Sociology’s foundational ideas and terms

Sociology’s fundamental premise is that human behavior is primarily influenced by the groups to which people belong and the social interactions that occur within those groups. Sociology focuses primarily on the group, not the individual. Sociologists are primarily interested in human interaction – the ways in which individuals respond to and influence one another.
Sociology is distinguished by its approach to phenomena (the scientific method) and its focus (human interaction). It is defined appropriately as the scientific study of human interaction.
Sociology is concerned with society, its institutions, their interrelationships, and its actors.
Sociologists examine social interaction patterns.
Sociology, according to Bogardus, has a lengthy past but a brief history. Plato and Aristotle, two ancient Greek philosophers, are credited with initiating the earliest attempts at a systematic understanding of social life in the West. Plato’s Republic is a comprehensive analysis of the city community, while Aristotle’s Ethics and Politics is the first significant attempt to deal systematically with the law, society, and state. In the sixteenth century, authors such as Hobbes and Machiavelli drew clearer distinctions between the state and society. Based on historical data, Machiavelli’s “The Prince” is an objective discussion of the state that he formulated. Sir Thomas Moore, whose book Utopia was published in 1515, attempted to address everyday social issues by depicting an ideal social order that was intended for emulation.
Both the Italian author Vico and the French author Montesquieu contributed to the scientific study of social phenomena. In his book The New Science, Vico argued that society is subject to objectively observable laws that can be determined through observation and analysis.

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