Sociology (from Latin: socius, "companion"; and the suffix -ology, "the study of", from Greek λόγος, lógos, "knowledge" ) is the scientific study of society, including patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture. Areas studied in sociology can range from the analysis of brief contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social interaction. Numerous fields within the discipline concentrate on how and why people are organized in society, either as individuals or as members of associations, groups, and institutions. As an academic discipline, sociology is usually considered a branch of social science.
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Sociological research provides educators, planners, lawmakers, administrators, developers, business leaders, and people interested in resolving social problems and formulating public policy with rationales for the actions that they take.
The term society is most fundamental to sociology. It is derived from the Latin word socius which means companionship or friendship. Companionship means sociability. According to George Simmel it is this element of sociability which defines the true essence of society. It indicates that man always lives in the company of other people. Man is a social animal said Aristotle centuries ago. Man needs society for his living, working and enjoying life. Society has become an essential condition for human life to continue. We can define society as a group of people who share a common culture, occupy a particular territorial area and feel themselves to constitute a unified and distinct entity. It is the mutual interactions and interrelations of individuals and groups.
Definitions of Society
August Comte the father of sociology saw society as a social organism possessing a harmony of structure and function.Emile Durkheim the founding father of the modern sociology treated society as a reality in its own right. According to Talcott Parsons Society is a total complex of human relationships in so far as they grow out of the action in terms of means-end relationship intrinsic or symbolic.G.H Mead conceived society as an exchange of gestures which involves the use of symbols. Morris Ginsberg defines society as a collection of individuals united by certain relations or mode of behavior which mark them off from others who do not enter into these relations or who differ from them in behavior. Cole sees Society as the complex of organized associations and institutions with a community. According to Maclver and Page society is a system of usages and procedures of authority and mutual aid of many groupings and divisions, of controls of human behavior and liberties. This ever changing complex system which is called society is a web of social relationship