Sociology is the study of mankind based on several parameters. The most basic of these are culture, such as the language of a society; social structure, or how members of a given society interact; socialization, how a society is defined; race or ethnicity, where one race may have an advantage or disadvantage over another; gender, which like the 4 parameters above, impact on the social structure of a society at any time.
The origins of sociology had its beginnings when individuals began observing and analyzing these aspects and drawing conclusions that would explain why people did what they did, or predict what people might eventually do as a society. It has often been compared to psychology, although sociology focuses on humanity as a whole.
The science of sociology had its unofficial beginnings in philosophers from ancient civilizations who began to question aspects of the society in which they lived. Studies were limited at the time. A more methodical approach had its roots in the period of Enlightenment, when sociologists of the time began proposing hypotheses about society to be proven by a theory.
Even then, the science hadn’t yet been refined to what it is today. The origins of sociology were further developed during the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s. The advent of new technology and progress forced many members of society to work longer, harder and more dangerously to earn a living. In the midst of all this sudden, apparent madness, some individuals managed to compare and contrast the way society used to be with its current state, although there was nothing they could about it.
It was around this time that Auguste Comte was credited as the father of the science. The history of sociology states that it was known as ‘positivism’ at the time, and Comte was the person who coined the term we now use today. He was concerned with how the structure of society was maintained, as well as the structure itself. His intention was to use the data he gathered in the course of his studies and use it to further the progress of society. This school of thought was eventually known as applied sociology.