RISE OF SOCIOLOGY
What makes a theory classical?
1) They have an ideological significance
2) Theyve been instrumental in helping to build sociology as an independent discipline & an institutional profession.
Most of the theories written in the book are from the time of French revolution (1789-1799) & WW1 (officially ending in 1919)
In this period societies were transforming, by the end of 18 century people were rural, conservative, uneducated, & ignored by the state
(unless they were criminals) & lacked org.structure.
Early twentieth, people became more bureaucratic, educated etc.
The most dramatic change that occurred in the 19 cent. Involved the transformation of the way subjects viewed themselves in the social
world & their places in it.
Feudal concepts gave rise to class distinction (commoner vs. aristocrats); & after having replaced this feud with the idea of democracy &
equality rights, sociology came as a part of & a response to this shift.
By1920s modern stage was (now) had been established.(tech, bureaucracy, lifestyle, govt. intervention etc.)
Social & political ideals of capitalism & socialism replaced the older issues of monarchic GOVT. (women rights, pop culture)
Blue collar vs. white collar lifestyle took shape, rejection of traditional sexual & aesthetic mores, drug experimentation etc.
Modern age came into existence between the end of 18 & beg of 20 cent. 1790 1920 marks the change.
Classical sociological theory was an attempt to come to terms with the problems & issues arising from the emerging era.
Social atomization, alienation, loneliness (Hegel, Marx, Durkheim). Social disorganization (Durkheim, Comte)
Secularization & Decline of traditional religious belief (Weber, Comte, Durkheim)
Individuals capacity to take rational control of life (Freud, Pareto)Class division, class conflict
Classical sociology deals with whats seen as modern problems, but it self is a product of the modern era. The sociological way of
looking is its most definitive characteristic of the modern age.
Between 1880 & 1920 it was established as its own right booth in US & many other western countries.
5 theorists who didnt call them selves sociologists. But made important contributions, & viewpoints that other theorists shared
Hegel Phil proff, died before sociology came ard, though most of his work def. has sociological orientation.
Marx never academically acclaimed himself as a sociologist, but his influences have been greater than that of any others.
Veblen founder of modern social economics, contributed to the understanding of social & economic behavior.
Nietzsche- anti-modern critique whose work is esp. become influential in the US over the past decade.
Frued medical doc. founded the disciple of psychoanalysis, made crucial contributions to our understanding of our selves.
SOCIOLOGY AS SCIENCE & VALUE-ORIENTING CRITIQUE
SOCIAL THEORY OFTEN REJECTED BECAUSE IT SEEMS TO HAVE AN IDEOLOGICAL AGENDA, Marxist time was based on
the viewpoint of the exploited working class.
Though ideological commitment is needed often as foundation for sociological theory. (ideology itself is more than a bias view)
Ideology, harshly criticized, but it is good in understanding reality from a time when truth was hidden & in the worst of situation, it is not
the best in respect of time.
And so sociology is most powerful with science than ideology. Social theory attempts to steer individual mind towards social options &
Positivists (comte, spencer & pareto) sociology should base its mode of inquiry in the methods of already established natural sciences.
Whereas critical theorists (Hegel & Marx) strive to critique & suspend habits, customs & ideologies that constrain human quest for
*value orienting explanation can be subjected to critical analysis if not experimental confirmation.
Sociological theory in part Is bounded by gradual awareness of modernizing trends that brought chaos, disruption & dislocation.
All these concerns reflect an ideological interest in restricting modes of consciousness & social commitments to deal with salient social
probs. & is typically sociological to believe organized social action can make a difference in addressing social problems.
INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF SOCIOLOGY
Durkheim first proff of sociology & created first sociological research institution in France. Weber & Simmer instrumental in
organizing first sociological association in Germany.
Weber put limitations on what society could expect a sociologist to do (special skills that help resolve some issues, but did not enable
them to make authoritative judgments about all human concerns) in an attempt to strengthen the impact by not permitting to make
promises it couldnt fill.
Comte, Durkheim, Spencer, Simmel & Pareto argued for sociology as a legitimate & independent discipline.
All except for Simmel favored positivism. (scientific method ensures scientific explanation, hence value-free not inclined to change
when values based ideas change)
Durkheim, comte, spencer believed sociology as an instrumental science, with cause & affect knowledge to understand & adapt to social
systems external & coercive for individuals.
Sociology can restructure social relationship& organization in moral & harmonious ways. Argueing for a science of society along
Although it developed from European intellectuals, it established itself well in the US & was first founded in US universities.
In 1950s so=ciologists were more concerned with second level concerns (how existing social relationcould strengthen & reformed
instead of transformed. Critical theorists - Hegel, Marx & Freud. Functionalists Spencer & Durkheim. Action theorists weber & pareto. Conflict Marx
& Simmer. Symbolic interactionists Mead
Large scale issues power & domination in society Marx was re-discovered to understand their own society structures & how power
Anglo American counter parts (French & Germans) more interested in using the field to help political & national goals.
Classical theory was useful in persuading governmental & educational bureaucracies that sociology was a legitimate & useful academic
ENLIGHTENMENT PHIL & CLASSICAL SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY
Enlightenment critical reaction against traditional authority. Knowledge of nature & self-knowledge could not derive from obedience to
authority & tradition or practical, everyday experience.
Renee Descartes & Isaac Newton progenitors of enlightenment, thought not social theorists.
Descartes believed careful observation & clarity of expression better concerned knowledge than blind obedience to the church.
Newton devout , respected religion on one hand but supported the reason & observation to understand necessary laws of nature.
Physical & social world be understood by means of reason. Natural laws could be revealed by rational inquiry & social investigation.
And so enlightenment emphasized progress through rational self understanding & perfectibility of human kind, reason & social analysis
provided an intellectual foundation for much of classical sociological theory.
Immanuel kant appeal of reason over authority & tradition; individual can take control with intellectual understanding; freedom & truth
are reinforcing principles of life. No contradiction between truth, freedom, individual development & social good.
Some sociologists were more in support of anti enlightenment ideas & blames rousseau for the French revolution, for the excess of
SOCIAL EVOLUTIONISM & CLASSICAL SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY
Classical social evolution viewed social change as more or less universally applicable stages & explained social order with reference to
these stages. (Roots back to ST.Augustine.Christian evolutionism &
A universal set of stages societies go through, at different rates of change. Positing the following about change:
1) Inevitable (change will happen, regardless), 2) directional & teleological (flowing in one direction, & that direction is positive, leads
towards progress & the betterment.,( 3) analogous to organic stages of growth 4) progressive in nature.
Explains the development of individuals as well societies, civilizations & humanity as a whole.
Teleology an innate drive towards an end state.
SOCIOLOGY & PROBLEMS WITH MODERNITY
Different situations & circumstances in different places. The proposal of inevitable change towards progress failed with the worsening
condition of workers from peasants to working class etc. no rights or power to protect them, the change of labor etc.
FRANCE: COLLECTIVISM & REVOLUTION
Working class, stood up against the aristocrats & their wealthy style (French revolution)
Collectivist theorists view individuals as naturally part of, dependent on & to some extent subservient to a social whole.
Socialism is a politically radical form of collectivism
Conservatives think of the past as good, & the previous feudal life as stable & organic whole in which every member had a necessary role
that was harmonious with every other role in society.
Important because of its influences on MARX & DURKHEIM & COMTE.
GERMANY: DISUNITY & IDEALISM
Germany, through out most on 19 cent. Was not a nation state but an idea; feudal German nation was held together by a common
language, religion & customs; which started to fall apart when napoleon forced the emperor to leave his crown.
With no unity, they lacked political institutions & so could not give political expression to their feelings of cultural unity.
And remained their belief that without a proper political structure, moderni