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The beginning of Sociology

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  1. The beginning of Sociology How did Sociology come to be? Triple Revolutions Auguste Comte Social change

  2. How did Sociology come about? • The beginning of sociology is based in 14th-16th century Western Europe • By understanding the “QUESTIONS” the early sociologist were asking you can understand what Sociology is all about • This time period had three “revolutions” that occurred • Political revolution • Economic revolution • Intellectual Revolution

  3. #1- Political Revolution • FROM: Monarchy • King and Queen as head of government • Those in power are allowed to put anyone to death • The idea of “do as I say, not as I do” form on law • TO: Early Democracy • Individuals begin to have power in political decisions • Not ALL people had equal voice in the government

  4. #2- Economic Revolution • FROM: Feudalism • An economic system based on land ownership • Lords/royalty owned the land while serfs/peasants lived on the land and worked it for the royalty • Example: salt tax • King  Lords Knights  Serfs • Most power to least power • TO: Early forms of capitalism • Economic system based on pursuit of profit • Little or no government intervention in marketplace • More people had a chance of economic success

  5. #3 The Intellectual Revolution • FROM: Religious Explanations of Social & Physical World • A variety of religious faiths (Catholicism was the dominant faith) • TO: Scientific Explanations of the Social & Physical World • More elite in society came to accept science as the primary way to understand the physical and social worlds • This does NOT mean that all members “gave up” religion • Louvain University • First university of the modern era • 13th century- majors • 14th century- majors

  6. What did the Triple Revolutions Cause? • Migration to emerging cities • Unemployment in emerging cities • Diseases rages in cities’ slums • Child labor flourished • Addictive behaviors

  7. So you ask- where did Sociology come from? Politicians, citizens alike called for a new social science that would study this new, advanced society based on early democracy, early capitalism, and scientific explanations of the world

  8. Auguste Comte “father” of Sociology

  9. Comte’s Theory- Law of Human Progress • Every human society evolves in 3 stages • Theological Stage • Metaphysical (philosophical) Stage • Positive science/positivism • Non-intervention • Progress only moves forward

  10. Theological stage • A man's place in society and society's restrictions upon man were referenced to God. • Comte believed all primitive societiess went through some period in which life is completely theocentric. • Theocentric- having God as the central interest and ultimate concern • In such societies, the family is the typical social unit, and priests and military leaders hold sway

  11. Metaphysical stage • This "Metaphysical" phase involved the justification of universal rights as being on a higher plane than the authority of any human ruler to overrule • Human rights were not referenced to the sacred beyond mere metaphor.

  12. Positivism • Positivism= science • The purpose of this phase was for people to find solutions to social problems and bring them into force despite the proclamations of "human rights" or prophecy of "the will of God”

  13. Comte’s Ideas on How to study Society Sociologically • Empirically • Information should be based on observations, experiments, or experiences rather than on ideology, religion, or intuition • Social statics • Aspects of society that do NOT change • How principles of social order explain a particular society as well as the interconnections between structures • Social dynamics • Aspects of society that DO change • Explores how individuals and society change over time

  14. Comte views Society as an “organism” that is • Always changing in some ways (statics) • Staying the same in other ways (dynamics)

  15. Questions?