Nature of Sociology: Definitions Sociology YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Nature of Sociology

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  • “Sociology is the science which attempts the interpretative understanding of social action in order thereby to arrive at a causal explanation of its course and its effects.” – Weber
  • “Sociology is the Science of Social phenomena Subject to natural and invariable laws. The discovery of which is the object of investigation” - August Comte

Understanding Science

  • Logic, reliability, validity
  • System
  • Investigation
  • Assessment
  • Explains why
  • Generalizes
  • Predicts
  • Natural science vs. social science
  • To study sociology scientifically efforts by early Social thinkers

Sociology as a Science

  • Scientific method
  • Easy to verify principles
  • Reliable and valid
  • Generalizations
  • Predictions
  • Empirical and factual - measurable
  • Cumulative – theories built upon one another
  • “Sociology is a science in the sense that it involves systematic methods of investigation and the evaluation of theories in the light of evidence and logical argument.” - Giddens


  • Value free discipline
  • Values of society and influence on social behaviour
  • Not normative
  • Empirical – analysis of phenomena
  • Abstract discipline
  • General science


  • Specialist school
    • Simmel, Weber, Tonnies
    • Independent science
    • Pure science
    • Specific
    • Limited scope
  • Synthetic school
    • Durkheim, Comte, Spencer, Sorokin, Hobhouse
    • Related to other social sciences
    • Vast scope


  • Objectivity
  • Extent of Accuracy and reliability
  • Prediction
  • Lack of laboratory research
  • Terminology
  • Exactivity – limitation of time and space


Q. 1. Sociology Studies things “as it is” and not “as it ought to be” . As a Science, Sociology is necessarily silent about the questions of value. What type of Science is Sociology categorized here as?

i. Categorical science

ii. Pure science

iii. Applied science

iv. None of these

Answer: i

Q. 2. Which twin revolutions led to the emergence of Sociology?

i. Renaissance and Serbian Revolution

ii. The French Revolution and The Industrial Revolution

iii. American Revolution and French Revolution

iv. Greek War of Independence and French Revolution

Answer: ii

# Sociological Concepts

#Nature of Sociology




0: 00 Nature of Sociology

0: 11 Definitions of Sociology

0: 47 Understanding Science

3: 23 Sociology as A Science

5: 03 Characteristics of Sociology

6: 35 Scope Of Sociology

7: 26 Limitations of Sociology

8: 15 MCQ about Sociology

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