Sociology (lat. socius‚ carriages‘ and-logie) a science which deals with the empiric and theoretical investigation of the social behaviour that is the conditions, expiries and results of the living together is examined by people. As a systematic-critical science of the social the sociology arose from the age of the clarification and takes an intermediatory position between natural sciences and humanities. She received their name from Auguste Comte, before she asserted herself in the second half of the 19th century as an independent university discipline. Ferdinand Tönnies, Georg Simmel and Max weaver are valid as a founder of the speaking sociology.
Object and definition
The sociology ebook forms the core resulted from the humanities of the social sciences. While other social-scientific disciplines like the politics science or the economics certain areas of the social under specific aspects (politics: legitimate exercise of power; economy: Shortage) examine, the sociology investigates all aspects of the social living together of the people in communities and societies. She asks for sense and structures of the social action (action theory) as well as for the values adjusting the actions and norms. Their investigation objects are the society as a whole just as her subranges: social systems, institutions, organisations and groups. Moreover, the sociology deals with the social integration and disintegration, with social inequality, social conflicts and social change.
The other subjects with which the sociology deals are social structures, work, genders, social networks, groups, communicative device (mass media), migration, everyday life, technology and social environment. For many of these subjects special sociologies have set up (see below), other – as for example the general question after the interaction of action and structure – are a subject of the general sociology. Questions of the sociology often overlap with such of the social psychology and other social sciences and humanities, partially also with those of natural sciences as for example of the neurobiology.
A specialised uniform definition of sociology does not exist. A widespread definition comes from Max Weber, focuses on the „social action“.
„Sociology should be called: a science which wants to understand social action interpreting and explain causally thereby in his expiry and his effects.‚ besides, action‘ should be called a human behaviour if and in so far as the trading or the trading (she) connect with him a subjective sense.‚ however, Soziales’ action should be called such an action which is covered his by him or the trading meant sense after to the behaviour more different and is oriented in it in his expiry.“
– Max weaver: Economy and society, in 1920
History of the sociology
The sociology was recognised as an independent science only since end of the 19th century. She freed herself in this time as a single science of the philosophy, economics, political science and ethnology. Their history of the origin is closely connected with the development of the middle-class society in Europe of the 19th century as well as with the progressive industrialisation.
Precursors of the sociology are in the science of history to see the economics, but also in the journalism and in the Policeywissenschaften. Today thinkers at the beginning and in the middle of the 19th century like Henri de Saint-Simon, Karl Marx and Herbert Spencer are also looked as sociological classics.
The name giver of the sociology had appeared to Auguste Comte with his in 1851-1854 4-volume work Système de politique positive, ou Traité de sociologie, instituant la religion de l’humanité. Since then she tries, partly in development, partly in contrast to the older authors who also dealt with the social interaction – as for example already in the antique Xenophon in the 4th century B.C., polybiology two centuries later, Ibn Khaldun in the 14th century, Giambattista Vico at the beginning and Adolph Freiherr Knigge at the end of the 18th century – to formulate her claim after „her own knowledge object“.
For Comte this object is „social physics“ (physique sociale) which he distinguishes according to the laws of the social statics and social dynamism. For Émile Durkheim it is the „social fact of the matter“ (bailiff social) or – in the translation of René Königs – „the sociological fact of the matter“ which exists beyond the individual consciousness and is of compelling character. for Ferdinand Tönnies form, that is on the „will to the social affirmation“ to being based social connections, the specific sociological object. For Max Weber it is the „social action“ (see above).
Sociological understanding, sociological explanation
In the sociology as a science of the social theory and experience are covered on each other. Empirically substantial as well as the rules of the logic after, she is aimed at understanding the observed and at developing for it explanations with the help of general sentences (axioms). The Dualität of the investigation attempts corresponds to him: herm new table interpreting and causal-analytic procedures on the one hand, on the other hand, and erstere the participant perspective, latter take the observer’s perspective.
Sociological theories in competition
Besides, sociological theories never followed “the same” paradigm, i.e. they referred in her scientific beginning not to only one certain way of thinking. This lies with her theoretical degree of difficulty – her object is highly complicated.
There comes: Already methodologisch, but also often for moral reasons this mostly forbids to itself – often clearing – experiment; the instead possible questioning implies conceptual and interpretation problems: For example, interviewers introduce subjective aspects, are lain, in isolated cases they fake even the statements. The sociology remains instructed always also on observations. Also the paradigms seem according to the concrete questions differently promising, if the results representation-logically‚ simply‘ and should be objective, financing-conditioned quick or cost-saving.
Two epistemological main attempts are to be distinguished and does not reach results of the research independent absolutely free of evaluation of ideological motives, but can be aimed:
(1) If theories assume axiomatically from the fact that „single actors socially act“ (inclusively: „the people make the society“), and one can treat all sociological questions on this basis, they need biological, anthropological and particularly a biosociological Fundierung to so highly complicated personalen action bases like the will or the rationality of an actor. Such theories are problematic in this respect when socially acting actors are acting subjects as well as objects of the social action of other actors – differently than the searching subjects in the natural sciences (cf. in addition the selbsterfüllende prophecy).
(2) If theories go out, instead, from „überpersönlichen units axiomatically laid to reason“, inclusively: „not the individuals tip the balance“, (e.g., from units like the single “societies”, six Residuen, „four basically possible“ communication manners, both genders or „of one humanity“), must be backed up their social-philosophical source definition always axiomatically. This turns out extremely difficult. There demarcation problems come between for example groups, motives, systems, woman and man or people and non-people (possibly to animals or robots).
These both main draughts and her overlappings are the bases for the big number more differently of sociological theories (see below the examples under macrosociology and microsociology). There comes that „with limited questions“ in the sociological everyday life researchers of different science-theoretical adjustment – raise the mathematical to social-historical method box of building blocks – similar to same, dependable, as well as valid findings thanks to developed extensive in the sociology ebook.
In practice many sociologists often refuse to take one single epistemologischen position and work according to question and resources with different theories and methods.
Some central concepts of the sociology
The concept Society refers to a sum of relations and relations between the single people. is not meant the bare spatial number according to amount of individuals , but their Sozialität. With it are called structures from relatively stable behaviour patterns which have her origin in the interactive human action and achieve in this area her effect. as the most general concept of society „the respectively most enclosing system of the human living together“ is called. No arrangement passes in the sociology about more specific signs for a society.
The process which makes society members from individuals is called “nationalisation”.
Today institutions like the state, the family, the right or the education become as subcategories (also: Subsystems) of the society understood. The differentiation between state and society founded the beginning of the sociology.
The concepts „the social“ or “Sozialität” mean the research object of the sociology and correspond in her meaning to the concept of the “society”.
Social action e-book
The concept Action means in the sociology after Max Weber an “action” which is connected for the trading with “sense”. According to Max Weber „social action“ defines itself by the fact that covered it to other, sensory-like in the behaviour other is oriented.
The social fact of the matter
The „social fact of the matter“ (bailiff social) is after Émile Durkheim „every more or less agreed kind of the action which owns the ability to exercise an external compulsion on the singles; or also which appears as general in the area of a given society and it owns one own way of life independent of her individual statements.“
Integration – disintegration
Since Auguste Comte it is asked in the sociology: What distinguishes what connects the people what order provides for progress and at the same time? This subject was treated above all in the Strukturfunktionalismus – thus by Talcott Parsons–. Presently, among the rest, the disintegration theory is strongly absorbed by Wilhelm Heitmeyer.
The sociology deals with the social change as the comprehensive change of relatively stable social structures since her time of origin; he already plays in the thinking Saint-Simons and Marx’ a significant role. He received his conceptual version by Ogburns writing Social Change (1922). In newer time the social change stands in the focus of modernisation theories.
Social norms are behavioral expectations of individuals and groups in specific social situations with differently strong obligations which are put through by positive and negative sanctions (see also social desirability). The norm restraint of social behaviour is an early subject of the sociology. With her have dealt in particular Emile Durkheim and Talcott Parsons, in the German post-war sociology Ralf Dahrendorf and Heinrich Popitz.
Subdivision of the sociology
Arrangement after the examined units
A division often to be found of the sociology makes a distinction between
to the starting point of whole societies as units (macrosociology) and
to the starting point of the social action and Interagierens of the actors (microsociology).
Dissatisfied with this science-theoretically strict alternative representatives of a look called “Mesosoziologie” at intermediäre levels (stress „are There and Here“) and a beginning recently called “macro-mike sociology” which claims to overcome process-analytically one-sidedness exclusive macro and micro-consideration (stress „neither – nor“).
Macrosociology (society, group, structure, system, discourse)
Strukturfunktionalismus, see and.
Critical theory, see and.
System theory, see and.
Cultural theory, see and.
Actor network theory (ANT)
Network theory (Social network)
A visualisation of a social network
Microsociology (actor, individual, action)
Methodologischer individualism (in particular theory of the rational decision, see and)
Figuration sociology (argumentative allocation)
Hermeneutics in particular the herm new tables knowledge sociology as well as the objective hermeneutics
Konstruktivismus in particular of the Sozialkonstruktivismus
Theory of the practise
This concept is less ausdefiniert and circumscribes, e.g., the sociology of the institutions, rituals and organisations or the connection between microsociology and macrosociology.
Strukturationstheorie, see and.
Here it is claimed for the beginning by Norbert Elias, the figuration sociology (also process sociology), a current-structural (figurative) basic lapping going out the actor analysis which rejects, nevertheless, macrosociological Reifizierungen of the whole society.
Arrangement after the reach of the theorems
Further subject areas of the sociology can be also distinguished after whether they are to be added to the “general” sociology, claim so general validity, or whether it concerns, besides, subjects of a “special” sociology. Theoretically belong the sociological “methods” of the general theory, however, in the university practise they are pursued often separately.
General sociology e-book
To the „general sociology“ the attempts important for all theoretical questions are calculated generally. Subjects like the relation of actor and society or person and social system, as well as the structure and the change of societies or social systems also belong to it. Also the methods of the empiric research can be arranged here.
Main topics of the general sociology are, for example: Devianz, élites, functional differentiation, groups, rule, communication, power, socialisation, social action, social interaction, classes, social mobility, social roles, social exchange, social inequality, social change, social structure, technology.
„Special sociologies“ – informally also “hyphen sociologies” called – deal with the structures and processes of social subsystems or institutional areas of the society.
Working sociology, economic sociology, family sociology and politics sociology belong to the most important special sociologies. By the increasing differentiation also of the sociology itself other special sociologies form constantly.
List of special sociologies
Hollerith punch card – before the computer-aided evaluation the everyday utensil of the quantitative research.
Empiric social research
For one of the sociology adequate methodology of the empiric investigation of the social facts of the matter it was struggled since the beginnings of the discipline in the so-called method quarrel.
The extensive methodical instruments of the empiric sociology can be subdivided as follows:
Quantitative methods and Qualitative methods
Combinations of these three attempts are often applied (mixed methods). The so-called objective hermeneutics claim to formulate a comprehensive research methodology of the social sciences which finds equally for quantifying data like for of course taken down expression shapes of the concrete life practise and protocols are quite “historical by Se) use. The abovementioned method differentiation is criticised by this methodology and is rejected.
Pure and applied sociology ebook
Although the difference is made between a pure theory and her use in many sciences and belongs in the area of everyday preunderstanding also to the sociology, here there is a strict one and a less agreed use.
In the strict sense Ferdinand Tönnies has made a distinction between axiomatically supported and conceptual unfolded „pure sociology“ and one from the there outgoing „applied sociology“ with which these concepts are put on deductive to historical social processes. Therefore, in the first case one moves in the „empire of the ideas“, in second in the „empire of the reality“.
To less strict senses one understands by applied sociology the use of theoretical bases for the treatment of research assignments. The success of a sociological theory direction is present not only from the intellectual ability and scientific meaning of her founders dependent, but – science-sociological seen – absolutely also from the inquiry for sociological consultation by the market or for social associations or the politics, seldom, however, more with lasting effect also by social movements.
Market research and electoral research offer the most lucrative orders for sociologists what favours the development of the quantitative methods (statistics) and the theory attempts leant in the natural sciences relatively. Since the questions are mostly limited and covered to the near future. Many ceteris paribus terms can be assumed without affecting the results strongly. Here it came, first in the USA (since the late 1940s years also in the Federal Republic of Germany) for the foundation of survey companies and polling institutes.
Some special branches (military sociology, medicine sociology, sports sociology and disaster sociology) ask sociological consultation, but not the industrial sociology, since from the 1970s the field has moved in Germany from the economic-scientific and social-scientific faculties (departments) in the philosophical ones; now the organisation sociology is continued above all in the USA. An advisory function often has also the legal sociology which pursues effect and Evaluationsforschung among other things in the approach of planned laws; she can also provide in areas with “soft” legal relationships (arbitrages, Faithfully and faith, “at reasonable discretion”) for a structuralisation. Social-spatial structures are examined for planning purposes by the local sociology.
However, jobless arts are numerous special sociologies which can be badly marketed and are accessible quantitative methods a little, possibly the art sociology, literature sociology or religious sociology. So their research progress is strongly dependent on the research freedom of the university sociology, from the motives of the scientists and on the relatively low third means subsidies of benefit to the public thinking sponsor (patrons).
Dictatorships reject – above all the mentality of the population considering and about that information giving – sociology; with special (then often confidential) consultation need they also permit temporarily sociological questions (for example, in the GDR of the 1980s in the area of the applied town sociology and youth sociology).
Some especially significant sociological thinkers since her founder Auguste Comte are performed here. Such a list is contestable of course.
List of important sociologists
as well as the list of 150 sociological classics.
A Theodor W. Adorno, Raymond Aron
B Zygmunt Bauman, Ulrich Beck, Daniel Bell, Reinhard Bendix, Peter L. Berger, Peter M. Blau, Raymond Boudon, Pierre Bourdieu
C Dieter Claessens, James S. Coleman, Auguste Comte, Charles Horton Cooley, Lewis Coser
D Ralf Dahrendorf, W. E. B. DuBois, Émile Durkheim
E Shmuel N. Eisenstadt, Norbert Elias, Jon Elster, Hartmut Esser, Amitai Etzioni
And the following Hans Freyer, Gilberto Freyre
G Harold Garfinkel, Arnold Gehlen, Theodor Geiger, Anthony Giddens, Erving Goffman, Ludwig Gumplovicz
H Jürgen Habermas, Maurice Halbwachs, George C. Homans
J Marie Jahoda
K René König
L Paul F. Lazarsfeld, M. Rainer Lepsius, Seymour Martin Lipset, Thomas Luckmann, Niklas Luhmann
M Bronisław Malinowski, Michael Mann, Karl Mannheim, Herbert Marcuse, Karl Marx, Marcel Mauss, George Herbert Mead, Robert K. Merton, Robert Michel, Charles Wright Mills, Richard Münch
O William F. Ogburn, Franz Oppenheimer
P Vilfredo Pareto, Robert E. Park, Talcott Parsons
R David Riesman, stone Rokkan
See Claude-Henri Comte de Saint-Simon, Saskia Sitting, Helmut Schelsky, Wolfgang Schluchter, Alfred Schütz, Richard Sennett, Alphons Silbermann, Georg Simmel, Werner Sombart, Pitirim Sorokin, Herbert Spencer, William Graham Sumner
T Gabriel Tarde, William I Thomas, Ferdinand Tönnies, Alain Touraine
V Thorstein Veblen
W of Immanuel Wallerstein, Lester Frank Ward, Alfred Weber, Max weaver, Edvard Westermarck, William F. Whyte, Leopold von Wiese
Contemporary sociological attempts
Here only one choice can be demanded.
A huge number of works, particularly as sociological classic like Max weaver, let themselves assign roughly „interpretative and qualitative rekonstruktiven“ paradigm. Often outgoing from phenomenology, pragmatism and historiography subjective sensory qualities and the reconstruction of the origin terms, courses and consequences of social methods (action manners) are in the foreground, on this occasion.
The microsociological theory of the rational decision (of known representatives: Hartmut Esser) leads back so-called aggregate phenomena on the decisions and the action corresponding to them of single actors and assumes from the fact that here rational elections are discoverable. Between Rationally Choice beginning, quantitative methodology and more neoclassically economical theory rule certain affinities.
The Rational Choice approach can be traced back up to Ferdinand Tönnies who has made, nevertheless, not the Ratio, but the wills the starting point of social action (cf.: Voluntarismus).
From central meaning in Central Europe and influence till the USA the „critical theory“ is (thus by Jürgen Habermas and Axel Honneth) which is marked, in the meantime, by a nearness to the (French) Poststrukturalismus, but in her dialectic science and methods view on Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud falls back.
As the fourth big and in particular in the German speaking and Japanese-speaking space high-powered school the „sociological system theory lets itself“ in the wake of Talcott Parsons (cf.: Strukturfunktionalismus) and Niklas Luhmann call. “Sociology” is cut here on a view by society which is defined by typical communications and non-communications in social subsystems.
Objective hermeneutics: From the end of the seventies years the reconstruction-logical research methodology of the objective hermeneutics – has developed stamped above all by Ulrich Övermann – which be a principle of a change regulation of contents and method dialectic research methodology as well as constitutional theory of the social sciences to according to Hegels claims and for soon forty years trains a wide research practise of numerous scientists from the most different disciplines. She has their origins in the sequential analysis of Interaktionstranskripten of the project led by Övermann „Parental home and School“ in the Max-Planck’s institute of educational research in Berlin, in the beginning of the 1970s.
Further there is:
The process sociology has been revived in particular by Norbert Elias.
Elias understands them not only as a civilisation theory, but also as a counterdraft to the action theory and to the system theory. For him exist neither pure individuals without society nor pure societies without individuals. He also knows no states. Really the movement is always in social interweaving (figurations). After Elias the works Dieter Claessens’ are to be called.
However, there are not process-sociological attempts – under this name – with different derivations already since Giambattista Vico, Karl Marx, Ludwig Gumplovicz and Vilfredo Pareto.
Pierre Bourdieu has developed since the 1970s up to the turn of the millennium since that time often taken up kombinatorische „theory of the practise“ on empiric basis under inclusion more philosophically, sociological, ethnological and economic theories which is often subsumed under cultural sociology ebook.