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What is the philosophy of sociology? What does it entail?

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tanesha | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 4, 2009 at 4:00 AM via web

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What is the philosophy of sociology? What does it entail?

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ophelious | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted November 4, 2009 at 5:05 AM (Answer #1)

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Sociology doesn't necessarily have a philosophy, it is a branch of the social sciences that concerns itself with studying human societies (both past and present.)  Its focus ranges from the minute (how two people interact when together) to huge (how societies deal with each other when meeting.)

The goal of the sociologist is to increase our knowledge of human interactions with the goal of better understanding the events of the past, and better predicting events to come (and perhaps influencing them.) Sociologist focus on things like class structures, religion, culture, and social relations.  For example, sociologists would be fascinated with the rise of the "social networking" sites and their effect on our culture.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 4, 2009 at 5:15 AM (Answer #2)

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I agree with the first answer here but I have a couple suggestions/questions that I hope might help you.

First of all, I'm wondering if your particular textbook or teacher argues that there is a particular philosophy of sociology.  Perhaps you might want to check your text or your notes to see if this is the case.

Alternately, there are typically said to be three philosophical perspectives/schools of thought within sociology.  These are 1) structure-functionalism, 2) Marxism and 3) symbolic interactionism.

For a detailed description of these three philosophical perspectives, please click on the link below.

I hope one of these suggestions is helpful.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted November 4, 2009 at 11:03 AM (Answer #3)

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Sociology is study of human behavior as members of groups and institutions. It is one of the branches of group of behavior sciences and is closely related to other sciences like psychology, and anthropology. It studies how people relate to each other and to their environment, and covers every aspects of human social conditions. It studies various aspects of group behavior in general such as how groups are formed, and how groups are broken, what makes group cohesive, and behavior of the group is determined and regulated. It also studies behavior of specific types of groups and institutions such as religious institutions, schools and business organizations.

The total scope of sociology may be divided in five broad ares of studies. These are population studies, social behavior, social institutions, cultural influences, and social change.

Sociological data and concepts help to explain and manage effectively many social issues such as crime, poverty, domestic violence, leadership, mass communication, and spread of rumors. Thus sociology can be used to find solutions to many social problems.

In the past philosophers, and thinkers concerned with human behavior have investigated and commented about many issues that now form a part of sociology. But today,sociology is an independent field of science.

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