Sociological Key Figures!

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1 Oct 2011
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Sociological Key Figures
September 15 2011
Auguste Comte (1798-1857)
father of sociology
positivism: belief in applying the scientific method to the social world
focused on social statics (order), and social dynamics (change)
Comte's Law of 3 Stages:
→ Theological
→ Metaphysical
→ Positivistic
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
primitive communism, slavery, feudalism, capitalism, and communism.
Praxis: human beings have always been social beings because we must work in
order to live and the production of the means of subsistence is always a collective
social activity.
The Mode of Production of material life determines the general character of the
social, political, and spiritual processes of life.
Alienation, exploitation, and class struggle
→ 3 types of alienation = product, production, society
→ Class struggle: bourgeois vs proletariat
Emile Durkheim (1858-1917)
focus on social order
2 different patterns of social behaviour
→ mechanical and organic solidarity
conscious collective and the division of labour
repressive vs restitute law
Social Division of Labour:
→ “Sui Generis” or individuals become human in the process of social interaction.
Individuals are objects. Social problem: How best to adapt the individual to “society or
state.”
studied suicide:
→ assumption: animals = natural/instincts, humans = unlimited desires
→ 3 types of suicide: egotistic (individualism), altruistic (patriotism), anomic
(maladjustment)
→ solution for anomic suicide = occupational groups and moral education. Some people are
more prone to suicide than others.
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