Mod-01 Lec-01 What is sociology?
Well friends, today we are going to concentrate on what is sociology? Basically I follow two books; one Alex Inkeles and second Gisbert The title of Alex Inkeles book is this; What is sociology? and Gisbert books title is; Sociology. Alex Inkeles asks three questions; one what did the founding fathers do? Those peoples who actually develops the subject of sociology what did they do? What do they think about developing a new subject? What are their new expectations? What kind of problems they took up for investigation? What was their methodology and to answer that questions we also has to identify, who are the founding fathers? Another approach to follow is empirical approach, means what do those people, what do sociologies, those who called sociologies do? Like I am a sociologist, I have the positions for professor of sociology. There are sociology placed in university departments, professional institutions, medical colleges, agricultural colleges, engineering colleges, management colleges, they are sociologists placed under different ministries or government of India There are sociologies in international organizations, in NGO’s and research NGO’s, ex NGO’s and voluntary development organizations, what will they do? What kind of problems they take up? How they approach their problems? What methodology do they follow? What are the subjects of study, this can be another way of knowing, what is sociology? The difference between this question and this question is, that this question is about the dreams, visions, methodologies of those develops the subject of sociology and this question is about those, contemporary sociologists, that those who are working for sociologies of somewhere, what are they doing? So, from knowing what are these peoples doing are called sociologists, we can know what is sociology about And third way of knowing what is sociology is what does the reason suggest? Logic, that it broadly divides the subject of human behavior, we all know the sociology is about human behavior, that we also know that they are many other disciplines like psychology, philosophy, anthropology, economics, political science, ethics they also deal with human behavior. So, what does the reason suggests? Means if all these disciplines are about human behavior, then what is the difference between sociology and all these disciplines, logic, reason? What does the reason suggest that these are the three ways of knowing, what is the subject matter of sociology? Regarding this question, what did the founding fathers do? Who are the founding fathers? There is not one person or there are large number of persons who have been contributed to development any discipline including sociology. If I ask you are all the students of engineering, if I ask you who the founding father of engineering is?
You will not be able to answer and pin point 30 years person P is the responsible for the development of engineering There are hundreds of peoples thousands of peoples from different disciplines, diverse walks of life who have contributed to development of engineering. Then these questions what do engineer do? Obviously, this is different kinds of question than this, what did founding fathers of engineering do? The founding father of sociology mainly though you can make long list of 10 15 20 50 100 persons who have developed the discipline of sociology, but most important names, which you will find in all introductory books of sociology are Auguste Comte, Emile Durkheim, Herbert Spencer, Max Weber Alex Inheles also says that they deliberately chose these names and one of the consideration was that these names covers diverse European statistics. Auguste Comte he is France, Emile Durkheim France Herbert Spencer an English man and Max Weber a German. So, Alex Inheles has selected the peoples who developed the discipline of sociology from different geographical, political or social settings French, English and German In some people also include the name of Karl Marx, a German, a Jew, but not known because he was a German or Jew, but someone who gave revolutionary idea in thinking of human subjects In the name of this idea in several countries of the world subsequently develop socialistic movements and the idea of scientific socialism In our country also there are so many parties, political parties which are devoted to the philosophy of Karl Marx. They are called communist party, there is a long history of how initially in India communist party of India was established and how it is splits into two and other several parties, that is a different story. But Karl Marx gave the concept of socialism and develop a scientific story of socialism. Karl Marx develops a holistic, independent, revolutionary, and a fresh theory of human behavior which subsequently lead to socialistic movements and trade union development in different countries of the world What did these finding fathers say? What is the greatest contribution? They have said many things, they have written many books, they have produced many ideas, they have studied different subjects, it will be difficult for me to justice in 1 hour time or less than 1 hour time to exactly say what did they do? Some of the main ideas of these founding fathers, which are commonly present in introductory book of Sociology, I will discuss them. Actually Auguste Comte is a philosopher, he was not a Sociologists, obviously if he developing the subject of sociology, then he was not a sociologist to begins with, he was a philosopher But he is differed from other philosopher, in the sense while that other philosophers took to study of ideas and did some kind of arm chair philosophy, I think you understand
of arm chair philosophy, speculation, thinking, building logic of arguments, testing ideas and theories on the basis of arguments only and some prepositions, axioms, working out implications on those axioms. Auguste Comte said that there is need for developing a new kind of subject, in which the subject matter is human behavior or society We will study society, we will study human behavior, we will study family, religion, economy and so on. But in place of speculating about human behavior or in place of logicalizing behavior from the philosophy or religion or text books of religion, we will concrete empirical experimental studies. We will base our conclusions on observation, we will use scientific method scientific method. Those peoples who actually apply scientific method to study of human behavior are called positivist, this the term that Auguste Comte gave new kind of discipline, which we will study as human behavior, but he studied behavior in odd facts in a scientific manner. Normally, when somebody attracts the word science, what kind of idea does it convey? It conveys that science is an objective study, scientific studies should not be influenced by ideas, philosophies, religion, background, socio economic background, demographic background, racial religious background of the researches The method that researcher follow should search anybody that follows that method will arrive at the same results. So, findings of science are value neutral, findings of science at dispassionate there is no personal attachment or there is no interest in arriving at certain time of conclusions When Archimedes or Newton or Einstein or these are big names, but all the scientists whom we know as scientist, when they contributed their stories to different areas of science, we never doubt their ideas, we are not influenced by their religious, socio economic demographic or country background, we would not say that, because that Einstein belongs to this country, this era, this stage of development of society, in his time, this was his age or he was male or female or he believed in this or that, act of Christianity, we never say he was a Jew or some other religious. We never say these things, we never believe that scientific ideas of scientist or based on their religious, socio economic or demographic or country or racial, these ideas have been arrived by making concrete and objective studies of certain facts So, there are measurement there are value neutral methodologies, there mathematical, statistical, scientific ways of examining and exploring of problems and there are inference in of scientific ways that is what positivism is. I always like to use Hindi terms for positivism, because that makes the subject or socialism more clear to me. Since, most of the students here can understand Hindi, then we can understand if I write that unlike other philosophy, philosophy is based on, we will talk about only those things, which are which are, which are known
on the basis of scientific experiments, we will not talk about anything else I remember that later on, one great philosopher of science suggested that, scientist should be concerned with only scientific hypothesis, but scientific hypothesis is an assumption that we want to test in our research. If hypothesis is our assumption mostly regarding relationship between two or more phenomena, which we want to study on the basis of data, then only those hypothesis can be taken to scientific, which can be rejected on the basis of odd facts or empirical data. Hypothesis, which cannot be rejected are assumption or ideas or theories which cannot be rejected on the basis of empirical data not scientific So, scientist should be concerned only which those issues questions, which can be scientifically examined. For example, what is not a scientific hypothesis? A hypothesis that God is male, we have not seen a God. God may be male, God may be female or God may be a transgender we do not know. So, this hypothesis, somebody says that, let us scientifically examine God is male or God is female or god is transgender, there is no way we cannot scientifically examine whether God is male or female or transgender Scientists are not interested in such hypothesis, so sciences have the limited domains. That also we must understand that you cannot scientifically studied everything, scientist can study only on those hypothesis because scientist are interested in rejecting for false hypothesis and false hypothesis are those, which are rejected on the basis of odd facts or empirical data. Whether God is male or female or transgender or God is young or old several pictures our god are shown as young persons and in several pictures they are shown as very old persons with beards and mustache We do not know and we cannot scientifically examine. So, sociologies as scientists should not be concerned about with such issues, sociology will concerned only with those issues very much in lined with Karl Popper who said that, scientist must be interest in scientific hypothesis only, they cannot study everything. So, according to Auguste Comte sociologies use scientific method to study society or human behavior micro aspects of society or macro aspects of society This is the biggest contribution of form, actually we use a term drawn from science, he called such a subject social physics. He is developing a new subject, which may be called social physics and physics is often divided in to statics and dynamics, actually it is mathematics which is divided into statics and dynamics, but we said in physics in one time everything was philosophy everything was physics. He said that physics can be divided in to two parts, statics and dynamics Likewise, sociology can also be divided into statistics and dynamics. Statics will deal with relationships between different parts of the society, this is what we do in statistics, in statics. We study about forces, equilibrium, how many equilibriums different types of forces pushes, pulls, this force that force, inertia, gravitation, velocity momentum, all kinds of things. How an equilibrium is obtained, because of interaction between the large number of forces? So, social statics will be for example about how is a family is maintained, in the contest of this political system, this level of economic development, this kind of history, this religion, this level of literacy, this kind of economic activities and so on So, social statics is about relationships
between different parts of society and social dynamics is about when society changes and you will agree with me that society changes Indian society in today 2012 does not have the same features, which Indian society has 5000 years ago or 3000 years ago or 1000 years ago. During medieval period, during British period, after independence, society has been changing. So, when society changes, how different parts of society changes in response to changes larger society, that is dynamics. Relationship between part and changing whole society as a whole is changing and Auguste Comte also pointed out what are the stages of development of society? For example, when you hear that, when you read Alex Inkeles or Gisbert, if you come across these terms these are the stages through, which society passes Eukaryotic, meta physical, scientific or politics different researches different sociologies will mentioned different stages of development. Because, their concepts suits, building kind of their kind of theory, but the point is the society develops and passes through certain stage of developments This was actually the subject of Herbert Spencer The society evolves, that means there certain stages through, which society passes, S1 to S 2 to S 3 and so on. Simple to complex, complex to doubly complex, doubly complex to a much more complex state, simple society to differentiated society, a rural society or community society or urban society, which is more differentiated as compared to community, urban areas are more differentiated like society evolves So, when a society evolves, how do different parts of society responds to changes in the larger society? That is social dynamics, so one part is social statics. Social statics is about the relationship between different parts and social dynamics it is about how different parts of society respond to changes in complete whole called society. So, society changes, if society un changes, if Indian society whatever image of primitive original or natives society of India you have, image in what kind of family existed in that society? Image how did family organization change when Aryans if they came from outside? This is controversial query whether Aryans came from outside or Aryans are original inhabitants of India. The problem is that the study of human issues was your queries reflect as well as the reality part as your own political or philosophical biases Anyways, if Aryans came that must has change everything including the family system. Then during the Buddhist period said nature of family was different, then during the period of Smritis etcetera 500 600 then medieval period, Mughal period, the nature of family in India, British period nature of family in India. Something of that easily you can know by reading fictional works of great writers like Prem Chand. What kind of family in several of his fictional works, it describes the kind of family that existed in the villages of Varanasi you can know from, then family as it evolving, nature of family after independence Now, obviously with changes in everything, changes in religion, society, politics, economy, everything
So, family has to change this kind of relationships is the part of social dynamics, change. Emile Durkheim is known more for we call social facts, we can see that Emile Durkheim contribute supplements, I can say Emile Durkheim supplements the work of Auguste Comte According to Comte, we studied the parts of society, we studied the relationship between the parts of society. According to Emile Durkheim, what we studied? We will make objective, scientific value, neutral, dispassionate, experimental study of society is patterns they are there are such patterns, patterns of what? Patterns of thinking, common ways of thinking. There are common ways of feeling, sentiments, religious or ideas or dispositions, our attitudes towards various things, our feelings, subjective dimensions how do people feel? What do people think about something? What are the ways of feeling? What are the ways of thinking? What are the ways of thinking patterns, ways of patterns and acting The moment we talk about pattern we have reduce the importance of study of individual humans Individual human behavior, individual human personality, individual human thinking, individual human feeling, individual human acting will be studied by social psychologies. Sociologies are not interested in individual assets, sociologies are interested in if there are patterns and there are patterns and they find there are patterns, like to give you an example of pattern, let us take the case family size. In sociology the term family size is defined as number of children or off springs, it is not the size of household or total number of persons or total number of members of house hold, house or family, it is a number of children, family size is number of children But at one time, the dominant thinking in India not in distant part, only 100 years ago, the dominant thinking they may have in various thinking. We cannot deny the fact that there must been several thinking present on the issues, but the dominant and when I say the dominant it means 80 percent or 90 percent or 95 percent or it possible 99 percent and sometimes very close to 100. Now, the thinking the dominant thinking on number of children’s was that children’s are sent by God that was the dominant thinking There may have been some people at that time also may be some people may have some medical knowledge, some people had knowledge of physiology, somewhere ascetic, some were brahmachari, some were sanyasi, and they knew that number of children has to do something like, with frequency of sexual intercourse and related issues They knew the connection between sexuality and children and they also decided not to produce any child. They thought that the goal of life is moksha, nirvana, liberations from transients, becoming free from the cycle of birth and death. These people may have had some different thinking, but in number of such persons was more than 0.5 percent or more than 1 percent. Most of the people the
dominant thinking of the people was number of children is determined by God God decides how many children’s you will have. People had very positive feelings towards the sons, our Veda says, our Vedic rishis or they will say, you have lot of property, lot of land, lot of milk, lots of wells, horses, cows and also hundreds of sons. Son was more important than a daughter, so there was a very positive feeling towards having a large number of children particularly, a sons that was the dominant feeling. In Hindi, when older women bless a younger bride, they would say bath in milk and have 100 of sons, produce lots of sons and bath in milk. Bathing in milk must be the great, thing in those days, which means you come for the prosperous family, lots of cows and lots of milks Well bathing in milk signifies wealth and having lots of sons, because your sons are associated with their fortunes, your religious future and your moksha, your status in the society, feeling acting. So, people produce large number of sons large number of children’s and large number of sons. Average family size in that time was 8 to 10, this was the pattern By pattern, we mean this that the dominant thinking was children are sent by God. People had almost all people had very positive feeling about sons they felt happy when a son was born and unhappy when a daughter was born So, different rituals, different symbolisms and acting. Acting means they produce 8 to 10 children. They could produce more, but because of several cultural reasons, affecting age of marriage, relationship between husband and wife and many other related issues, they could not produce more than 10 Individually some couples produce 12 and some couple produce 20 and in some community there was a rituals that is after producing certain number of children, which was quite 12 or 20 there was a remarriage of the same couple But that happened only on isolated case, by pattern wise. What is the pattern today? Today the dominant thinking is that number of children is decided by the couples, couples can determine how many children they would like to have? They may still have sex, so reproduction has been separated from sex. People may have sex, but may not produce any child, they may have 0 child, 1 child, 2 children, 4 children, 5 children, 10 children, it is up to them Most people realized, repeatedly surveys have shown that people now realized that dominant thinking that realize number of children is in their hands. So, thinking has changed, pattern of thinking has changed. This denotes that you cannot identify any person in India today in 2012 in any part of the country, where god type of thinking is still prevalent? Yes, you can find some person, but we are not concern about that we are concerned about the thing that. Most people thinking in one manner, feel today our feeling have changed, when number of children’s has declined Feeling has changed, here some there is diversity some people feel equally pre disposed towards sons and daughters. Some people think that they must have only 1 child, so that child must be son there are lots of difficulties engaging, marrying and so they should have only son. With the facility of sex determination, they have a prejudice feeling towards a girl child that leads to female feticide. Some of them you may have watch Sathyameva Jayate, the first program focused on female feticide; the reason behind this is simple
Now, you want to produce only one child and you know that you should have a son. Especially, in those areas in, which they want to have only one child and they insist on having a son, the moment they find that the child to be born is girl child, they are going for female feticide, so that they can be explained, female can be explained sociologically. There have been lot of researches on this issue And acting, in acting 1 to 3 children, gradually more and more states has been moving in a direction in, which every number of children has gone below 2.0. So, you see sociologies are not interested in individuals, but sociology sees the patterns of thinking, patterns of feelings, patterns of acting changed. Something is pattern means that ego or thinking or a part of larger think, it you may call it as collective conciseness. That there is a conciseness thinking, feeling, behavior of the larger society, the way we talk about individual thinking, individual feeling ,we can also think about thinking and feeling of society That makes a pattern possible, so this thinking of society if I think, if I an individual think that I should have only one son, and if I have a daughter in my life will be miserable this thinking has not come from heaven. This thinking is part of my society, if I was living in Germany or United States or in some other country South Africa or Pakistan or Nepal or Bhutan, I would not have this thinking This thinking appears to me as my thinking which actually reflection mirror reflection of the thinking of larger society. That is what collective conciseness means So, Emile Durkheim defines social fact, anything which is pattern, anything which is pattern, pattern of thinking, feeling, acting is standard We all individuals that is social fact and sociology is about relationships between social facts. We give the example for suicides before Emile Durkheim side was taken to be something individual, private something which resulted from alienation, suffering, depression are some idea which belongs to individual, individual causes produce suicide But Emile Durkheim suggested that, if you calculate suicide rates number of suicides per year per say 10,000 population. You will find there are variations in suicide rates between different societies and within the same society there are differences in suicide rate according to age, sex, marital status, type of occupation, urban and rural areas, season and there are also changes in suicide rates as society progresses or regresses With economic development as well as economic regression suicide rates can rise or fall So, that means suicide rates are reflective of some features of society, not individuals, some features of society That is what study of social fact means and he ultimately arrived at the theory by studying connections between the suicide rates and occupation, gender, age, etcetera etcetera that suicide is determined by the degree of social integration. If an individual if a ego, person, if an individual is normally integrated with the larger society is less prone to commit suicide and in extreme cases, when ego is so much developed that the person is just not bothered about the society at all. In extreme cases if alienation or disintegration with the larger society, then the person is more prone to commit suicide A person who does not bother about himself
at all for his own interest for him, his identity is completely sub surviant to some features of society. That person is also more likely to commit suicide. So, as long as integration between ego and society is normal we remain normal and we do not commit suicide, the moment our relationship with the society is extreme, either too much of individualization or too much of concern for the society. Accordingly, we gave two names egoistic suicide; where ego is very very strong, egoistic society and anomic suicide where normal society are not clear, and other extreme of altruistic suicide, when your ego is completely substituted by social concerns Example of one extreme would be unmarried adult without job living in urban areas, anonymous life, not having any linkage with any social, political, economic groups at all. That age more prone leads to egoistic suicide and the example of other extreme suicide altruistic helping others means helping society. Ego is completely replaced by society. So, sati, sati is a kind of suicide in our culture, according to Emile Dikhein, sati would stands for altruistic suicide, when my own feels and happiness when my own sufferings of places when my own future is of no consequence to me, I just follow what in my opinion society suggest me to follow So, I commit sati, my husband dies. So, I commit sati. So, this is altruistic kind of suicide. So, Emile Durkheimis concerned about social facts and he said one fact one social fact needs to be explained objectively on the basis of empirical data, in terms of other facts of society and this is how the sociology develops All these three persons Gisbert using the term follow naturalistic and positivist, he means that same thing by both the terms positivist method or approach Auguste Comte, Emile Durkheim, Herbert Spencer develops naturalistic and positivist method. Positivistic science based on facts objective. The fourth person Max Weber what he called analytical effects or analytical approach more importance at a subjective meanings and analytical approach means more importance subjective meaning Why do people act the way they act? You see take any common behavior, a behavior, in which two or more persons are likely to indulge and analyze whether the meanings they attached to that behavior is same or different? You find even when the behavior is same action is same, the meanings are different. The behavior may be voting for a particular party, a party likes the DSP in the last election in UP, a dominant majority voted for DSP and diverse kind of people; rich people, very rich people,
business man, owners of five star hotels, owners of restaurants, big business, traders, people from banking commerce and quite commonly in our country we say business class, Baniyas or Vaishyas People belonging to Vaishya community voted for DSP then it is also voted for DSP. It is the data show the data behavior shown majority of Dalits voted for DSP. In several areas Kshatriya, Thakurs dominant region caste like Yadhavas dominant region caste, powerful peoples in rural areas they also voted for DSP. And Brahmins, a very different kind of section, from which the Brahmins has more diversified from more Brahmin community you can find highest officers, from Brahmin community you can find priests and purohiths, From Brahmin community, you can find small shopkeepers and from Brahmin community you can find rickshaw pullers and those you can find in medium jobs, agricultural workers and construction workers can also from Brahmin, for diverse upon the most perhaps the most diverse of all the caste is Brahmin. From extremely affluent people to extremely poor persons, everybody vote him. But what do you say the reason behind that voting a party like DSP for people belongs to diverse caste, sections were same? No, they were different The logic of business community was different, logic of Brahmin was different, the logic of Yadhav was different, the logic of was different and not only this, the logic individual belonging to those caste was also different We know that corruption is most widely spread, in our country mostly most bureaucrats our ex students friends gone to civil services, they tell that an overwhelming of are mostly corrupt. But are they corrupt for the same reason? The reasons may be different; some may corrupt like some Brahmins may voted for DSP, because they are afraid of Mulayam Singh They were voted for Mayawati because they were comparing Mayawati with Mulayam Singh and calculating who will be better for Brahmins Mayawati will be better for Barahmins or Mulayam Singh will be better for Brahmins This business community voted for Mayawati, many of them, because they thought that Mayawati is ultimately interested in money making and she will put interest in business community irrespective of cast. Dominant cause in village for voting Mayawati, so that they maintain the status code when they are in power, then they can retain their power in the respective villages. Dalits voted because or that it was a matter of pride, that a dalit person becomes the chief minister of the state, first time with so much of majority. Reasons were different, corrupt our bureaucrats corrupt, but reasons may different The definition of corruption, may be different of corruption may differ from person to person Some people may feel compared to be corrupt, because they think that if they are not corrupt, they cannot survive in political system. They do not want to be corrupt, main under the religions of some guru or some philosophy or because they come from such a background from the background of freedom fighters, from the value based middle class, but they feel that they do not want to be corrupt, but they feel if they do not become corrupt, they cannot survive as IAS officers or bureaucrats. They are compelled to be corrupt, there are many people who have joined IAS, because right
from the beginning they thought of making money They thought they will be powerful and lot of well for them corruption, is no corruption It is a natural thing, it is a naturalistic model for them after becoming an IAS officer, it is the responsibility to earn lot of wealth and save it for wife and children. Some people may think that or some people may live a life of honest person, then at some stage of life when they find that a honest person, an honest IAS officer cannot arrange for his daughters marriage, even in a descent manner; forget about demonstration, show up even in a descent manner, it is becoming difficult for a civil servant to arrange for her daughters marriage if he is honest packages and facilities so poor that he cannot match for his daughter in a middle class to which he belongs and he thinks, let me accept bride or do something, so that I earn some money one time and let me arrange for my daughters marriage, then I will be again be honest The meanings may be different. Max Weber says that in order to understand human behavior or social actions, we have to go deeper in to meanings that people attached to their actions, the statistical or mathematical studies of relationships between facts as economist do Economists they will define the variable use notations for alpha, beta, v 1, v 2, x, y and then for the rest of their study there is study comes kind of mathematical study, gain theory, advanced differential equations At the end of the study they will become with the conclusion which looks an economics inference This will not have, to understand the human behavior you have to go deeper in to the meanings and Max Weber suggested that sociologist must develop the concepts in the like of which concepts used by ordinary people in day to day life can be understood. So, our concepts are second order concepts, sociological concepts are second order concepts, they are not same concepts which are used by ordinary people for human behavior in society This is what Max Weber would say and in the next lecture, I will give you the examples of how sociologists belonging to three different traditions; naturalistic Auguste Comte, Emile Durkheim, Herbert Spencer work today. How the very variant sociologies work? Also I will explain what the Marxist contribution to studying of society is? I will begin Marxist contribution, so that you understand Marxist theory more clearly. Then I will explain the examples for sociological research, which is done in naturalistic and analytical phenomenon Thank you