Classical Sociological Theories essay

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Sociology can be referred to as the systematic study of the social order. It uses various ways of experiential investigation and critical analysis with an aim of developing a body of knowledge about human and social activity. Most sociologists conduct research that they later apply directly to the social policy, welfare and others focus mainly on refining theoretical understanding of the social processes.

Classical sociological theories are of immense scope and ambition (Giddens, 2007). The sociologists involved playing a crucial role in the subsequent development of sociology.

It began in the middle of the 19th century in the core of European Industrial revolution. Journalists of the time remarked primarily on misuse, scarcity, subjugation and unhappiness of the blue-collar.

The Nature of Modern Society

Karl Marx as one of the classical sociologists did not consider himself as a sociologist. Thus, he analyzed revolutionary social change and discovered the most important dynamic as being the conflict between employers and employees.

Max Weber, another sociologist, was against the approach used by Marx on materialism, and pointed that the motivating aspect in societal transformation was the shift in thoughts, standards and attitude, developing from the Calvinist.

Durkheim was another renowned sociologist who opposed to Marx’s approach, but differently (Abend, 2008). He argued that social fact referred to the statistical rates of any activity contrasting personal activity of an individual. According to his work, explaining public actions with reference to personal actions, a method commonly referred to as reductionism was not appropriate.

The approaches taken between those three sociologists were valid, and are relevant up-to-date, though they differ at some point.

Max Weber used the methodological approach to stress the need for the social theory to go through materialist and idealist models of explanation to point out the difference in social conditions. His interests were not revolutionary or scientifically directed. He was interested in the formulation of general principles of the social action that cannot be conceived as laws. He stated that sociology seeks to understand human action concerning a meaning of the action.


According to Weber, capitalism is the desire to use the most efficient means to accumulate wealth. In modern capitalist societies, the high-skilled workers and business people are protestant. In his own theory, Weber considered Protestantism as the ideological reflection of capitalism (Orenstein, 2005). Under the methodological conduct of life, capitalism is an ethic and conviction that emphasizes the duty of the individual to increase capital and profit. Capitalism is identical with the pursuit of profit, and an entrepreneurial strength goes past the traditionalistic conception of nature manipulation.

Class Struggle

In Weber terminology, a class is determined by economic interest in the possession of property and opportunities for income. He contends that class interests are not indirectly determined by ownership, and do not automatically have to rise from the disparities in possession, and that consciousness in a class must be mobilized under circumstances which can be non-economic, such as visibility of the class enemy, the manner of communication to organize a group. However, the relevance of class is defined by the market conditions.

According to Durkheim, he rules out various factors

It varies with psychopathic states. This means that people cannot suffer from the same mental illness that could lead them to committing suicide. Therefore, there is no relationship between alcoholism and suicide. Secondly,he rejects the fact that suicide differs with normal psychological states, such as race or heredity. He also argues that there is no relation between suicide and climate (Gordon, 2005). A study carried out has shown that, in catholic countries, there is less suicide compared to their protestant counterpart countries. The reason behind this is that Protestants have the advantage of free inquiry, and this stimulates a desire for more learning. The desire to know develops more, so as the suicidal thoughts. In marriage institution, suicide cases are not so common, but are at some points experienced in too early marriages, especially in men. Therefore, marriage is a recommendation to people of every age.

Social Cohesion

Durkheim studied the origin of religion as a social fact. He further explains that religion is attributed to an illusion.

The Spirit of Capitalism

According to Weber, just like Marx, he says that methodological conduct of life under capitalism is not just about practice, but also an ethic that emphasizes on the increment of profit. He describes this terminology as the desire that is selfish; this means that it serves no other end than itself. Weber suggests that Protestantism led to capitalism, but has been proved otherwise by other sociologists.

State of Bureaucracy

Weber’s approach to politics is one of his famous contributions. He emphasizes that the political societies exercise their might by threat or use of force (Abend, 2008). He further argues that when a society uses force that results in a successful monopoly, a state is formed. The domination of states shows that its members believe in its subordination.

Cause of Social Inequality and Social Problems of Modernity

Weber’s theory contrasts to that of Marx in domination of exchange value over the human activity. According to Marx, the origin of capitalism is a matter of less importance, as compared to Weber, who defines it as a structural affinity they, however, make reference to religion in an attempt to come to terms with substantial irrationality of capitalism.

Weber was against the materialistic approach of Marx and stated that the driving factor in communal change was values and beliefs emanating from the protestant reformation. Therefore, his writings contributed to what is symbolic perspective, though he did not contribute to the invention of the term sociology.

Durkheim was also against Marx, but in a different perspective. He said that social events are not to be explained with reference to individual events.

He suggests that the growing divisions of labor are possible in the presence of normative foundation.

According to the three sociologists, there are challenges that the modern society is facing. Low division of labor leads to an under developed society. Without high division of labor, advanced communication system and distributive expert system cannot be categorized in that cluster (Abend, 2008). Lack of individuals interested to act on behalf of community is another challenge. In fact, the transition of human kind from the nature state to societal involves a particularly fundamental change, and this is hard to get in people. Poor health condition is another challenge affecting modernity, as not everyone has access to healthcare. Racism was also highlighted in sociology as a challenge. These three sociologists implied that the challenges faced were due to prejudice and discrimination, and they viewed it as evil.

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