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Comte named the scientific study of social patterns positivism    . He described his philosophy in a series of books called The Course in Positive Philosophy (1830–1842) and A General View of Positivism (1848). He believed that using scientific methods to reveal the laws by which societies and individuals interact would usher in a new “positivist” age of history. While the field and its terminology have grown, sociologists still believe in the positive impact of their work.

Harriet martineau (1802–1876)—the first woman sociologist

Harriet Martineau was a writer who addressed a wide range of social science issues. She was an early observer of social practices, including economics, social class, religion, suicide, government, and women’s rights. Her writing career began in 1832 with a series of stories titled Illustrations of Political Economy , in which she tried to educate ordinary people about the principles of economics (Johnson 2003).

Martineau was the first to translate Comte’s writing from French to English and thereby introduced sociology to English-speaking scholars (Hill 1991). She is also credited with the first systematic methodological international comparisons of social institutions in two of her most famous sociological works: Society in America (1837) and Retrospect of Western Travel (1838). Martineau found the workings of capitalism at odds with the professed moral principles of people in the United States; she pointed out the faults with the free enterprise system in which workers were exploited and impoverished while business owners became wealthy. She further noted that the belief in all being created equal was inconsistent with the lack of women’s rights. Much like Mary Wollstonecraft, Martineau was often discounted in her own time by the male domination of academic sociology.

Karl marx (1818–1883)

A photo of Karl Marx.
Karl Marx was one of the founders of sociology. His ideas about social conflict are still relevant today. (Photo courtesy of John Mayall/Wikimedia Commons)

Karl Marx (1818–1883) was a German philosopher and economist. In 1848 he and Friedrich Engels (1820–1895) coauthored the Communist Manifesto . This book is one of the most influential political manuscripts in history. It also presents Marx's theory of society, which differed from what Comte proposed.

Marx rejected Comte's positivism. He believed that societies grew and changed as a result of the struggles of different social classes over the means of production. At the time he was developing his theories, the Industrial Revolution and the rise of capitalism led to great disparities in wealth between the owners of the factories and workers. Capitalism, an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of goods and the means to produce them, grew in many nations.

Marx predicted that inequalities of capitalism would become so extreme that workers would eventually revolt. This would lead to the collapse of capitalism, which would be replaced by communism. Communism is an economic system under which there is no private or corporate ownership: everything is owned communally and distributed as needed. Marx believed that communism was a more equitable system than capitalism.

Questions & Answers

what is sociology
NICOLA Reply
it is the study of society or web of human intraction and relationship
Hope
sociology is the study of group or society, and how they interact
Abigail
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Mumi Reply
Social change refers to the transformation of culture, behavior, social institutions, and social structure over time.
Baffa
the term social change has muti dimensions other words.it means change that takes place in society quantitatively and qualitatively .it is the alternative of not only the social structure but also the behavior and attitudes of the members of the society
Evelyn
refers to the transformation of culture
Abigail
is a human being a social product
Rukudzo Reply
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Life Reply
what are the important of social stratification
HASSAN Reply
Social control Social interaction Employment Control poverty Social Institution's
Qamar
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NICOLA
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masimba
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NICOLA
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Nnenna Reply
for people to view themselves. as ahaving a place in the world in different groups by way of there interests and priorities in life
howard
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Sandra Reply
the nature of social change
Sandra
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Gizzie
Social change is way human interactions and relationships transform cultural and social institutions over time .
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Maria
pressure group
Ann
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Muhammad
sooner or later the course rural sociology be out of place
Bulama Reply
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Richard Reply
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gender roles
Onias
according to haralambus textbook of sociology, sociologist identified; high culture, folk culture, mass culture, popular culture, subculture and global culture as the types of culture. How legit is this?
Ojewande Reply
challenges elderly face
Ifeanyi Reply
Meaning?
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Norms
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ernest Reply
what's the meaning of paradigm
ernest
It means that perspectives of sociology..
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A new perspective given by sociology which can give you broader outlook regarding society.
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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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