Sociology is a social science whose history can be traced as far as the 19th century. This essay will intelligently give a descriptive explanation of the emergence and development of sociology and also understand the challenges it goes through as a science. Key concepts will be defined and thereafter a conclusion will be drawn in the latter part of the essay.
According to Schaefer (2005:6), Science is the body of knowledge obtained by methods based on systematic observations. Sociology relates itself to a branch of science called social sciences. Social sciences study social features of humans and the ways they interact and change (ibid).
Sociology, been a category of social science shares the same subject matter which is human social behaviour. The word sociology is derived from the Latin word socius (companion) and the Greek word logos (study of). Therefore, according to Abercrombie, Hill, and Turner (2000:333), sociology is most literally the study of companionship. According to Gosling and Taylor (2010:9), sociology is about understanding relationships in human societies, but sociologists do not agree about what societies are and how they should be studied and so no one definition would ever suffice.
The emergence and development of sociology occurred in a time with two significant revolutions that were social and political. The major conditions, societal changes, disruptions and social disorder that gave motive to the emergence included the Industrial Revolution which began in Great Britain, the French Political Revolution of 1789 - France, the Enlightenment and advances in natural sciences and technology. Since sociology was born amidst the great socio-political and economic and technological changes of the western world, it is said to be the science of modern society (Zerihun, 2005:7-8).
During the 18th century, an intellectual period known as “the Enlightenment” challenged orders of society in a logical and scientific view. This period is known to be a time...