The history of the sociology is closely linked to the scientific work of French philosopher Conta, who coined the term sociology. Although the first mention of the word sociology dates back to the 1780s, it was Auguste Comte, who put the term to great importance in 1838. Since then, sociology has been actively developing, evolving through the introduction of new ideas and theories.


In the process of civil society development, the geographical and social mobility of people increased significantly, new social institutions appeared, the social structure of society changed, and social facts accumulated the existing theories could no longer explain that. Further theoretical and methodological approaches were required to disclose the essence of the changes taking place.

As is well known, sociology is the science of society, its constituent systems, and regularities of its functioning and development, social institutions, relations, and communities.

The subject of the study of sociology is society, revealing the internal mechanisms of its structure and development of its structures, the regularities of social actions and mass behavior of people, as well as the relationship between an individual and society. However, it took a long time for humanity to get the actual scientific base of theories and practices of sociology.

At all stages of its history, humanity has tried to comprehend the phenomenon of society. Many thinkers of antiquity spoke about it; among them were Aristotle and Plato. It is not effortless to determine when exactly sociology emerged: its roots go back to the beginning of human history.

One of the predecessors of sociology was the Arab thinker Ibn Khaldun, who tried to study society scientifically, to look for the reasons of social phenomena, to compare different civilizations. Today sociology is often considered as the modern science, which has arisen in the West as an area of knowledge about moral problems of modernity.

The first to use the word “sociology” was the famous French politician and publicist of the Great French Revolution era, Emmanuelle-Joseph Siyes, back in 1780. However, the term “sociology” began to be used only in 1838, when the French philosopher Auguste Comte used this concept in his scientific work.

The sociological concept of Auguste Comte included the definition that the new discipline should become as exact a science as the natural sciences. For this reason, Comte gave the original name of the field of knowledge investigating sociological laws to ‘social physics.’ In his works, the French philosopher wrote that the subject of the study of sociology is the laws of social development, which, like natural laws in nature, must spread their influence on human society.

A little later, questions of sociology and the measurement of sociological regularities were raised by a large number of prominent researchers. Thus, sociological problems were studied by Spencer, Marx, Lenin, Giddens, Weber, and others. Each of them interpreted the main task of sociology as a science in his way. It is interesting to note that Comte’s theory of the natural-scientific origin of sociology was developed in the works of English scientist Herbert Spencer.

He is one of the founders of the biological direction in sociology: Spencer compared society with a biological organism, each institute of which is like a human body organ. Institutes have a function and thus contribute to the functioning of society as a whole.

Developing biological associations further, Spencer concluded that economic competition in the industrial type of society plays the role of natural selection, as a result of which survive the most adapted and gifted. This is the so-called theory of social Darwinism, according to which the patterns of natural selection and struggle for survival identified by Charles Darwin in nature extend to relationships in human society.

Thanks to the experience of previous generations, sociology research methods are changing. Sociology as a science becomes more complex and sophisticated. As a rule, new fields of knowledge related to the study of society are built on the boundary of several sciences. These include, for example, social marketing, mental sociology, health sociology, and more classical options.