Development in Sociology

May 19th, 2015
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Social scientists began to adopt the scientific method to make sense of the rapid changes accompanying modernization and industrialization. Beginning in the 17th century, observation-based natural philosophy was replaced by natural science, which attempted to define and test scientific laws.

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Scientific Movement in Social ScienceSocial scientists began to adopt the scientific method to make sense of the rapid changes accompanying modernization and industrialization.Beginning in the 17th century, observation-based natural philosophy was replaced by naturalscience, which attempted to define and test scientific laws.Social sciencecontinued this trend, attempting to find laws to explain social behavior, which had become problematic with the decline of tradition and the rise of modernity and industrialization.The first thinkers to attempt to combine scientific inquiry with the exploration of human relationships wereEmile Durkheimin France and William James in the United States.Social science adopted quantitative measurement and statistical methods from natural science to find laws of social behavior, as demonstrated in Emile Durkheim's book Suicide. But sociology may also usequalitative methods.Positivist sociology(also known as empiricist) attempts to predict outcomes based on observed variables. Interpretive sociology (whichMax Weber called verstehen, German for "understanding") attempts to understand a cultureor phenomenon on its own terms.In the early 20th century, statistics and probability theory offered a new way to divine mathematical laws underlying all sorts of phenomena. As statistics and probability theory developed, they were applied to empirical sciences, such as biology, and to the social sciences. The first thinkers to attemp

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