Ideology, History and Classical Social Theory
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 Ideology, History and Classical Social Theory

Sociology is a very important discipline to study. When you ask yourself where the term,

classical sociological theory derives from, the reading Sociological Theory written by David

Ashley suggest that certain sociological statements are classical first because they have an

ideological significance, and second because they have been instrumental in helping to build

sociology as an autonomous discipline and as an institutionalized profession. "These two

characteristics are not mutually exclusive. To some extent, classical sociological theory was

always ideologically interested in its own legitimation”. Ashley suggest that sociological theory

is often said to have attained its maturity between 1880 and 1920. "During this period, sociology

was established in its own right in the United States and in many Western European societies

Ideology is another term that Ashley defines for us, he says that it is largely a modern

invention because "it is modernity that was responsible for the breakdown of the dogma and

uncertainties associated with traditional societies”. He goes on to say that "ideology, in short,

represents a refusal to accept that present conditions reflect the best of all possible worlds. To

put the best possible gloss on ideology, we could say, it is a striving toward truth at a time during

which blind adherence to custom, tradition, and habit is loosening its grip on the human mind”.

When one searches for an appropriate meaning for sociology, many definitions will come

to mind. In her book, Understanding Social Problems, Schacht gives her definition by explaining

a scene in the movie Dead Poets' Society, with actor Robin Williams who plays an English

teacher in a private boys' school. She explains how in one scene he asks his students to get out of

their seats and, one by one, climb on...

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