Definition and Scope of Sociology(Society) 1 Best notes

Definition of Sociology (Society)

  • Considering the point of view of literal meaning, we find that sociology is made up of two words, out of which the first-word ‘Socius’ is taken from the Latin language and the second word ‘Logus’ is taken from the Greek language.
  • Socius means the science of society and people, thus the literal meaning of sociology is the science of society or the science of society.
  • John Stuart Mill suggested the use of the term ethology in place of sociology and said that sociology was an illegitimate child of two different languages, but most scholars did not accept Mill’s suggestion.
  • From the late 19th century, Herbert Spencer attempted a systematic study of societ and named his book Sociology.
  • In relation to the appropriateness of the word sociology, you have written that the convenience and indicativeness of symbols are more important than their origin validity.
  • When we consider the question of what is sociology, then there is a difference in the point of view of different sociologists, but it is necessary that most sociologists consider sociology to be the ‘science of society views have been expressed from time to time.
  • The definition of sociology given by him can be divided into the following four parts-
    • Sociology as the study of society
    • Sociology as the study of social relations
    • Sociology is the study of groups
    • Sociology as the Study of Social Interaction

1-Sociology as the study of society

  • According to Ward Sociology is the science of society.
  • According to Giddings Sociology is the scientific study of societ You have written elsewhere that Sociology is the systematic description and explanation of society as a whole unit.
  • According to Odom, Sociology is the science that studies society. On the basis of these definitions, it is clear that sociology is the scientific study of society, but here a natural question arises which society does sociology study human society or animal society, or both.

2-Sociology as the study of social relations

  • While some scholars have considered sociology to be the science of society, some others have called it the systematic study of social relations, but there is no difference between the science of society and the study of social relations, the reason being that the system of social relations is considered to be the system of social relations called by name.

3-Sociology is the study of groups

According to Knobs Hine and Fleming, sociology is the scientific and systematic study of people in groups.

4-Sociology as the Study of Social Interaction

  • Some sociologists define sociology as the study of social interactions. They believe that rather than social relations, social interactions are the real basis of society.
  • The number of social relations is so large that it is very difficult to study them properly.
  • Therefore, social interactions should be studied in sociology. Interaction means two or more persons or groups coming in contact with each other in a conscious state and influencing each other’s behavior.
  • Interaction is the basis of the formation of social relations, that is why sociology has been considered the science of social interactions.

Field of sociology

  • Inkles says that sociology is the study of changing society, so neither the boundaries of the study of sociology can be determined nor its field of study can be defined very clearly.
  • Field refers to the extent to which this science is spread, in other words, field means the possible limits within which a subject science can be studied.
  • The views of scholars regarding the subject area of ​​sociology can be mainly divided into two parts –
  • 1 -Formative or specific school and 2-Syntactic school
  • According to the first school of thought or ideology, sociology is a special science and according to the second ideology, sociology is a general Science, we will try to explain each of these ideas here.

1-Formative or a specific school

  • The originator of this sect is the German sociologist Georg Simmel, among other scholars related to this sect, are Veerkanth, Van Wij, Max Weber, etc.
  • Sociologists related to this ideology believe that like other sciences like political science, geography, economics, history, physics, chemistry, etc.
  • Sociology is also an independent and special science. Every science has its own major problem or material which is studied under the same discipline.
  • Similarly, there should be some main material or problem to be studied under sociology, only then will sociology become a distinct and independent science and its field will be decided.
  • The believers of this sect say that if an attempt is made to make sociology a general study of the whole society, then it will not be possible to do so on a scientific basis.
  • In such a situation sociology will become a slang science.
  • To make sociology a special science, it is necessary that not all types of social relations are studied under it, but the specific forms of these relations should be studied.
  • Due to the emphasis on the subjective aspect of social relations, this sect is called the formative sect.

2-Synthetic School

  • Among the main proponents of this sect, the names of Sorokin, Durkheim, Hob House, and Ginsberg are particularly notable, which favor making sociology a general science rather than a specific science.
  • According to these scholars, the field of sociology cannot be confined only to the forms of social relations in order to obtain complete knowledge about society.
  • It is to study the whole society as a whole. Therefore, in order to understand society, it is very important to understand the interrelationship of its various units or parts.
  • This work can be done at the same time when sociology is made a general science and its field is kept wide enough.
  • Another argument in favor of making sociology a general science is that every social science studies one fateful aspect of society.
  • For example, the political life of society is studied by Political Science.
  • In this way, economic life is studied through economics. There is no such social science that studies all aspects of social life, it studies the whole society as a whole.
  • So sociology as a general science has to perform this function. Only then can the true nature of society be understood.
  • In the absence of this, our knowledge of society will become very narrow and isolated.
  • In fact, sociology has an important role to play in acquainting people with the general conditions of social life and at the same time, it is possible that this field to be considered a general science be expanded in.


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