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1.1: What is Sociology?

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    Sociology’s roots are in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, from where founding fathers Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Georg Simmel hail. Sociology waxed and waned in popularity outside of the U.S. over its short history. Today, sociology has become a United States-centered scientific discipline with most sociologists living in the U.S.. There is significant sociological work being done in various countries of the world, but most of the 14,000 members of the American Sociological Association (the world’s largest professional sociology organization) live in the U.S

    Sociology is a relatively new discipline in comparison to chemistry, math, biology, philosophy and other disciplines that trace back thousands of years. Sociology began as an intellectual/philosophical effort by a French man named Auguste Comte who coined the term “Sociology.” Sociology is the science of society and of human behavior when influenced by society.

    Social integration is the degree to which people are connected to their social groups. Emile Durkheim suggested that religion was a powerful source of social solidarity, or unity in society, because it reinforced collective bonds and shared moral values. However, since the power of the collective over the individual could also take secular forms (e.g., the workplace, family, political groups, or schools), he recognized that traditional religious beliefs were not the only source of social stability.

    This page titled 1.1: What is Sociology? is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Katie Coleman via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.