What Are the Factors That Led to the Development of Sociology?

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Factors that led to the development of sociology are industrial revolution, imperialism and the success of natural sciences. Sociology is the scientific study of human social life, societies and groupings. It emerged as a distinct discipline in the mid 19th century when European social observers began to experiment using scientific methods.

Sociologists study societies and their development in terms of their economies, religions, political decisions and laws. The Industrial Revolution in Europe marked significant social and political upheaval. Many people from the countryside in England were forced to migrate to cities as their lands were being taken over by landlords for intensive farming systems. In the cities, people generated new ideas about democracy and political rights. There was emergence of ideas about individual rights to life, pursuit of happiness and liberty, which laid a base to future political revolution. The second factor that led to the development of sociology was imperialism. The conquering of many parts of the world by Europe exposed Europeans to radically different cultures. Shocked by these divergent ways of life, they began to ask why cultures varied from each other. Finally, the success of natural sciences triggered people to interrogate basic elements of their social world. This marked the beginning of scientific method in studying human behavior.