Meaning of Sociology

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009 | Posted by Nimesh Suranga (නිමේෂ් සුරංග) |
'Sociology' which had once been treated as social philosophy, or the philosophy of the history, emerged as an independent social science in 19th century. Auguste Comte, a Frenchman, is traditionally considered to be the father of sociology. Comte is accredited with the coining of the term sociology (in 1839). "Sociology" is composed of two words : socius, meaning companion or associate; and 'logos', meaning science or study. The etymological meaning of "sociology" is thus the science of society. John Stuart Mill, another social thinker and philosopher of the 19th century, proposed the word ethology for this new science. Herbert Spencer developed his systematic study of society and adopted the word "sociology" in his works. With the contributions of Spencer and others it (sociology) became the permanent name of the new science.

The question 'what is sociology' is indeed , a question pertaining to the definition of sociology. No student can rightfully be expected to enter on a field of study which is totally undefined or unbounded. At the same time, it is not an easy task to set some fixed limits to a field of study. It is true in the case of sociology. Hence it is difficult to give a brief and a comprehensive definition of sociology.

Sociology has been defined in a number of ways by different sociologists. No single definition has yet been accepted as completely satisfactory. In fact, there are lot of definitions of sociology as there are sociologists. For our purpose of study a few definitions may be cited here.

Auguste Comete, the founding father of sociology, defines sociology as the science of social phenomena "subject to natural and invariable laws, the discovery of which is the object of investigation".
Kingsley Davis says that "Sociology is a general…...

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