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What Makes Sociology Different? Essay

1014 words - 4 pages

Before commencing a discussion on analyzing the article “What makes sociology a different discipline” from the other sciences we should have the know-how about sociology. In the words of modern thinkers of sociology namely Karl Marx, Max Weber and Emile Durkheim “Social fact should be the subject matter for the study of social life and can provide explanations for human thinking and behavior (p19)”. What we infer from the above definition is that man is born as a social animal. Man cannot live alone. He prefers to live in groups and his behavior that is actions and deeds are well governed and regulated by certain rules and laws of conduct that comprises of moral ethics and civic standards. His standard of living is said to be within the norms and standards of the society, if he strictly adheres to the laws and regulations prescribed by the government and the society where he dwells in.
On the contrary, if he does not follow the said norms the society penalizes him for his misconduct. From his birth as a child till his death as a responsible citizen the society not only honors him with so many privileges but also enables him in so many ways by proper guidance through each and every stage of his life. The system of the society is a predetermined one and is well governed by its laws which have been prevalent through the inheritance from its ancestors and forefathers.
Thus, sociology as a behavioral science studies the behavior of an individual as a group or an entity. For example, customs and traditions of a particular society have been in the picture for many ages and still the followers follow it based on the lifestyle of the predecessors. The above explanation is very much clear and prominent in the discussion of Durkheim. According to him “there is in every society a clearly determined group of phenomena separable because of the distinct characteristics from those that form the subject matter of other sciences of nature (p19)”. Social facts have existence as a separate entity and it does not get affected by the individual behavior. In other words, social facts are the outcome of the state of the collective mind. The stress on the above feature makes sociology different from the rules of sociological method. Further, in favor of his argument Durkheim says that as an individual of the society the person inculcates automatically the behavioral deeds and actions with or without prior knowledge. No one is coercive on the imposition of laws and rules. If anyone goes against he is fined or a penalty is imposed for not obeying the laws of the society. To put forth his ideas in an effective manner he argues that society as a whole is an amalgamation of political platforms, partial groups such as literary schools, religious organizations etc which are bonded through certain sentiments. In his opinion, if the individual does not act in favor of a group and its principles that work for good cause and the betterment of the individuals and the society,...

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