Intro To Sociology 12:20 MWF FALL 2010


Famous Black Sociologist
by Tremain Meier

One of the rare African American sociologists was William Edward Burghardt Du Bois. I like the way he admired the human nature. He had one the greatest perspectives on the American Culture. He also spoke the truth no matter the risk was. He had so much faith and trust in the African American culture.
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born in 1868 during the painful period of reconstruction; Du Bois was graduated from Fisk University in 1888 and went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1895 before entering the worlds of academe and activism. Using Atlanta University as his base from 1897-1910, he opposed Booker T. Washington's educational views as too limiting, preferring to organize young black intellectuals in the Niagara Movement. In 1909 he founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and in 1910 launched its historic magazine, the Crisis. During this period he also published his classic treatise, The Souls of Black Folk (1903), the best known of many passionate and well-argued philosophical and sociological studies of his race, which also included the Philadelphia Negro, John Brown, The Gift of Black Folk, Black Reconstruction, and Color and Democracy: Colonies and Peace.


The Negro speaks rivers to Du Bois, through the N.A.A.C.P. Du Bois was also instrumental in creating opportunities for intellectual and artistic advancement for blacks and ways of rewarding and encouraging excellence, notably his collaboration with the Spingarn’s in creating the prestigious medals which bear that family's name till today. He published a novel, DARK PRINCESS, in 1928, and he continued to edit THE CRISIS from 1910-1934 until he began to reject the conservatism of the N.A.A.C.P.'s political views.

Du Bois' gradual radicalization paralleled that of a number of other black intellectuals and artists, Langston Hughes and Paul Robeson prominently among them. He embraced leftist ideology, was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1958 and formally joined the Communist Party in 1961. In the last year of his life he moved to Ghana and took citizenship in that nation. His memoirs, DUSK OF DAWN, written in 1940, and his posthumously published three volumes of CORRESPONDENCE constitute not only a personal history but also the autobiography of a race in their proud ascent from slavery to freedom and in their courageous quest for equality—a struggle which Du Bois had once described as an unending battle against the forces of hell.
According to

Michelle Odom
Harriet Martineau

Harriet Martineau was born in Norwich, England, 1802. Harriet grew up into a large middle class family. She also grew up as a Unitarian because her mother and father believed in this. Her father was a Textile Manufacturer and her mothers family were sugar refiners. Both her parents though, had held progressive views on girls' education and Harriet and her three sisters received the same education as their three brothers had. Their brothers were sent to a University and the girls were made to stay at home. Harriet thought this was not fair at all, and this is were she started writing and publishing articles in the Unitarian magazine and started writing Religious books.

She was one of the first female British Sociologists and well known English social theorist. Whom studied the social customs of Britain and the United States. Martineau was also very discipline to sociology and even translated various writings of Auguste Comte. She started analyzing the consequences of industrialization and capitalism. She even wrote her own Book, "Society in America" where she explained her examinations of religion, politics, child rearing, slavery, and immigration that happened in the U.S. She believed that society would greater improve when all men and women were treated equally amongst everything. She wanted to see cooperation amongst all social classes no matter the situation.

She began studying our country when she first came to the U.S in 1834. In her two studies she started Society in America. In this specific study, she talks about comparing moral principles and social patterns and this became her well known work of Sociologists in the United States. Harriet was known for believing and one thing she did believe was an analysis of some society should require an understanding of a women's life. Harriet Martineau changed sociological opinions on issues that was ignored like marriage, children, religious life and race relations.

Harriet Martineau died of bronchitis in 1876. She will always be remembered as the first female sociologist who changed the sociologist perspective on treating every man and woman equally.


Auguste Comte
by Joshua Weed

Auguste Comte (1798-1857), was a French philosopher who was known as the "father of sociology." Comte is well know for his idea that the world should be viewed through science. This idea was know as "positivism," and Comte was the first to apply it to studying society. Thus, coining the term "sociology." Sociology uses the Latin suffix "socius," meaning being with others, and the Greek suffix "logos", meaning study of. This is what was said to give Comte the title of "father or founder of sociology". Ironically he never really did any real sociological research.

Comte was born the year of 1798 in Montpellier, France. After attending school, Comte moved to Paris to study at the Ecole Polytechnic, where he learned of republican ideals and their progress. When Ecole closed down for re-organization, Comte chose not to reapply and continued his studies at a medical school back in his hometown. He wasn't able to relate with his family so he left once again for Paris working odd jobs to survive.

In 1817 Comte became a student for Claude Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de Saint-Simon. Saint-Simon brought Comte into intellectual society. It was during this time the Comte began developing his philosophy of positivism.

In 1852, Comte married a women by the name of Caroline Massin who he had known for many years. The marriage didn't last long because Comet was a violent and delusional man. In 1826, Comte spent some time in the "looney bin" because he suffered from a mental breakdown. This eventually led to the initial divorce in 1842.

It didn't take long for Comte to recover for in 1844 he married Clothilde de Vaux. He loved her passionately even though she wouldn't submit to a physical relationship. This relationship didn't last quite as long for Clothilde died of tuberculosis. Comte was said to have visited her grave everyday until the day of his own death.

After her death Comte became more religious. He saw himself as the founder of a new "religion of humanity" where all problems could be solved by universal love. Throughout the last of his years Comte tried to spread this new idea that love was the center of society. Without love there is no order or stability.

Comte died September 5, 1857 in Paris, and is buried in the Cimetière du Père Lachaise.


Emile Durkheim

By: Jay Wessel


To many, Emile Durkheim is considered to be the father of sociology. He is credited with making sociology a science and during his lifetime he gave many lectures and published many sociological studies on religion, suicide, and all aspects of society.

Emile was born on April 15, 1858 in Lorraine, France to a Rabbi and a merchant’s daughter. He was expected to become a rabbi, since his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all had been, and was sent to rabbinical school. After his arrival in Paris, he dismissed this ambition, and took an interest in Catholicism, but abandoned this religion as well, preferring to study religion from an agnostic standpoint. Even though agnostic, he still remained close to his family and the Jewish Community.

Durkheim was a brilliant student, and was awarded several prizes and honors. His high intellect and academic excellence earned him early advancement, and baccalaureates in Letters 1874, and Sciences in 1875, at the Collège d’Epinal, as well as high distinction in the Concours Général, which had made it easy for him to be accepted at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris. Although ill through much of 1881 and ‘82, Durkheim successfully passed his agrégation and began teaching philosophy in 1882. In 1887 Durkheim was appointed “Chargé des Cours de Pédagogie et de Sciences Sociales” at Bordeaux. The "Science Sociale" was a concession to Durkheim, and it was under this guise that sociology now officially entered the French university system. This appointment of a young social scientist to the predominantly humanist Faculty of Letters at Bordeaux was not without opposition, and Durkheim exacerbated this by emphasizing the value of sociology to the more traditional humanist disciplines of philosophy, history and law.

In 1893, Durkheim published his first major work, "De la division du travail social" (The Division of Labor in Society), which was a study of how social order was maintained in differing societies. In this work he introduced the concept of "anomie", which described the breakdown of the influence of social norms on individuals within a society, meaning that people were no longer expected to abide by a set of sociological rules, and no longer knew what to expect from one another. Durkheim presented a visionary reconception of the social structures of production and allocation that are the cornerstones of capitalism. In 1895, he published "Les Règles de la méthode sociologique" (The Rules of Sociological Method), his second most important work. This work raises two controversial issues of cardinal importance for all sciences directly concerned with human relationships—whether economic, political, or genetic. In 1897, he published his third major work, "Le Suicide: étude de sociologie" (Suicide : A Study in Sociology). In this study, Durkheim explored the different suicide rates among Protestants and Catholics, maintaining that the strong social control of the Catholic Church resulted in a lower suicide rate. In 1912, Durkheim published his fourth major work, "Les Formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse" (The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life). He and co-author Marcel Mauss examined the role that religion and mythology played in shaping the view and personality of people in mechanical societies.

In 1896, put aside his work on the history of socialism, and devoted himself to establishing a massive program of journalistic collaboration based upon a complex division of intellectual labor. Supported by a brilliant group of young scholars the Année was to provide an annual survey of the strictly sociological literature, to provide additional information on studies in other specialized fields, and to publish original monographs in sociology. In 1898, Durkheim founded the Année sociologique, the first social science journal in France.


Emile was a leftist when it came to politics, which often put him on the opposite side as his colleagues. Durkheim sought a secular, rational form of French life, but World War I and the propaganda that followed made it difficult for him to sustain this position. Many of the generation of students that Durkheim had taught were drafted for service in the war and many perished. Even Durkheim’s own son was killed in the war, which caused such mental anguish for Emile that he never fully recovered from the loss. In 1917, Durkheim suffered a stroke from overwork and emotional strain. His strength returned for a few months and he resumed work on La Morale but on November 15, 1917, he died from exhaustion at the age of 59, and buried in Paris.

Works Cited:

Karl Marx
Cody Anderson, Jessica Luna, Megan Zodrow

Karl Marx is a significant name in the subjects of sociology, philosophy, and government for many of his ideas and views. Karl Marx was born in Trier, Germany in the year 1818. There he went to school from the age of twelve to seventeen, and then went on to study law at a university. After a year of unsuccessful studies and a large amount of debt he moved to a new university and concentrated more on his studies. After the death of his father in 1838 he decided to be a university lecture to make a living until he finished school. After finishing school Marx tried in journalism, but had a very hard time finding anyone editor who was willing to publish anything of his work due to his radical political views of which he wrote. He however did eventually move and get a job as an editor of a newspaper. After his move he met Moses Hess who was a sociologist.

He then started to attend Sociologist meetings with Mosses Hess. While attending these meetings Marx learned from fellow attendants about socialism and decided to write a article in his paper about it. It was then later banned by Prussian authorities, and Marx was threatened to be arrested. Quickly after the threats Marx left Germany and went to France with his wife where he became editor of another political newspaper. While in France Marx learned much of the working glass and was impressed by them, but upset by their poverty. Marx then wrote an article in the paper and declared himself a communist and claimed that working class would be the emancipators of society. Marx started to write more manuscripts and opinions on communism and capitalism. Eventually Germany started to pressure France to deport him, and in 1845 he was order to leave the country. He then moved to Belgium because it was much easier on Freedom of expression. While in Belgium he studied the government and worked on many books that were never published during his lifetime. One work did get published though, and it’s the work he is most well known for. The Communist Manifesto. One month after the pamphlet came out he was then told he was again to have to leave the country. He then moved to Cologne. While here Marx made a public safety group because he felt police brutality was out of hand. Marx didn’t reside here long before he left by choice this time.

He tried to go back to France, but was turned away and found out the only European country that would accept him was England. Prussian authorities pressured England just as they had pressured France to deport Marx and his family, but the Prime minister of England refused due to his views on freedom of expression. Marx did not work while living in London. He was supported by a friend who mailed him money periodically. They lived in extreme poverty and couldn’t afford any furniture at all. He was eventually offered a job at the New York Daily Tribute where he had over 487 articles published. During this time his health and his wife’s health struggled. His wife badly deaf from an illness and Marx was as well very sickly. After his work was done at the New York Daily Tribute the family became very Poverty stricken again. Over the next few years Marx continued to write and work on theory’s and opinions. Marx’s wife died in 1881 and two years later Marx died. Karl Marx clearly had a hard life, but made many contributions to sociology and the views of some sociologist. He is known as the father of communism and believed that our capitalist government would be best and eventually replaced by socialism and eventually communism. It wasn’t until his death that his views and theory’s really started to be noticed by the world and sociologist. He is said to be the the most influential sociologist of the 19th century.

Work Cited

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