Classical Sociological Theorists

Analyze two classical theorists in terms of their sociological school and conceptual contributions

A. the social and intellectual forces in which the theorists molded their theories.(What was happening at the time when they were writing/working)
B. the unit of analysis (What are the concepts the theorist is doing)
C. A.the level of abstraction (are the concepts micro or macro B. can macro be turned to micro and micro to macro
D. what sociology really is to them?

Classical Sociological Theorists

Some of the theorists who heavily contributed to the development of Sociology were Émile Durkheim and Auguste Comte, both of whom were Functionalists. Functionalists see the society as a system made up of components that coordinate with each other towards the desired end. These subsystems are interlinked. They understand the society by drawing comparisons with living things. As the various body organs perform their specified role to sustain the existence of life, so are the diverse forms of social institutions that work together towards the existence of the society (Calhoun et al).

Auguste Comte was a French sociologist who was born in an aristocratic catholic family in 1798. He worked for Claude Henri as a secretary. Henri rooted for an observation-based social scientific approach. Comte was for the positive philosophy as an approach to understanding humanity. He used sociology as a term for emphasizing his assertions that social physics is a science which in future would emulate other natural sciences (Calhoun et al).

Émile Durkheim on the other hand was born in 1858 in Epinal. While he objected Comte’s doctrines, he modified them. Durkheim is remembered to have held that social sciences are an advancement of the natural sciences such as physics and chemistry. That being so, they extend into the contexts of human activities. He defined sociology as the science of institutions, their origins and functions (Calhoun et al).

Both Comte and Durkheim were macro sociologists. Comte strongly proposed that sociology should be studied like other sciences, as did Durkheim, who linked issues that affect humans at individual level to the happenings of the greater social domain (Calhoun et al). It can be deduced that while the two philosophers held differing views, what is clear is that they fell under a group of sociologists whose levels of abstraction was strongly macro.

Works Cited

Calhoun et al. Classical Sociological Theory. Malden: Blackwell, 2007. 12 Oct. 2012             <>.