89. Sociology – the Discipline

Dr. Chaya Dubey M.A., Ph.D is one of our leading Sociology Professors. She has agreed to guide our students in Sociology. I want you to study the note below and answer her questions. You may also consult the six books given to you. I am sure you appreciate the efforts of the Institute to help the students. I should consider both myself and you lucky in having three Ph.Ds guiding you. Do your best. The next blog will come soon.


Sociology-the discipline

Sociology is the science that deals with social groups, their internal forms or modes of organization ,the process that tend to maintain or change these forms of organization and the relation between groups. Sociology is simply a way of studying people and their society.   August Comte laid the foundation of modern sociology around the middle of the 19th century that is 1839.

But social thought did exist prior to ‘Comte’ for thousand of years. Men thought about societies in which they live. The writing of philosophers’ thinkers and law givers of various countries, contain ideas that are sociological. for example ‘Kautilya’s  Arthashahthra, Manu’s dharmashastra ,Plato’s Republic ,Aristotle’s Politics and Ethics, constitute some of the ancient source of social thought.

From the Western sociological view point, these thinkers could be called as historian’s philosophers, law givers, visionaries and so on, but not sociologist.

However in the 19th century some attempts were made by some intellectuals to understand and interpret human society and its problem.


During the 16th, 17th  and 18th centuries the great intellectual processes of renaissance, reformation and enlightenment gave a big impetus to the continuation of the tradition of scientific thinking. The factors that led to the emergence of sociology are:

1. The influence of the age of enlightenment which is characterized by a fundamental questioning of the traditional mode of thought and social organization.

2. The impact of the twin revolutionaries namely –

i) French revolution 1789

ii) Industrial revolution 18th century

iii) Inspiration from the growth of natural and social sciences

iv)the inspiration provided by the newly discovered societies and culture.


It is quit natural to ask about the value of sociology, the purpose that it serves and the gain that is derived by studying it. This is the science of immense value like-

  1. Sociology makes a scientific study of society.
  2. Sociology studies role of the institutions in the development of the individuals.
  3. The study of sociology is indispensable for understanding and planning of society.
  4. Sociology is of great important in the solution of social problems.
  5. Sociology has drawn our attention to the intrinsic worth and dignity of man. It has been instrumental in changing our attitude towards human beings.
  6. Sociology has changed our outlook with regards to the problems of crime etc.
  7. Sociology has made great contribution to enrich human culture.

In India, the importance of the study of sociology is still greater. The Indian society is undergoing a rapid transformation.

The first step towards development and a solution of the various problems besetting the Indian society is to understand the social backgrounds of this problems.sociology will assist in understanding this background.

Please refer to the question and make short note and express your opinions.

Q 1. Sociology is the science of society. Discuss.

Q2. What would you regard as the main aim of sociology?

Q3. Is sociology a science with its own subject matter?

Q4. The twin revolution led to the development of sociology.Examine.

Q5.  Discussed the social effects of industrial revolution in Indian context.

Dr. Chhaya Dubey




41 thoughts on “89. Sociology – the Discipline

  1. Dear Dr.Chaya Dubey

    Welcome to the Faculty. I am really grateful to you for joining our faculty I am sure that our students will benefit immensely from you. You may kindly moderate the discussion. You are well aware that our students need to be prodded to take part in ventures like these. I shall be thankful to you if you could kindly address the students for a few minutes on this Sunday at 9 AM. If you are engaged otherwise, next Sunday be would be OK. Once again a Big Thank You and all the best


    1. it is fortunate enough to join you and immense pleasure to see the quick response..I will be there on this Sunday by 9am.

      Dr.Chhaya Dubey

  2. there are couple of typos –
    1. traditional mode of though and social organization — should be traditional mode of thought and social organization

    2. The Indian society is undergoing a raped transformation — should be The Indian society is undergoing a rapid transformation

  3. Answer 1: The etymological meaning of “sociology” is “science of society”. Sociology alone studies social relationships, society itself. It is a social science and its main purpose is to study human life, activities and relations in a scientific way. Sociology looks beyond the generally accepted explanations for social behavior and seeks more scientific answers. Ex: why do you people go to temples or churches? A sociologist observes that the class as a unit has its own characteristics which are not the properties of any individual in the class. It tries to be “value-free” in its approach and objective in its findings and adopts a definite validity criterion. It is a pure science. As an independent science it has its own field of study, boundary and method.

    1. This answer is to the point and contents are clear,keep it up.I would like you to attempt the other questions.

  4. 1. Sociology is one of the member and family of social sciences. It is concerned with the life and activities of man in the society. It studies the nature, character of human society, its development, structures, functions, social relationships etc. Economics studies man’s wealth and welfare, history deals with human past in accordance with the time order. Political science studies man as a citizen, as a ruler and as being ruled. Sociology alone studies social relationships, society itself. Thus the ‘focus’ of no other social science is identical with that of sociology

    1. while answering concentrate on the question,but you have left the main part .More light on its scientific characteristics like factuality,causality,verifiability,and objectivity etc.

  5. 2. Sociology aims at concentrating on the society and major units and their dynamics. It has been striving to analyse the dynamics of society in terms of organised patterns of social relations. It mainly aimed at finding out how and why societies emerge, persists or change. It Is also concerned with the development , structure and functions of a wide variety of basic social institutions such as family and kinship, religion and property, economic, political, legal, educational and scientific, recreational and welfare.

    1. You can mention social process also like competition, co-operation,assimilation and accommodation etc.

  6. 3. Yes, Sociology a science with its own subject matter.It is now emerged into an independent science. It is not treated and studied as a branch of any other science like philosophy or history. As an independent science it has its own field of study, boundary and method. Sociology is the acquisition of knowledge about human society, not the utilisation of that knowledge. Sociology deals with sociological analysis, study of primary units of social life, structure and functions of social institutions and it has its own methods of research.

    1. As you know , now we are utilizing the knowledge.Welfare program run by government authorities like administrator and diplomats as well as NGO’s based on the sociological survey and research.
      it is not necessary to compare with other subjects.

  7. Science means Knowledge, The environment in which humans live is called society. Sociology deals with understanding of society and several entities of society like human relationships, political structures, economic structures, social structures. Sociology tries to understand society in its totality, it deals with facts and objectivity. Since Sociology tries to do integrated study of society, it demands the approach of Sociology to be scientific and empirical.

  8. 4. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Western Europe was rocked by technical, economic, and social changes that forever changed the social order. Science and technology were developing rapidly. James Watt invented the steam engine in 1769, and in 1865 Joseph Lister discovered that an antiseptic barrier could be placed between a wound and germs in the atmosphere to inhibit infection. These and other scientific developments spurred social changes and offered hope that scientific methods might help explain the social as well as the natural world. This trend was part of a more general growth in rationalism.
    The industrial revolution began in Britain in the late eighteenth century. By the late nineteenth century, the old order was collapsing “under the twin blows of industrialism and revolutionary democracy”. Mechanical industry was growing, and thousands of people were migrating to cities to work in the new factories. People once rooted in the land and social communities where they farmed found themselves crowded into cities. The traditional authority of the church, the village, and the family were being undermined by impersonal factory and city life.

    Capitalism also grew in Western Europe in the nineteenth century. This meant that relatively few people owned the means of production—such as factories—while many others had to sell their labor to those owners. At the same time, relatively impersonal financial markets began to expand. The modern epoch was also marked by the development of administrative state power, which involved increasing concentrations of information and armed power.
    Finally, there was enormous population growth worldwide in this period, due to longer life expectancy and major decreases in child death rates. These massive social changes lent new urgency to the development of the social sciences, as early sociological thinkers struggled with the vast implications of economic, social and political revolutions. All the major figures in the early years of sociology thought about the “great transformation” from simple, preliterate societies to massive, complex, industrial societies.

  9. Answer 2: The aim of sociology is to study the society and reason how and why it is different/same in certain respects from another society and identify any peculiarities that are present. Societies may differ in their responses to the same thing. Such as if one society may embrace gambling, another society may disgrace it. Hence, when any development work or social problems are being addressed sociologist aims to avoid from running into any unprecedented friction and aligning more so such that the society accepts and responds positively to the policy implementations. In the larger scope it involves spreading well being to all human beings.

    1. Chandra,The main aim of sociology is to study the society as it is ,not as -ought to be. We can compare the society but at the same time should be non-ethical.we can’t judge what is right and what is wrong.
      Your approach is very good

  10. 1. Sociology is a science of society. Sociology deals with observing, analyzing and interpreting the social phenomenon that takes place in society among different units and also within them in the context of its implications on the different institutions of the society. Sociology also provides solutions in the way of guiding individuals in their actions by making them aware of the surroundings and its behavior. Sociology is a systematic study of society. Science studies the behavior or how matter reacts to a certain condition or stimuli. Sociology also studies the pattern of behavior of society to an external or internal factor. Hence, sociology as the name suggests is science of society.

  11. 1. Sociology is a science of society. Sociology deals with observing, analyzing and interpreting the social phenomenon that takes place in society among different units and also within them in the context of its implications on the different institutions of the society. Sociology also provides solutions in the way of guiding individuals in their actions by making them aware of the surroundings and its behavior. Sociology is a systematic study of society. Science studies the behavior or how matter reacts to a certain condition or stimuli. Sociology also studies the pattern of behavior of society to an external or internal factor.

  12. Science refers to the body of knowledge which can be logically and rationally explained. Science has developed keeping certain basic axioms and laws e.g.”laws of nature”. It tries to build its explanation of the natural phenomena under the purview of factuality, causality, venerability and objectivity.

    Some of the early sociologist wanted to science of society which would contain certain basic axioms and laws, and that should explain all the social phenomena. It had its conception by the Father of Sociology Auguste Comte, who wanted a “religion” of humanity. With Durkheim, sociology started to develop as kind of quantitative research which tried to explain social behavior with more objectivity and rationality using data collected for emprical phenomena called social facts.

    Making social laws would signify that social behavior is dominant and individuality is of no significance. The instances where society predominately dictates the behavior pattern, sociology can be called as a science.

  13. 1. Sociology is the scientific study of society. As a social science, it concentrates its attention on man, his social behaviour, social activities and social life. As a member of the family of social sciences, it is related to other social sciences like history, political science, psychology, etc.
    So, its a science, more precisely social science which is the study of human society.

    1. Muralidhara, you have discussed about the subject matter of sociology ,but You should stress on its scientific nature.

      1. 1. Sociology is the scientific study of society. It deals with the Man and Society, origin, devlopment, structure and fuctions of human society.
        Sociology tries to determine the relationship and inter-dependance between different elements of social life. It discovers the fundaments conditions of social stability and social change which are called as Social static and Social dynamic respectfully.
        Sociology studies the effects of different forces such as economic, political, cultural, and others on man and his life.

  14. Sir has asked me this question to sociology blog,
    I am not able to understand meaning of this sentence “decisional science envelopes decisional structure, decisions, and their feedback not in an integrated manner but anything other than that.”

  15. 2. Sociology is a study of society. The students of sociology learn how groups behave. A wide range of behavior starting from food habits, dressing habits, religious practices, cultural events, economic activity, etc. Sociologists aim to study such group behaviors and understand the pattern governing them.
    This is important with modern societies where social problems like poverty, racism, war, violence, mental disorders, pollution have taken the lime light. Sociologist help the government to frame policies by giving justification for each action and reactions.

    The main aim of sociology would an engineering task. As a engineer who always tries to build better things with less cost, sociologists want to engineer societies with more “good” features and as much as possible lessen the “evil” ones.

    1. Pabitra,your answer is good.The thing is how to decide, what is’ good ‘ and what is ‘evil’ for ours society,for example,impact of modernization or westernization .At what extent it is good or bad for our society and culture.
      we will definitely discuss about this in coming blogs.

  16. 2. Main Aim of Sociology: Sociology deals with man and society. In the current World, the necessity or the Aim of sociology is very much required.
    The main aim of sociology is Human Welfare. Which includes, man to man relationship, accomodation, man relation with different social institutions . This can be also called as social reforms.

  17. 4. The twin revolutions are French revolution and Industrial revolution. Industrial revolution first took place in the West in 18th century. Because of this, the individually created products started loosing values where the factory manufactured products strted selling out more. Because of this, so many families migrated to cities depending on the industries. They become more poor because of very less wages. The master -slave mode or the Capitalist – worker relationship evolved. These changes were studied by different social thinkers such as Compte, Durkhiem, Weber, Marx, etc.
    At the same time in france, (Please explain What exactly the French revolution is? )
    Becase of these revolutions, the social order which was bounded with kinship, land, social class, comminity, and monarchy become very shaky. So the different sociological thinkers tried to reconsolidate the social order which is the evolution of Sociology.

    1. Muralidhara,your concept is clear about ‘Industrial revolution’ and as for ‘French revolution’,it is started in 1789 A.D.There are many factors which have contributed to the beginning of a revolution in France.The French revolution ended economic disparity ,wiped out social evils and purged political abuses.
      French revolution broke out during the reign of Louis XVI .He was under the influence of his arrogant and ill advised queen, Mary Anloinette.She was not interested in promoting the welfare of people.The vanity ,pomp and show of the queen resulted in financial bankrupt.She earned the nick name ‘Madame Deficit’. Louis XVI was unable to assert his position and proved to be an incompetent ruler in the midst of chaos.There was lack of uniform system of law and administration through out the country.
      The peculiar social structure of France resulted in discrimination among the citizen of France.the society was divided into two part privileged and unprivileged .The taxation policy of France was highly discriminative in character.
      the growing discrimination among the unprivileged people led to the outbreak of the revolution against despotism.

  18. 3. Sociology is a branch of Social sciences with its own subject matter expert. As a young social science, it has acquired a distinct place for itself.
    Sociology is concerned with the Man and his activities. It studies the nature and characteristics of human society, its origin, structure, development and functions.
    Sociology tries to determine the inter-relationship between different elements in society. Sociology also discovers the fundamental conditions of social stability and social change. It analyses the infuence of economic, political, technological, cultural and other factors on man and his life. It studies more on social problems like slavery, beggry, over-population, unemployment, etc.

  19. 5. Industrial revolution in India is casued by England which is the originator of Industiral revolution. For industires British needed Capital, raw material and market and they found India was the better one for all there 3 . Hence British started conquering India in late 18th century and made India as a market for their products which are produced by Indian capital and raw materials. This has caused Indian people poor who were depending on those product manufaturing.
    Here Indian society system gradually chaged . Also by buying the clothes (example ) manufactured in England definitely for more prices. British used sell their goods without any taxes . This is how India forcefully dragged by British and participated in the revolution.

    1. Muralidhara,you should write about the impact of industrialization like f small scale industries were replaced by complex large scale industries ,urbanization ,changes in caste system and change the medieval customs ,ideals and beliefs.

  20. 3.Sociology as a academic subject is one of the youngest subjects. The mandate of this subject was to undertake a scientific study of society. It has been argued that sociology is so much influenced by other social sciences like Psychology, Economics, Political Science, etc, that it hardly has any originality of its own. It would be fruitful to analyze what should be the point of originality of the subject.

    For example, chemistry is the study of chemicals. The prime focus of the chemist is to study the properties of a chemical. What they are made of, what they look like, how does it behave in different circumstance, and most importantly why do they do so.

    A sociologist also ask identical questions. The socitey has same place in sociology as chemicals in chemistry. The focus is social behavior and interactions. Different social institution like family, religion, civil societies and every other place where there are more than one individual is present comes under the purview of sociology.

    The influence of other social sciences are major, but the uniqueness of sociology is evident. As a chemist is interested to know the physical and biological properties of certain chemical, sociology do knock on other social sciences.
    Today caste system has become a pretty relevant in political games. Political science might study what role caste play in the game of power. Theology make study of the doctrines which theorises the caste definition and rituals. But the sociologist study how caste system affect the dynamics of socitey. How people behave in social places like colleges, bus depots, offices, marriage ceremonies, etc, to name a few with respect to casteism. A sociologist here would like to know the political and religious affiliation of the groups he undertake to study.

    As Comete refer it to as queen of science, as a queen it takes views from all other subjects, but the mandate of the queen, nevertheless remain distinct and exclusive.

    1. Pabitra,i am not agree with your answer that sociology is influenced by other social science subjects in fact other science subjects are one of the part of sociology as political science,economics,psychology subjects are emerged for society and society is the prime focus of sociology.

  21. 4. The twin revolution, The industrial revolution and the French revolution had extraordinary and unprecedented effects on the humanity. The boom in science and technology in had changed the face of production forever. Industrialization is often associated with urbanization, migration, oppression of the working class, poor living conditions, etc,. The social structure had many new elements added to it. Also what had actually happened was machines had started to replace human. Economist labeled human labour just another factor of production.

    Around the same time in french,there was widespread hunger of the masses and lavish aristocracy of the nobelty co–existing in strained financial conditions. The indifference of royal court at Versailles towards the miseries of the lower class in the streets of Paris had sowed the seeds of struggle for equality and rights.

    Another important factor was widespread education. Books now could be easily printed and read by many. People were more aware about their entitlements.

    Industrialization also lead to colonization. European countries occupied other countries in search of raw materials and markets. Definitely they wanted to study the socitey there so that they could stree the socitey towards the change that helped them.

    The twin revolution had made unprecedented leaps in meeting the human needs and an equivalent leap in human wants. A number of ‘philosophers’ realized this facts and started to think how to channlise the wants and needs of every individual of the socitey.

    Under such circumstances, the birth of study of society was only inevitable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.