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EARLY SOCIAL THINKERS

Though the history of social thought can be traced back to the earliest civilizations the history of
sociological ideas as a distinct academic discipline is quite short-barely spanning the 150 years since.
AUGUSTE
COMTE(1798-1857)
• first coined the term sociology
• born in southern France of an aristocratic and conservative
family.
• His academic career centered around developing and
promoting his theory of positivism
• In his major work, Course de philosophie Positive, Comte set
out his famous 'Law of three stages', a historical analysis of
the evolution of society and of human thought.
• the theological stage (the period in history that ended
up until 1300) during which all natural phenomena and
social events were explained in terms of supernatural
forces and deities culmination in the Christian theory of
one Almighty God.
• the metaphysical stage (1300-1800 A.D.) during which
abstract and even supernatural forces were still the main
sources of explanation but they were more systematic
than the capricious gods of the past.
• The positivist stage (from 1800onwards) during which
thought and explanation were based on science not
speculation, empirical experimentation not abstract
philosophizing to expose truly society's realities.
• Positivism is based on the fundamental belief that
social world is essentially the same, essentially as
real as the natural world and therefore open to the
rigorous, objective and impartial analysis by
empirical scientists who use to investigate nature
and the universe.

Positivism • Subjective perceptions, feelings and interpretations


have no place in a positive perspective, because
they cannot be observed, measured and tested.
Positivism therefore rejects abstract philosophizing
and speculation in favor of logical reasoning and
testable hypothesis based on hard facts and
objective analysis in the search for casual
relationships in social behavior.
EMILE DURKHEIM (1885-
1917)
• the first French sociologist, conferred by the university of Paris with a
doctor's degree in sociology in 1892
• legitimized sociology as a respectable academic discipline
• his focus was on social order and social evolution through reform
• The idea that societies are based on social facts is the significant
contribution of Durkheim to sociology.
• He argued that societies are held together by shared beliefs and values of
their members, especially as these are expressed in religious doctrine or
rituals.
• individuals are more of the products rather than the creators of society.
• Durkheim made the first real breakthrough in sociological research with
his study of suicide in various population groups. He was able to show that
suicide rates vary consistently from one group to another, proving that the
act of suicide is influenced by social forces and is not the individual matter
that it might appear to be.
MAX WEBER (1864-1920)
• a German economist
• studied law and economics at the university of Heidelberg
• Weber's work assaults on the significance of the subjective
meaning that people give in their interactions with others.
• Aside from studying social facts and social structures, he
encouraged the study of social action, the external objective
behavior, the internalized values, motives, and subjective
meanings that individuals give to their own behavior to others.
• He believed that subjective methods as well as objective
quantitative methods should be used in studying social actions.
KARL MARX (1818-1883)

• was a German economist and philosopher


• He focused his analysis on the nineteenth century
capitalism within which he perceived all the ills of society.
• He believed that capitalism was an insatiable search from
private profit, inequality, exploitation and oppression.
• He believed that human society is evolving toward a more
perfect state in which everyone would be equal and where
the capitalist economic system would be overthrown.
• So far the prediction of Marx has not come true. In
capitalist societies, a number of social classes continue to
flourish.
THREE MAJOR THEORETICAL
PERSPECTIVES
The three major theoretical perspectives are the functionalist perspective, the conflict perspective
and the interactionist perspective.
Funcionalist perspective

is based on the assumption that society is a stable orderly system. There is societal consensus whereby
the majority of members share a common set of values, beliefs and behavioral expectations. Based on
this perspective, a society is composed of interrelated parts each of which serves as a function and
ideally contributes to the overall stability of the society.
Societies develop social structures or institutions that persist because they play a part in helping society
survive. These institutions include the family, education, government, religion and the economy. If
anything adverse happens to one of these institution or parts all other parts are affected and the system
no longer functions properly.
Family Education Politics Economics Religion

context for transmit a society’s provides a means of provides for the provides moral
reproducing, skills, knowledge, governing members production, guidance and an
nurturing, and and culture to its of society distribution, and outlet for worship of
socializing children youth consumption of a higher power
goods and services
CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE

groups in society are engaged in a continuous struggle for control of scarce resources. Conflicts
may take the form of politics, litigations, negotiations, or family discussion about financial
matters. Simmel, Marx and Weber contributed significantly to this perspective by focusing on
the inevitability of clashes between social groups.
Advocates of the conflict perspective view social life as a continuous power struggle
among competing social groups.
EDSA revolution.

Where the people empowered themselves in order to overthrow the dictator,


who is abusive to its power, and grabbed the freedom they deserve, leading to
progress of the country. Since then Philippines was a democratic country and
all the people have the equality and rights despite the different status in life.
But then the conflict between the classes cannot be denied. It can be seen in
the face of the country. The rich gets richer, the poor gets poorer. Despite the
democracy, social stratification is still present in our society.
SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM

focuses on day to day interactions and their behavior in groups. The approach is based on a
microlevel analysis, which focuses on small groups rather than large scale structures. To the
symboli interactionists, society is the sum of the interactions of individuals and groups. Symbolic
interaction occurs when people communicate through the use of symbol, which occurs in a
variety of forms, including facial gestures, posture, tone of voice and other symbolic gestures