Auguste Comte's Functionalism Theory

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Sociology, the study of human behavior with one another through observation, participation, experimentation, and is a relatively new concept in science. The systematic study of human behavior began in the late 1700s and was sparked by the French Revolution of 1789. The term sociology is accredited to a French philosopher by the name of Auguste Comte, who originally called it Social Physics. Comte wanted to distinguish the scientific study of human behavior from the other sciences, therefore, he termed the scientific study of human behavior as Sociology. Comte believed that this new field of scientific study would provide a knowledge of society based off scientific evidence and that it should contribute to the welfare of society. As sociologists…show more content…
and how they operate independently. This, in turn, allows us to better articulate how to contribute to the wellbeing of society as a whole. This is known as the Functionalism Theory; to understand the whole of society you first must understand its separate structures and they contribute. Functionalism was pioneered by Auguste Comte, he believed that is was closely related to the overall view of the field of Sociology. Although, Functionalism was closely related to the overall view of sociology, it did not gain prominence until the twentieth century through Talcott Parsons and Robert K. Merton. According to Merton, Functionalism can be divided into manifest functions and latent functions. Manifest functions are the desired outcomes of activities performed by society; such as the education of youth performed by teachers. Latent Functions are the unintended outcomes of activities performed by society; such as the building of friendships between…show more content…
However, the subjects are usually housed within a laboratory, therefore, the subjects are aware that they are being studied and may act unnaturally. With that in mind, the range of experiments that can be conducted in a laboratory is highly restricted. But within a controlled environment that sociologist has control of the circumstances being studied and allows us to see ascertaining causality and/or the influence of a particular factor. Comparative Research is of central importance because it allows sociologists that document the changes in people, society, and relationships over time. For example comparative research allows a sociologist the view the crime rates during the 1850s along with forms a punishment and compare them to the current crime rates and forms of punishment. How have the crime rates changed? Are certain crimes committed more often in the 1850s that they are now? How has the method of punishing criminals changed since then and has it had an effect on the decline or rise of the crime
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