Sociology : Meaning, Nature and Scope – Best B.Ed Notes 2023

New Keywords :

  1. Nature : features, character, or qualities of something.
  2. Scope : the extent of the area or subject matter that something deals with or to which it is relevant; the opportunity or possibility to do something.
  3. Race : categorization of humans based on physical or social qualities into groups.

Meaning of Sociology

Sociology is the systematic study of Human society, Human social activities and its consequences. It examines how individuals and groups interact within social structures, including various relationships, institutions, and processes such as family, education, religion, and government, which significantly influence human behavior and interactions in society.

Definition of Sociology

Sociology is defined as the ‘science of society’. It is also defined as the study of social problems. It covers all the elements of society like social relation, social separation, social interaction and culture that is common in our everyday life.

In other words, it is the study of the structure, functioning and development of human society, which means how human society is working, how it is developing and what are the problems in a Human society.

It analyzes the patterns and dynamics of social life, ranging from small groups to entire societies.

Origin of the term ‘Sociology’

The term ‘sociology’ is derived from the Latin word ‘socius,’ which means ‘associate’ or ‘society,’ and the Greek word ‘logos,’ which means ‘systematic study’ or ‘science.’ Hence, it is a systematic study of society and associated people.

Meaning of Sociology imageThe term ‘Sociology’ was first used by the French philosopher and Mathematician ‘Auguste Comte’ in 1842 in his book “Cours de Philosophie Positive” (Course of Positive Philosophy) for which he was considered as the father of Sociology.

Similarly, Govind Sadashiv Ghurye (1893-1983) is the founder of Indian Sociology.

Definition of Sociology by different Sociologist

Here are some unique views from famous sociologists, offering valuable insights into the complexities of human society and enriching the field of sociology with diverse ideas.

  1. B.R. Ambedkar : B.R. Ambedkar, an influential social reformer and scholar, focused on issues of caste and social inequality. He emphasized, “Sociology should advocate for social justice and work towards the eradication of caste-based discrimination, promoting equality for marginalized communities.”
  2. M.N. Srinivas : M.N. Srinivas, an eminent Indian sociologist, emphasized the significance of studying Indian villages and social stratification. He said, “Sociology should delve into the dynamics of social change in traditional communities, investigating the interplay of caste, class, and power in rural India.”
  3. G.S. Ghurye : G.S. Ghurye, a pioneering sociologist in India, stressed the importance of understanding cultural diversity in the country. He stated, “Sociology must explore the intricate tapestry of Indian culture, investigating the social norms, customs, and traditions that shape the unique identity of our society.”
  4. Auguste Comte – “The Science of Social phenomena.”
  5. Ginsberg – “The study of Society.”
  6. Green – “The synthesizing and generalising Science of man in all his social relationships.”
  7. Duncan Mitchell : Duncan Mitchell, a British sociologist, describes sociology as “The scientific study of society, including the examination of social interactions, institutions, and processes to understand human behavior and the structures that shape society.”
  8. Robbins – “It deals with the whole man in relation to his social and biophysical background.”

Examples of Sociology

The various examples are include :

Example1: The study of Environmental problems. Sociologists study how people interact with the environment, Sociologists research the actual problems responsible for climate change and environmental issues in our society.

Example 2: The study of castes and classes. Sociologists study how society is divided into different castes and classes based on wealth, religion and occupation, etc. 

Example 3: The study of racism that appears in societies. Sociologists research how the topic of race and gender is responsible for social inequalities within our societies.

Nature of Sociology

The nature of sociology is multidimensional, complex, and continuously evolving. Below are key points that focus on its nature :

  1. Humanizing Science: It is a humanizing science that focuses on understanding human behavior, interactions, and societies. It acknowledges the importance of empathy and compassion in studying social phenomena, recognizing the individuality and uniqueness of human experiences.

  2. Extensive Scope: It extends its tentacles in every direction, exploring a wide range of social issues and contexts. From studying family dynamics to analyzing global social movements, it delves into various aspects of human life.

  3. Concerned with Social Facts: At its core, sociology is concerned with social facts – the patterns, structures, and norms that influence human behavior in society. It aims to identify and analyze these social facts to comprehend their impact on individuals and communities.

  4. Understanding Human Behavior: One of the primary goals of sociology is to achieve a better understanding of human behavior. By studying social interactions, group dynamics, and cultural influences, it seeks to shed light on the complexities of why people act the way they do.

  5. Distinct from Exact Sciences: It differs from exact sciences like physics and chemistry, which deal with quantifiable and predictable phenomena. Human behavior and social dynamics involve intricate and unpredictable variables, making sociology more interpretive and qualitative in its approach.

In summary, the nature of sociology is deeply rooted in comprehending human behavior and societal patterns. It embraces the complexity of social life, offering valuable insights into the diverse aspects of human existence and the dynamic forces that shape our interactions and societies. By being distinct from exact sciences, It employs qualitative methods to explore the intricacies of social facts, making it a unique and indispensable discipline in the pursuit of understanding humanity.

Scope of Sociology

The scope of Sociology is very vast and deals with the study of social institutions, social groups and social processes.

  1. It tries to explore how societies appear, continue and then change. It focuses on almost every aspect of society.
  2. It focuses on society, human social activities, social relationships, social interaction and aspects of culture associated with our everyday life.
  3. It uses various methods and ways to develop an idea about society and social problems.
  4. Some sociologists do research to get the actual Solution for a problem or to know how a topic is responsible for social inequalities within our society.
  5. It also focuses on traditional issues of society like Social class, caste, gender, race, religion, law, social stratification, social mobility, etc.
  6. It focuses on other institutions like education, health care, medicine, economy, military, punishment and system of control.


Sociology deals with the study almost every aspect of our society and It may be defined as the:

  1. Systematic study of society
  2. Science of associated people
  3. Study of social problems
  4. Study of structure, function and development of human society
  5. Study of human behavior and their consequences.

Hence, it gives a clear idea about human society, the interaction of humans with their society and its consequences.

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