Scope of Sociology

Posted by Prem Shresh , Sunday, March 7, 2010 8:59 PM

As science have their own areas of study or fields of inquiry thus sociology also have its own area or field to study. As V.F. Calberton comments, "Since sociology is so elastic science, it is difficult to determine just where its boundaries begin and end, where sociology becomes social psychology and where social psychology becomes sociology, or where economic theory becomes sociological doctrine or biological theory becomes sociological theory something, which is impossible to decide".
There are two types of scope or as the school of thoughts and they are as follows:-
  1. Specialistic or Formalistic School of Thought
  2. Synthetic School of Thoughts
  • Specialiatic or Formalistic School of Thoughts:-
The formalistic school of thoughts is the subject matter of sociology consist of forms of social relationships. These sociologists want to keep the scope of sociology as pure and independent. Sociology studies in such relation with other sciences as is analogus to the relation holding between the physical sciences and geometry. Sociology is a specific social science which describes, classifies, analyzes, and delineates the forms of human relationships or forms of social process. Some sociologists are on the side or they are the advocates of the formalistic or specialistic school of thoughts and they are as follows:-
  1. George Simmel
  2. Max Weber
  3. Vier Kandt
  4. Von Wiese
  5. Ferdinand Tonnies
    And, due to the some criticism the specialistic or formalistic school of thoughts cannot take a right position in the scope of sociology . Some of the criticized are as follows:-
  • Other sciences also study forms of social relationship.
  • The conception of pure sociology is impractical.
  • Forms of social relationships differ from the forms of geometry.
  • Separated from the concrete relation, abstract forms can not be studies.
  • Formalistic school has extremely narrowed the scope of sociology.
  • Synthetic School of Thoughts:-

As against the specialistic school the synthetic school wants to make sociology a synthesis of the social sciences or a general science. Sociology is the science of sciences and all the sciences are included in its scope, it synthesizes all of them. According to the synthetic school, the scope of sociology is encyclopedic and synoptic. The viewpoint, which are reflected in geographical, biological and economic determinism, these sociologists have advised to make sociology comprehensive and wide. In the words of Motwani," Sociology thus seeks to see life full and see it whole." Some sociologists are on the side or they are the advocates of synthetic school of thoughts and they are as follows:-

  • Emile Durkheim
  • Morrico Ginsberg
  • Reuter and Hart
  • Hob House
  • Sorokin

Thus, this school of thoughts wants sociology to be the synthesis of all social science. It attempts to wider the field of sociology. It views that society and in parts are so intimately related that they are difficult to understand in isolation.

9 Response to "Scope of Sociology"

bony Says:

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Unknown Says:

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Himanshi Taneja Says:

Criticism of synthetic school :
1. If sociology studies all the facts and phenomenon, it will become a jack of all trades like pther sciences
2. It will not have a definite subject matter after being a general science
3. It can't develop its accurate methodology if it is just a collection or total of all social science.

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