“History is, strictly speaking, the study of questions; the study of answers belongs to anthropology and sociology.”
W. H. Auden
Sociology is a scientific discipline that examines the human society and social groups. It belongs to social sciences.
Sociology therefore examines and analyzes the human individual in a social context, social groups and society and rules of their functioning.
The establishment of sociology is usually considered to be in the year 1838, when the French philosopher of science August Comte coined the word “sociology”.
The first independent department of sociology was founded by A. W. Small in 1892 at the University of Chicago, USA.
Sociology is listed among multi-paradigm fields. Usually the basic division of this discipline is following:
- Microsociology - deals with the examination of social microstructure - small social groups (e.g. family)
- Mesosociology - deals with the examination of social mesostructures - phenomena at the interface between micro- and macrostructure
- Macrosociology - deals with the examination of social macrostructure - society, social classes, large organizations and all societal institutions.
Sociology also explores the following themes - people in organizations and people at work - related disciplines are sociology of work and organization.