Webster's Dictionary defines sociology very simply: the study of society and the development of .
To describe it in a little more detail, and with less vagueness, sociology can be .
explained as a scientific study of human social relationships. There are several other branches of the .
social sciences that are also effected by sociology - they include economics, anthropology, psychology .
and political science. All of these subjects fall within the realm of societies. Sociologists study closely .
the ways in which different institutions and structures such as your family, your wealth (or lack of it), .
your community and your general surroundings influence your society. Social problems such as .
poverty, crime, and abuse also come under sociology and also help shape society.
The most basic concept in sociology is the way people interact with each other. These .
interactions are the basic level of communication between people in realtionships, no matter how minor .
the relationship is. Sociologists can generally be put into two different categories depending on what .
they tend to study. Those who examine social patterns and trends locally, nationally or globally are .
called macrosociologists while those who tend to examine the more tedious of interactions that occur .
daily between people and communities are called microsociologists.
While the ideas of sociology were first introduced in the seventeenth century during the .
Enlightenment, it was not until French philosopher named Auguste Comte came along that the official .
term sociology was coined. He used it to define his vision of a new science that would help discover .
laws of human society that ran parallel to those of the laws of nature. He wanted to use factual .
investigation, which was proving to be very successful in the physical sciences. .
The most influential and important person in the history of sociology was Karl Marx, who is also .