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The Founding Fathers In Context Essay

2212 words - 9 pages

Introduction
The social sciences are a relatively new branch of science and with this youth comes complexities and growing pains. The evolution from looking strictly at history, to applying natural science research methods to the stratified version of research methods now utilized in the social sciences has progressed organically over time. This is a very interesting phenomenon since the founding fathers oscillated between history, the present-day’s ethnographic research as well as the views of their contemporaries. This leads one to ask if the time period in which sociology came about lead to its birth? Or were these founding fathers generally interested in the social ties that bind us together? I believe it is a combination of both that lead to the development of sociology. For all intents and purposes, I will essentialize the great thinkers in order to illustrate how they were affected by the times during which they were theorizing.

Whether such an enterprise is, in principle, philosophically or empirically viable is a matter for debate.
In this paper I aim to examine the social phenomenon of the birth of sociology and why it is important to contextualize the time periods during with Marx, Durkheim and Weber wrote. I intend to do this by relying on two core citations from Connell and Swingewood to assist in illustrating the role of time and place. Though I rely on Philip Abrams, I am not a strict historicist. However, he does bring valuable insight to the circumstances during which a split between history and sociology began to take root. The mechanisms of imperialism and swift social change were implicit in the work of the founding fathers and therefore, the phenomenon of the birth of sociology. In my conclusion I will argue how the time period during which these great thinkers developed their ideas had a profound effect on their initiative to make sense of society, the research they relied on and the conclusions they drew.

Changes
In fact, it is out of the growing pains of industrialization and imperialism that Sociology really came into its own. One cannot discount the rapid changes of society when studying this discipline. “Sociology was formed within the culture of imperialism and embodied a cultural response to the colonized world.” (Connell, 1997, p. 1519) This quote is one of the core citations of the assigned readings because the founding fathers were all interested in the inner workings of a society in flux. Imperialism decended in part from the Industrial Revolution and the metamorphsis Europe had undergone in the preceding few decades. Therefore, this quote is not meant to only include Imperialism, but serves as a springboard to discuss turbulent times at the turn of the century. While reading work by and about, particularly Marx and Durkheim, “one discovers a diverse but sustained and remarkably coherent effort, first to identify industrialism as a type of society.”(Abrams, 1972, p. 18) This is also reflective of how...

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