What is sociology? Simply it is the study of how society functions (or not).
Richard Osborne, a Lecturer in Philosophy at London's Guildhall University,
traces the origins of these differing conceptual systems, from Enlightenment
thought and the pioneering work of Auguste Comte, to subsequent developments in
Karl Marx, Spencer, Durkheim and Max Weber. Here are the underlying reasons for
the rapid expansion of sociology in 20th century America, the post-World War II
dominance of Talcott Parsons, the Chicago School and the rise of structuralism.