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Early Sociologists
Chapter 1 Section 2
Auguste Comte 1798-1857
 “Father of
Modern Sociology”
 Coined the term “sociology”.
 Comte focused on;
 Social Order- Processes which hold
society together.
 Social Change-When society changes (also
known as social dynamics).
Auguste Comte 1798-1857
 Wanted to know the causes and
consequences of
 The French Revolution
 Industrial Revolution
 Felt people could discover these through the
use of the Scientific Method.
Auguste Comte 1798-1857
 Societies improve and progress through
 People seek explanations for events by;
 Turning to supernatural- Theology (God’s
 Religion and Philosophy- Metaphysical
(Human Nature)
 Science- Positivism
Herbert Spencer
 Rejected the idea that sociology should be
used for social reform.
 He envisioned an evolutionary model of
 The most capable and intelligent would
survive and the less would die out.
 What other scientist does this sound like?
Herbert Spencer
 1st to use the phrase “Survival of the
 Social Darwinism
 Helping poor individuals or societies would
be damaging to the best interest of society
(locally and globally)
 What kind of ramifications does this kind of
thinking have for today?
Emile Durkheim
 1st to show how social forces affect people’s
 Examined suicide rates in several European
 Found that suicides were not all solely individual
acts, but some were socially driven.
 What are some of the common similarities of
people who attempt or commit suicide?
 Close ties decrease the likelihood of suicide
Close ties to other people and community
Marriage, friends, religion, etc.
Max Weber
 Believed that religion, not class struggle, was the
main factor in rise of capitalism (opposite of Karl
 Calvinist follower of John Calvin (Protestant
Revolution, for those of you who can’t remember
back to World History)
 Sociology should be value free “No biases”
 “Totally neutral and objective”
W.E.B. DuBois
 First African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard.
 Conducted research on race relations in the United
States from 1896-1914.
 Wrote 2 influential books The Philadelphia Negro
 The Souls of Black Folk
 Along with Jane Addams, he co-founded the NAACP
(National Association for the Advancement of Colored