What is Sociology

The Sociology is the science that studies the society and the phenomena that occur in it be they cultural, economic, religious.

Sociology is basically concerned with five elements: the social structure, the social groups, the family, the social classes and the roles that the individual occupies in society.

Sociology Definition

Sociology seeks to explain the various factors that differentiate human behavior or, on the contrary, why different social groups tend to behave similarly.

For the sociological study we consider the social group, the interactions between individuals and the means used for communication of these individuals in the group.

Thus, the sociologist’s object of study may be different human organizations such as churches, businesses, schools, hospitals, sports teams, etc. that is, all social institutions.

It also analyzes cultural groups, the form and impact of government management within a given group.

Thus, sociology starts from a certain concept of society to investigate its social structure and social relations in this environment.

How did sociology come about?

Studies concerning society will gain strength after the end of the French Revolution and the advent of society dominated by the industrial mode of production.

Therefore, rather than seeking the answer in theology or politics, many thinkers preferred to understand economic change from social groups.

Sociology as a separate discipline from the other humanities will emerge with the French Auguste Comte (1798 – 1857) who coined the term.

He was the author of the first systematic study of sociology and for him this science is the culmination of the scientific method.

Comte defended rationalism in the face of everything, but wanted to turn scientific matters into a new religion, Positivism.

However, other thinkers had already analyzed human relations from a group point of view such as Saint-Simon (1760-1825) and Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 – 1859). Moreover, Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) will make a major contribution to social class theory.

Pioneers of sociology as a science were Emile Durkheim (1858 – 1917), Vilfredo Pareto (1848 – 1923), Max Weber (1864 – 1920) and Marcel Mauss (1872 -1950).

Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Karl Marx

Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Karl Marx


Nowadays, several disciplines have merged with sociology giving rise to the sociology of education, law, culture, etc.

Sociology of Education

The sociology of education studies the relationship of learning and society, the impact of school in different social spheres, the role of the teacher, etc.

It explores the theme of the teacher as an educational agent, but also the structure of a classroom and student-teacher communication.

Legal Sociology

The Sociology of Legal or Sociology of Law aims to understand the set of legal laws that govern a society from the social action of political parties, pressure groups, economic elites, etc.

Among his fields of research are the difference between law and its application to the society where it is confined.

Thus, the law can be questioned if it is fair, if it protects a particular social group and harms another, if it contains elements that favor the insertion of unprotected extracts, etc.

Sociology of Work

The Sociology of Work analyzes human relations and nature either through physical activities or intellectuals.

To talk about work means to study the changes brought about by man in nature, because it removes materials to transform it. With his creativity, man will use his intelligence to survive in nature.

As with everything in sociology, the concept is not watertight and the idea of ​​work will change according to the historical moment. For example, in slave societies there is a clear division into who does the hard work and who does the light work.

Some intellectuals were instrumental in thinking about working relationships such as Adam Smith (1723-1790), Karl Marx, Frederick Taylor (1856-1915), and Henry Ford (1863-1947).

Sociology in Brazil

The creation of sociology in Brazil occurs parallel to its development in Europe, but with the specificities that mark the underdeveloped countries.

If in Europe the constitution of a capitalist society was evaluated, after a medieval society in Brazil, the first objects of study could not but be the very formation of the nation. How to define the Brazilian? What role would Brazil play in the “concert of nations”?

The issue will occupy all Brazilian thinkers such as Manoel Bonfim (1868-1932), Eduardo Prado (1860-1901), Gilberto Freyre (1900-1987), Sergio Buarque de Holanda (1902-1982), and many others.

Abbreviation Archives