Theories in Sociology a. Auguste Comte According to Auguste Comte, the contemporary society should be fully studied by researchers so that the problems that are present in the society can be solved appropriately and there can be way outs to these problems. Individualism is the origin of societal disarray, says Comte. Three phases of societal imagination identified by Comte are theoretical stage, metaphysical stage and positive stage. Theoretical stage explains religious heads as the most authentic knowledge providers. metaphysical stage describes philosophers as the chief assistance providers and positive stage illustrates scientific doctrines as foundation for people’s doctrines.
b. Herbert Spencer
According to Herbert Spencer, in this world only those can continue to exist, who are the finest and frail creatures have no right for existence. He believes in the theory of survival of the fittest. Spenser has presented a social evolution theory that can be stated as society undergoes transformation and this transformation is for the betterment of society. This transformation will go on until the society creates a hindrance before it.
c. Emile Durkheim
Emile Durkheim presented the theory of collective conscience that states that the society exists in a collective form because of the collective thoughts, principles and objectives of its contributors. According to Durkheim, society is interdependent on its various components for its working similar to a machine, which has inter-reliant parts for successful running.
d. Max Weber
According to Max Weber, a society is composed of diverse people who have varied objectives in their lives and it is only because of these varied objectives that society has many different aspects. The performances of people depend on their varied objectives. Weber identifies rational and irrational attitudes of people. Rational attitude is reasonable and sensible for the society while irrational attitude has no objective at its root and is insensible and unreasonable.
e. Karl Marx
According to Karl Marx, society is composed of two kinds of classes, which are working class and aristocratic class. Working class depends on aristocrats and lacks all kinds of possessions while aristocratic class possesses enough resources. It is only because of the difference of possession between these classes that creates social discrimination. Marx gives magnitude to authority and resourcefulness that form the aristocratic class.
1. Where and when did sociology first appear as discipline?
Sociology emerged as a discipline in the 18th century because of the works of Auguste Comte, Max Weber, Karl Marx and Herbert Spenser as they are believed to be the initiators of Sociology. United Kingdom, France and Germany are the countries that witnessed the beginning of Sociology as a discipline. Auguste Comte linked the troubles originated by French Revolution with societal disarray and described all under the heading of Sociology in the 18th century.
2. Why did sociology develop at the time and in the place that it did? Provide reasons for your answer supported by information from your readings and from additional research if necessary.
The discipline of Sociology originated at the time of French revolution when Auguste Comte described societal disarray associated with French revolution under the heading of Sociology. People had to undergo various troubles during the revolution due to which, they showed distrust with their part in the social order and opted individualism in place of communism.
3. Of the theories you have described in this assignment, which one do you find the most convincing or compelling? Give reasons for your answer.
After discussing the sociological theories presented by various theorists, it is quite clear that all the theories are persuasive with their own descriptions but the theory, which appears the most convincing, is Karl Marx’s theory. Marx describes the society as divided between two classes because of authority and resourcefulness, which is quite right as wealth and power interpret the value that one receives in a society.
McIntyre, L. J. (2008). The Practical Skeptic. Responding to Chaos. New York: The McGraw-Hill companies.