Sociology XI Notes for Sociology Notes

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Scope of Sociology

Sociology has its broad and wider scope. Here, scope generally determines the limitations of the study. Without any limitation, it is difficult to study any discipline(Subject).

There is controversy (differences in views) among the sociologist about its area of study. A group of sociologist tries to limit its area where the other group of sociologist deny it or are against it.

V.F. Calberton has his important remarks regarding the scope of sociology.

Science, sociology is so elastically science, it is difficult to determine just where its boundaries begins and end. Sociology becomes social psychology over whether social psychology become sociology or biological theories become sociological theory something which is impossible to decide.

As we know different sociologist have controversies about the scope of sociology, there are two main schools of thoughts. They are:

  1. Specialistic or Formalistic school of Thought Sociology should be studied only in the form of social relationships.
  2. Synthetic school of Thought All the organs of social life are internal related and interdependent. So, sociology should be studied over all the society and social life.
Formalistic School Synthetic School
George Simmel (Founder of this thought) 1. Emmile Durkheim
Max Wever 2. Gins Berg
Van Wise 3. P.A. Sorkin
Tonnies 4. Hob House
Vier Kandt 5. Manntheins



This view is criticized as the scope of sociology is narrowed by this. According to them sociology should study not only about general forms of social relationship but also their contents of whole social life. They claim this view as impractical, because no social sciences can be studied in isolation from other social sciences. They claim that more emphasis is to be given on inter disciplinary that close interdisciplinary approach.


This view claims that all the organs of social life are interviewed and interdependent. So, sociology should study about overall society and social life. It doesn't limit the area of the study. All parts of social life are closely related so the study of one aspect is not sufficient to understand the entire phenomenon.

The different sociologists have given their views as follows:

  • Emmile Durkhim (Three Parts of Sociology)
    1. Social Morphology – Geographic scope such as size, density, distribution of population
    2. Social Physiology – Different branches such as sociology of religion, sociology of language, sociology of economic life and law.
    3. General Sociology – Philosophical part to discover the general character of social life.
  • Gins Berg
    1. Social Morphology Geographic scope such as size, density, distribution of population
    2. Social Control – Tradition, Culture, Religion, Moral, Belief, Norms, Laws, etc.
    3. Social Process – Social interactions such as co-operation, completion, conflict, isolation, commonalities, conflict, isolation, commonalities, differences, integration, etc.
    4. Social Pathology – It deals with social evils, social disturbance, malfunction etc. with their causes and effect. It includes poverty, illiteracy, social crime, unemployment, over population, prostitution, beggary.
  • Hob House
    1. A sociologist must pursue study in particular part of social life.
    2. The study must interconnect the result with different social sciences.
    3. The study should interpret social life as a whole.
  • PA Sorkin
    1. Sociology is the study of different aspects of social phenomena.
    2. It includes the relationship between non-social aspects.
    3. It is the study of general features of social factors.

From the above discussion, we came to know that sociology is a very wide social science. It covers both general and social aspects of sociology.

Sociology studies various aspects of society such as social morphology, social pathology, social physiology, social tradition, social process, social control, social change, social system, etc. So, it is very difficult to limit the scope of sociology. Sociology studies whole life of human beings in society. It is very difficult to determine its boundary when it starts and when it ends. By this we can say that sociology has broad scope.


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