Study Material for BG 5th Semester (Sociology – Generic Elective) pdf kashmir University Download


Definition, Meaning and Subject Matter
1. Auguste comte defines sociology as a science of social phenomena, “subject to natural
and invariable laws, the discovery of which is the object of investigation”
2. L. T. Hobhouse: “The subject matter of sociology is the interaction of human minds”.
3. H.M.Johnson: “Sociology is the science that deals with social groups; their internal forms
or modes of organization, the process that tend to maintain or change these forms of
organization and relations between groups”
4. Ogburn and Nimkoff: “Sociology is the scientific study of social life”.
5. T Abel: “Sociology is the scientific study of social relationships, their variety, their forms,
whatever affects them and whatever they affect”.
Meaning of Sociology: Sociology is the study of man’s behaviour in groups or of the
interaction among human beings, of social relationships and the process by which human
group activity takes place. The word sociology is derived from the Latin word ‘societus’
meaning society and the Greek word ‘logos’ meaning study or science. The etymological
meaning of ‘sociology’ is thus ‘the science of society’. Sociology is the youngest of the
recognized social sciences. The term ‘sociology’ was coined by Auguste Comte in his
book ‘Positive Philosophy’ published in 1838. The term implies the fact and programme
of a science of society, comparable to the science of nature in its rigour, its method, its
systematic interconnectedness and its freedom from emotion and ethical or aesthetic
valuation. Sociology is the scientific study of human society and social behaviour. The
subject matter of sociology is huge, complex and varied. The sociological perspective
invites us to become strangers in the familiar landscape of our society. It allows us to look
afresh at a world, we have always taken for granted, to examine our own surroundings
with the same curiosity and fascination that we might bring to an exotic, alien culture. The
basic insight of sociology is that human behaviour is largely shaped by the groups to
which people belong and by the social interaction that takes place within those groups. 

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