Complete the assigned readings for this week. View the multimedia for this week. In a Word document, Summarize the theories related to sociology created by the following individuals (one paragraph for each individual): Comte Spencer Durkheim Weber Marx Answer the following questions: Where and when did sociology first appear as a discipline? Why did sociology develop at the time and in the place that it did? Provide reasons for your answer supported by information from your readings and from additional research if necessary.








Auguste Comte came up with the Theory of Positivism. Positivism approaches the study of society by experiments, qualitative results and statistics to show the truth about how society functions. This theory assumes that it is possible to observe and establish how social life works. This theory supports that such knowledge can be used to influence social change, hence improving the human condition (McClelland, 2006). Positivism formulates that sociology should be concerned with what can be observed in one’s senses. It also dictates that social lie should be established in a methodological way, based on verifiable facts.

Herbert Spencer’s theory of evolution is connected with an evolutionary change in social structures. He argues that society is ordered the same way as an individual. Though it is distinctive from other phenomena explaining evolution, the evolution of society is also consistent. He determined that societies become complex in a series. First of all, there occur simple societies which are in the form of a single unit, independent of any other. Such societies have their leadership style mainly occasional or unstable (McClelland, 2006). Compound societies come into existence by the merging of two or more societies. Such have the division of labour and permanent residences.

Emile Durkheim was known for his views on the structure of society. He came up with the theory of functionalism which emphasizes some equilibrium in the society. When something occurs that disrupts the normal operation of a societal system; society must work our ways or adjust to regain a stable state. According to him, society should be analysed regarding functions. He says society is a complex system of interrelated parts where no part can operate properly without the other.

Max Weber saw both structural, and action approaches as vital in fully understanding society. Weber argues that empathetic understanding is essential to understanding the understanding of humans. He also believed that people could generalize basic human motivation types. He also believed that structure influenced human action because certain societies encourage certain types of motivation. He came up with the social action theory, arguing that before the cause of action could be determined, one had to understand the meaning attached to the situation by the individual.

Karl Marx came up with the Conflict Theory. This theory argues that conflicts come up when power and resources are unevenly distributed between various groups in society. These conflicts, he says, fuel social change. In his work, power is understood as the control of accumulated wealth, control of societal institutions and political control.

Sociology emerged in the late 18th and early 19th century. Its emergence began in the late 18th century, with the French Revolution. This period was known as the Enlightenment and the industrial revolution. The French Revolution occurred, and this was followed by enlightenment, which is the creation of a new framework of ideas about nature and society. Further social changes came up with the industrial revolution in England that later spread to the whole of Europe (Young, 2009). The French Revolution impacted on society because it changed its structure and eliminated social distinctions between people.



McClelland, K. (2006). Purpose, meaning, and action: control systems theories in

sociology. Springer.

Young, C. (2009). The emergence of sociology from political economy in the United     

States: 1890 to 1940. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 45(2),



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