Founding Fathers of Sociology

hello again everyone it's been a bit of

time since we've had a sociology video

on this page but we're going to add a

new one today and the topic of this one

is going to be on the founding fathers

of sociology so we're going to look at

how sociology came to be as its own

discipline kind of the context behind

that as well as the ways in which the

early sociologists impacted the study of

sociology and how we continue to do it

today also I'm going to throw this out

there right away if anyone can get me

this shirt you'll be my best friend of

all time and I'll give you some candy or

something but this shirts awesome so get

it for me thanks in advance all right to

our central questions we have two of

them in this particular video why do

people consider sociology a science in

other words what makes a discipline a

science and we'll see that with

sociology and then second how did early

sociologists help define the science of

sociology so what kind of ideas thoughts

concepts did they create that became the

foundation for that discipline so before

we get into the actual father's

themselves we need to look at how

sociology became an educational

discipline compared to other disciplines

especially in the social sciences

sociology is really young in fact we

didn't start to see sociology emerge

until 18th the 18th and 19th centuries

in Europe why might that be

well one major event and hopefully you

remember back to your world history days

but a major event in the history of

mankind especially in Europe was the

Industrial Revolution where we see a

rise in a factory based industrial

economy so we see factories we see

cities rising which is this next one we

see all of these different things being

created that created an entirely new

society especially with the creation of

social inequalities the third reason we

start to see this emerge in the 18th and

19th centuries is because at this time

there is an explosion of new ideas about

democracy and political rights also

thinking back to your world history

think about the Enlightenment this time

when people were questioning absolute

rule and then also these these pretty

violence oftentimes social revolutions

that changed the way a lot of people

look at society so these are the origins

of the science that we call sociology

but now we're going to take a look at

the guys who really made it what it is

the first is this dashing gentleman

right here his name is Auguste Comte

he was a French social thinker and he's

considered to be the quote father of

sociology mostly because he's the one

who actually coined the term okay when

we talk about ologies any kind of ology

biology it's the study of something and

he since there wasn't really anything

like this at his time he said I want to

study society we'll call it sociology

the study of society so we can we can

attribute that term to him his big

contribution to the field itself that we

still see today is the idea of

positivism which is understanding

society based on science compte believed

that society has its own laws much like

the physical world has its own laws

think about gravity and stuff like that

he says society operates in a very

similar fashion and other sociologists

have disagreed with him but this is a

pretty key concept in creating the

science of sociology the other part

about positivism positivism is that we

need to make sure that the knowledge we

have is knowledge that we know for sure

in other words we can be positive of it

so we can't really say something is true

until we found that it's that's true

which is a big component of science

compte also studied something called

social dynamics and along with that

social statics looking at two different

things first how society changes and

then secondly how society stays the same

and different sociologists look at

different things so how does order

created and how does how do things

change in our society the second guy

with the awesome sideburns there is a

guy named Herbert Spencer very

controversial figure in the study of


he was an English sociologist the big

part that he said about how societies

formed is that society is like the human

body much like the human body has

different parts and all those parts work

together to make the human being

function Society has something very

similar the example he gives here is

just as the heart and eyes help body

function social institutions like

religion education whatever it might be

help society function so it is the sum

of all these different parts and they

all work together however the thing that

Spencer is most known for that's very

controversial is his idea of social

Darwinism hopefully you've heard of

Darwin before Charles

one who studied the theory of evolution

especially with his finches in the

Galapagos Islands Herbert Spencer took

that theory and he kind of twisted it a

little bit it's kind of a distorted view

of of Darwin's theory but he took

natural selection did it the survive the

strongest will survive things like that

he and he applied that to society he

applied that to people all right we call

it social Darwinism so he believed that

the strongest members of a society

should not help the weaker ones because

the stronger ones are strong for a

reason the weaker ones are weak for a

reason so the rich deserve to be rich

the poor deserve to be poor and if we

have that it creates a stronger society

we should let the sick let the weak let

the homeless the people in poverty let

those people go away because it makes

our society as a whole

stronger so as you can probably imagine

this is a very controversial topic the

third one I'm guessing you've heard of

before in world history is a guy named

Karl Marx great again another great

beard he was a German economist

sociologist among many other things but

as far as sociology goes he's best known

for looking at conflict in society and

he argued that no matter where you are

in society there is always some kind of

struggle going on and usually it has to

do with valued resources whether it's

countries going to war whether there's

rivalries between schools whether

there's an ax fight between two people

at school Marx would look at all of that

and say look our society is full of

conflict everywhere we go specifically

he talked about class conflict according

to Marx there were two social classes

the proletariat and the bourgeoisie okay

to kind of long fancy words but the

proletariat according to Marx were the

workers who sold their labor for wages

so they're the ones that worked in these

new factories that were created in an

industrial revolution the Persian huazi

are the owners of those factories the

owners of those means of production and

Marx said that those two are always

conflicting with each other and that

they're never going to be able to get

along he actually predicted that

eventually the proletariat would rise up

and overthrow the bourgeoisie the

workers would overthrow the owners which

is kind of the foundation for communism

which again is part of our modern world

today even though it's kind of gone away

in the

the last 50 years or so Marx also

rejected the idea of individualism which

is a pretty significant concept he

called it false consciousness often

times people blame individuals for the

flaws of society like there's some bad

eggs or whatever it might be

Marx believed that the system itself

should be considered the cause of social

problems the system in other words

creates the problems not the individuals

themselves and that's something we'll

debate later on our next founding father

is Gandhi here named Emile Durkheim and

he was a French sociologist credited

with and and even though Kampf T's is

credited with the creation of the word

sociology Durkheim was really the one

that's credited with making an academic

discipline something that could be

studied in schools colleges universities

whatever it might have been and he

believed that society exists beyond

ourselves and he has a famous quote here

to love society is to love something

beyond us and something in ourselves

it's kind of a complicated quote when

you break it down it really makes sense

Durkheim said that society is beyond the

individual society was here before we

were here any individuals were here it

shapes us while we are on this earth and

even after we die long after we die

society can still continues to shape

people's lives so our personalities are

created by the societies we live in so

that quote where it says something in


he argued that society is in us it's

part of who we are because it shaped our

personalities okay so it's beyond us but

it's also within us

he was also big on qualitative data

collection we'll talk more about this

later on he was the first to use the

scientific method to create sociological

experiments okay and we start to see

data being collected to create social

realities for example dirt kind of spent

a lot of his time studying the concept

of suicide and he tied that concept of

suicide into another major concept that

you definitely need to know it's called

social integration Durkheim said that

the degree to which an individual is

connected to society will effect

the self-destructive behaviors a person

engages in so if someone who has very

weak social ties that person is far more

likely to go through self-destructive

behaviors including suicide he also

looked at famous people or we've used

his ideas to look at famous people and

to see why famous people commit suicide

and you take a look at the chart here

this is an example of quantitative data

how we use numbers in order to create

social realities for example we see here

that men have much higher suicide rates

than women and it also varies within

their different race and ethnic groups

so that is something that Durkheim would

have looked at and we help we also use

the quantitative data to help us figure

that out he also said that an

individual's desires must be balanced by

the guidance of a society so there

should be a balance between what the

individual wants and what society thinks

is appropriate and if you can't find

that balance which honestly it can be

very hard to find sometimes that's when

you start to see very deviant behaviors

very evil people being created those

types of things and lastly but certainly

not least we have Max Weber even though

his name has a W he's Germans who

pronounce that W as a V he was a German

scholar and sociologist and the big

thing that he contributed to us is the

idea of interpretive sociology if you

remember back we talked about compte the

idea that that society was governed by

laws there were social laws weber kind

of disagreed because he said that these

realities are created by people

themselves and as sociologists it's our

job to figure out what those realities

really mean and unlike Durkheim who has

began quantitative data weber used

qualitative data so more observation

looking at the people around you looking

at different social situations and

figuring out the construction that we've

made in those particular areas one of

the most famous contributions he made to

sociology is called verstehen which is a

german word that basically translates

into what we consider you probably heard

this phrase before putting yourself in

someone else's shoes Weber believed that

in order to truly understand the people

you're studying in order to truly

understand the social situation you have

to put yourself in that situation

and immerse yourself in that particular

situation only then according to

verstehen is when you realize the social

realities that exist in those places

finally he created the idea of

rationalization basically

rationalization is the idea that our

society has shifted and a lot of that is

because of what happened in Industrial

Revolution he says that modern society

is based on the use of knowledge reason

and planning rather than what it used to

be which was tradition and superstition

examples of this if you think about it

people are willing to accept new

technology and modern societies because

we have this idea this knowledge of what

it can do and the reason the reasonable

idea that whatever this technology is is

going to improve our lives people who

don't believe in rationalization would

say would be afraid of things like

computers or cell phones because it

would ruin the traditional ways of life

but rationalization according to Weber

is what our society today is based on

knowledge reason planning ok and there

you have it even though there are

countless other individuals who have

made really significant contributions to

the field of sociology these are the

five that we are going to ask you to

know going forward and the ones that

really got this study going now that

you've watched this video make sure

you've completed your chart we also have

the quiz on Schoology to take and you

can take as many times as you need in

order to show that you understand some

of the key concepts from the video

thanks guys have a good one