Maharashtra State BoardHSC Arts 11th
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Emergence of Sociology

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Enlightenment period: Enlightenment period is the period of European history which saw such tremendous social, political, and economic changes embodied by the French Revolution and Industrial Revolution.

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Emergence of Sociology:

To understand the emergence of Sociology, we must understand the relationship between society and ideas. There is always a link between social conditions of a period and ideas which arise and are dominant in that period.

The roots of ideas developed by early sociologists lie in the social conditions that prevailed in Europe. The emergence of sociology as a scientific discipline can, therefore, be traced to that period of European history which saw such tremendous social, political, and economic changes embodied by the French Revolution and Industrial Revolution. This period of change in European society is known as the ‘Enlightenment period’ because it embodied the spirit of the French philosophers of the 18th century.

The enlightenment period marked a radical change from traditional thinking to new ways of thinking and looking at reality. Individuals started questioning each and every aspect of life. Scientific and rational thinking remained the prominent way of life. The new outlook developed as a result of the commercial revolution; the scientific revolution crystalised during the Industrial and French revolutions, which gave birth to the discipline of Sociology.

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Enlightenment: The period of European thought, which is equated with an emphasis on reason, experience, a challenge to religious and traditional authority, and the gradual emergence of the ideals of secular, liberal, and democratic societies. The intellectual forces of this period produced positive, logical, rational, and scientific thinking. They also emphasised causal relations (focus on the cause and effect relationship). Among the intellectuals, we can mention Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Francis Bacon, Cicero, Machiavelli, and many more.

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