Sociology is the study of society. It is the scientific study of collective human behavior. The study of sociology is concerned with all group activities like economic, political, social and religious. Sociologists study various areas such as bureaucracy, community, family, public opinion, social change, etc. The subject tries to determine the laws governing human behavior in social contexts.
The subject ranges from the humble micro level of agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and social structures. The subject is both topically and methodologically a very broad discipline. Traditionally, sociology was limited to the study of social stratification, social class, social mobility, religion and law. Gradually, the focus expanded to include subjects such as health, military and penal institutions and the Internet.
The concept of sociology can be traced back to the time of Aristotle. With his famous quotation, “man is a social animal.” However, the real and concrete study about sociology began only in the 18th century.
The word Sociology was derived from two words, Latin word “socius” and Greek word “logos”. Significant contributions to the subject were made by Auguste Comte, Karl Marx, Herbert Spencer and Emile Durkheim.
The subject has seen the introduction of topics like Positivism, Anti-positivism, Functionalism, Conflict Theory, Computational Sociology, Culture, Criminality, Deviance, Law and Punishment, Economic Sociology, Environment, Education, Family, Gender and Sexuality, Health and Illness, Media, Military, Political Sociology, Race and Ethnic Relations, Religion, Social Networks, Social Psychology.
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