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Scope of Sociology

If the social being etc are changing then it is difficult to find its scope. Due to its changing nature it is difficult to say what the scope is moreover we cannot even define sociology.

V.F. Cabberton:
"Social is an elastic science, it is very difficult to determine from where its boundaries begin and end". As it studies the human life therefore the scope should be very wide. Some say it is a science so some scholars say it should have a limited scope, because studying a vast scope can pose difficulties (i.e. conducting experimentation), observation ect are necessary for a scientific study.

These are supporters of:
Formalistic school
Some scholars say it should have limited school because studying a vast scope can face difficulties (i.e. conducting experiments)George Simmel supports this and is the head of this and says form of social interaction should be studied.
Synthetic school
They say since this sociology studies so many aspects such as political, biological, psychological etc. therefore we should have a wider scope.

I.Specialistic School – the name is so because sociology is a special science to study society. George Simmel is the supporter. Society has form and content – according to him and there can be no society without form and content and they can be separated i.e. form and content. He says sociology only studies the form but not the content. Eg. Competition – social studies the factor, result and this is the form the area of competition is the content and it is not studied. Sociology does not study the content because there are other social sciences which study the contents. Eg. By him Tables 3 types of glass of similar forms fill them with different types of content but this does not change the form of the glass. Then now you take one glass and fill it by 3 different liquids one by one. Now the form does not change and the content too does not change and therefore these forms and contents can be separated. Similarly sociology studies the form and if there is a change in the content there is no change in the form and thus in the study.

Supporters of formal school
  1. Max Webber
  2. Vonwiese
  3. Vierkandt
  4. F.Tonnis
  1. He demarketed sociology from other branches of social studies. (Write the difference here) when he says social is only the study of social action he limits it to the human's social behavioral – (action and interaction in society). An action is a social action when there is a meaning is it also when there is an action and a reaction until unless there is a reaction to a particular action is aims a social action sleeping is a an action but not a social action i.e. if you react in the nothing but this reaction is towards your property but not with the thief. It will be a social action only when you get up just when the thief is stealing and you chase him.
  2. He said it was a science and so should not be wide. He has divided society into many groups (650) and said social should only study these groups.
  3. He defined social as, "Social is the study of the ultimate form of mental and psychic relationship which link one to another". He gives important to emotional relationship.
  4. He believes sociology to be a pure science. He said that sociology is pure and independent. He divided society into two groups 1. Society and 2. Community. He said society is urban society whereas community is rural society and in sociological terms he called it as Gescelschaft and Gescelschaft.

Sociology is a science & it's new in origin and so not a pure science.

  1. P.A. Sorokin says that it isn't necessary to say it is a science and not correct to study scientifically.
  2. What is society? There are difference aspects in society and all these combined make society. These different social sciences are studied in different ways or by other social sciences. These social sciences are specialized in studying these aspects.
  3. George Simmel separated forms from content but this too is not correct. It may be correct in other sciences such as the physical sciences. If the form changes the content also changes. There is a difference in the ideas of the supporters of this group or school.

II.Synthetic School: It means mixed. The supporters of this school say that sociology is a general science. They believe in the organic structure. When other aspects of the society combines together then the society is formed. Sociology cannot be studied independently, it should be studied with other social sciences. They study the organic structure of society.

Supporters: Durkhein, P.A. Sorokin, Hobhouse, Giddings

  1. Durkhien: "Sociology is a science of collective representation". He believes in the collection of people in society. When there is collection there must be wider scope for collective representation there must be majority of people hence it will be social facts. Since it has a social fact they are instrumental in guiding and controlling the behavior of society. (Those collective symbols accepted by the majority and what they say become social facts. These will help). These social facts will later become a part of society. When we study a collective representation the whole picture of society comes before us.
  2. P.A. Sorokin– "Sociology is the generalizing science". He is the profounder of systematic study. In his book 'contemporary sociology' he observes that social is a general science. It studies the general characteristics of the society of the relationship of social and non-social phenomena. He constructs a formula to describe his theory.
    Sociology - a, b, c
    Economics - a, b, c, d, e, f
    Political Science - a, b,c,g,h,i
    Religion - a, b, c, L, M, N
    Constitutional - a, b, c, n, y, Z
    A, b, c, are found in all social sciences.
  3. Hobhouse – "Social is the synthesis of various social sciences". He means social is a general study which studies society as a whole from all aspects i.e. the combination of all social sciences – Sociologist must pursue his study from a particular part of society (social friend). When he studies thus he must interconnect his result with the results arrived from other social sciences and then he should interpret society as a whole.

Conclusions - Ginnesberg's Conclusion:
Subject matter of social should have both the aspects because it is quite impossible to study society. A specialist cures a special disease but that doesn't mean he knows nothing about other diseases. Now a general doctor can cure a special disease – likewise sociology studies some special aspects which may not be studied in other social sciences. (Say we study all the aspects in details). To study of society, life, relationship and behavior is the subject matter of sociology. Sociology is a science and it should have experimentation, etc.

Robert Stead - "Sociology is a social science not a natural science". (The [ ] is only Martindal & best is said by Robert Stead) [Martindal – by Pure science we study old principle in the light of new problems. Applied is we apply the rules. Pure is only theoretical whereas applied is practical. We must apply what we know (after knowing we should apply it to improve society – i.e. we must know & apply)]. Sociology is a political science (a factual study – meaning sociology is the study of society as it is) and not a normative science (i.e. telling what society is to be). "Sociology is a general science whereas other social sciences specialize". "Sociology is based on imperial science (there are some techniques or method to study which in sociology is to collect data and then classify – we find out the causes and effects to and then interpret the result.

Uses of Sociology:

  1. Sociology is the youngest of the social sciences. Augusta Comte's efforts enabled sociology to be recognized as a separate social science, which is why he called the father of sociology. It was he, who first coined the word 'Sociology'. Sociology comes from the Latin words 'socialism and 'loges', the first meaning study of science. Therefore Sociology literally means the science of society. Japan literally, this would mean a very big scope of study for sociology which is not practical, therefore sociologists have defined in various ways limiting its scope to a manageable extent. But defining sociology is in itself a difficult task leading to a variety of definition.
  2. F.Ward and W.C. summer define it as 'the science of society', Giddings calls 'the science of social phenomena to Auskhiem it is the science of institution for park' it is the science collective behavior' and for Macdum & Pagi it the study of society which is a web of human relationship." These definition are mostly traditional, indicating the different methods of approach to the study of human relationships. Modern devp. in knowledge have adhered the attitude & approach to the study of different sciences. Even in socio, viz. the study of human society as a whole, to the segmental interpretation of social macroscopic analysis of social factors & the infrastructural analysis of human society in different forms.
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