Sociology UPSC Mains Syllabus
Paper 1 – Chapter 1 – Sociology – The Discipline
Topic – Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.
SCOPE OF SOCIOLOGY
- It is the systematic study of society.
- It studies human society as an interconnected whole.
- It looks into how individuals and society interact with each other.
- Sociology seeks to explore how societies emerge, persist and then change. Its scope includes study of social groups, social institutions and social processes.
- Scope of Sociology is more in the direction of an analysis of social problems and not in normative suggestion of solutions for these social problems.
- Early sociologists had two prime concerns . a) A scientific analysis of society. b)To lay the principles of social evolution.
- Radcliffe Brown observed that the subject-matter lies in the structures or patterns of social interactions which can be studied by field work.
- Marx opined that scope of Sociology is to study the dynamic of forces and relations of production.
- Weber on the other hand defines scope of sociology in terms of study of social action whereas Parsons define scope of sociology as a study of action systems.
- Merton combined psychological and structural aspects of society.
- Formal school considered scope as limited.
- It emphasizes more on understanding rather than predicting.
- It and only attending the protective understanding of the society.
- It aimed at studying society in totality.
- The synthetic school of thought holds the view that sociology is a synthesis of all social sciences.
- Sociology is the science of science.
- It embraces all social sciences within its scope.
- Added to the scope by bringing in conflict perspective.
- Influenced by the thought of Karl Marx, Marxist sociology emerged around the turn of the 20th century.
- Later neo-marxist developed the Critical School.
- It emerged in the 1960s.
- It was a radical alternative and offered distinctive gender-based explanations.
- It emphasized centrality of gender in social change.
- Main proponents were Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault.
- Foucault analysed the emergence of modern institutions like prisons, hospitals and schools as a sign of increasing surveillance and discipline in society.
- Post-modernists have further enhanced the scope of Sociology and new issues like health, ageing, demographic issues, cybernetics and informational technology are also coming under sociology.