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Sociology is to study about social activities, action and about society. The other social sciences study a particular aspect of the society but sociology studies all aspects i.e. society as whole.

What is Sociology?
It is a subject of social science. It has been coined by Augste Comte in 1839 as a separate discipline and so he is called the father of Sociology. He was a French Philosopher and used this term first time in his book Positive Philosophy. He used it as 'Social Philosophy" in 1838 but in 1939 he used Sociology.

The study of Sociology as a separate discipline to study society as a whole spread slowly to all countries. In 1876 it started in United States as a separate discipline.

1889 - France
1907 - Great Britain
1919 - India – it started hereafter World War I in the University of Bombay. After that it spread in other universities in 1930.
1924 - Poland
1925 - Egypt and Mexico
1947 - Sweden

It is the youngest of the social sciences. This term has been derived from two words i.e. Societies and logos. The 1st is Latin and the 2nd Greek. The 1st means society and logos means study or science. As a result sociology is the science or study of society.

Why there was a need to start Sociology?
Before this there were many social sciences which studied about society but they only studied a particular aspect i.e. from different angles or point of view. A need to study society as a whole arose and this is when Augste Comte used this term.

The term sociology has been criticized by J.S. Mill. It should be called Ethnology (to study of social behavior). Hurbert Spencer supported the term sociology and did not quite agree with J.S. Mill.

Aristotle – 'Man is a social animal" and he is bound to live in society. Both necessity and nature impels man to live in society. Man is by nature social. At birth a human is a plastic and pliable identity.

When we live in society we interact with each other and we have different relationships with different people. Sociology tells us about the type of relationship we should have with others. As a social being we have relationship with the economic, psychological or political aspect.

Define Sociology: (Nature of sociology)
It is very difficult to define sociology because it studies society as a whole but our society is on the wheel of change and our behavior, society estimate many sociology in different ways according to their views.

  1. Sociology as a study of society:
    L.F. Ward – "Sociology is a science of society and social phenomena".
    Giddings : "Sociology is the systematic description and explanation of society as a whole.
  2. Sociology as a system of social relationship
    According to Mc. Iver & Page:
    "Sociology is the science of social relationship, the network of social relationship, we call it society".
    A.W. Green – "Sociology is the synthesizing & generalizing science of man, of all his social relationship".
    J.F.Cuber – "Sociology may be defined as a body of scientific knowledge about human relationship".
  3. Sociology about Social Interaction & action:
    Gillin & Gillin – "Sociology in its broadest sense may be said to be the study of interactions arising from the association of living beings".
    Geore Simmel – "Sociology is the science of the forms of human interactions".
    Merris Ginsberg – "Sociology is the study of human interaction & interrelations, their conditions and consequences".
    Max Weber – "Sociology is the science which attempts the interpretative understanding and social action".
  4. Sociology about Social events, social life, social activities & social function Ogburn & Nimkoff – "Sociology is the scientific study of social life".
    Bennet & Tumin – "Sociology is the science of the structure and function of social life".
    P.A. Sorokin – "Sociology is a generalizing science of socio – cultural phenomena viewed in their general forms, types and many fold interconnections, i.e. it is the theory of the structure and dynamics of social system, cultural system & personality".
  5. Sociology about social groups
    H.M. Johnson – "Sociology is the science that deals with social groups, their internal forms and modes of organization, the process that tend to maintain or change this form of organization & relation between groups.
  6. Collective representation
    Emile Durkhiem- "Sociology is the science of collective representation". By collective representation he means these collective symbols that are accepted by the majority of the people. Since they are social facts, they are instrumental in guiding and controlling the individual behavior.

Auguste Comte is called the father of sociology because he was the 1st man who sought to establish a science which would embrace the totality of human life and activities. He is the 1st French Philosopher used this term in 1839. According to Comte and other thinkers ignorance about society is the root of all social evil and he believed that knowledge about society. Obtained by scientific method would make possible the develop of a good society and he predicted that man would become the master of his social destiny as soon as he develops a science of society. He said that the science of society should be studied through scientific methods i.e. it should be observed, examined, classified and so on.