The Birth of Sociology, its Emergence, How Sociology Emerged?

The Birth of Sociology, its Emergence, How Sociology Emerged?

July 2, 2021 Off By Felso

Sociology was established as a chair in the 19th century. The birth of sociology as an academic discipline in the 19th century was a natural response to long-standing changes and the devastation that followed. Namely, people have observed the groups and societies they have lived in for thousands of years and have put forward various ideas on this subject.

Although the study of social factors that shape human behavior dates back to Ancient Greece, sociology as a science emerged about 200 years ago.

Since the 16th century, religious, political, scientific and philosophical ideas began to change in the West, and the Enlightenment Period, which followed the Renaissance and Reformation movements, was effective in the realization of the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. With the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century, the existing social structure was destroyed, chaos and disorder occurred, and “individuals began to look for the relatively orderly and more peaceful days of the Middle Ages” (Vander Zanden, 1996:9).


The following Industrial Revolution, on the other hand, changed the basic institutions and structural features of society such as family, education, stratification, especially the economic and industrial structure. As a result of these developments, large-scale changes were experienced in the European society, secularization, urbanization and industrialization accelerated, the population increased, the class structure changed, in short, a new social structure emerged. With this great transformation, the rural, integrated, stagnant social structure has turned into an urban, cosmopolitan, rapidly changing structure; Traditional societies have been replaced by modern societies. The biggest factor in the emergence of sociology is this wide-ranging change and transformation.

The first sociological analyzes are those that try to reveal what and why has changed and to predict how the social structure will be in the future (Coser et al., 1983:21). On the one hand, the questions that people asked and could not answer about social life in the face of these changes, on the other hand, the developments in natural sciences and the spread of scientific method with the scientific revolution gave rise to the idea that these questions can be answered by scientific method (Kornblum and Smith, 2008:7).

Auguste Comte is considered the founder of sociology.

Natural sciences find answers to their questions through repeated observations, careful definitions, developing and testing theories with possible explanations, explaining natural phenomena, and making predictions about the future. In the chaotic environment, the pioneers of sociology thought that the methods used by natural sciences could be used to find answers to questions about society, so that the laws of social life, that is, the regularities in the social structure, could be revealed, just as natural scientists reveal the laws of nature. Thus, the effort to answer the questions created by these great social transformations by using the scientific method has given birth to sociology as a science. Auguste Comte was the first thinker to name the scientific study of society as sociology and is therefore known as the father of sociology.

Three main events played a decisive role in the birth of sociology. One of them is the developments in natural sciences and philosophical thought, and the other two are the 1789 French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. It can be said that it prepared the ground for the birth of sociology, especially in terms of the results of the two revolutions. Because these two revolutions caused such a wide range of effects that the philosophers and scientists of the period could not ignore. The founding thinkers of sociology, on the one hand, tried to analyze the new social reality created by the mentioned revolutions, on the other hand, tried to find solutions to the destructions caused by these revolutions.

The Industrial Revolution caused great and radical changes in societies.

Mankind has always wondered about the sources of their own behavior. The objective and systematic study of human behavior is a new development that dates back to the early 1800s. The origins of sociology were formed by a series of violent developments that accompanied the French Revolution of 1789 and the emergence of the European Industrial Revolution. The dissolution of the traditional lifestyles brought about by these developments and changes led the thinkers to the efforts of developing a new understanding of both the natural world and the social world.

A fundamental development has been the use of science rather than religion to understand the world. The answer to which these nineteenth-century thinkers sought answers was: “What is the nature of man? Why is society structured the way it is? Why and how do societies change? These are the same questions that sociologists are trying to answer today. Our modern world is radically different from the world of the past; Helping us to understand this world and what the future may bring is the main task of sociology.

Establishment of Sociology as a Science

“Sociology. According to Comte, who invented the name, sociology is related to science.