Systematic Sociology: An Introduction to the Study of Society

Systematic Sociology: An Introduction to the Study of Society

Systematic Sociology: An Introduction to the Study of Society

Systematic Sociology: An Introduction to the Study of Society

Excerpt

In the book which follows I have not covered the whole field of the social sciences, nor even the whole field of sociology. It would be wise at this point to give at least a survey of the whole field.

By the term 'social sciences' we understand, in contradistinction to the natural sciences, all those scientific disciplines which deal with man, not so much as a part of nature but as a being who builds up societies and cultures. All knowledge which helps us to a better understanding of this social and cultural process is either a part of or an auxiliary discipline to the social sciences

In this largest sense of the word all the cultural sciences belong to the field of the social sciences; for instance, philology, the history of literature, the history of art, the history of knowledge, economics, economic history, political science and anthropology. But this huge amount of material must be formed into some coherence by a central discipline which has both a point of view and a subject matter of its own. In the field of social sciences the central discipline is sociology. It is on the one hand a synthetic discipline, trying to unify from a central point of view the results of the separate disciplines; and it is on the other hand an analytic and specialised discipline with its own field of research. The specialised subject matter of sociology is the forms of living together of man, the sum of which we call society.

I shall consider some of the main forms of this living together, such as social contacts, social distance, isolation, individualisation, co-operation, competition, division of . . .

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