sociologists - DR. URBAN'S WEBSITE