Lavrudra Pratap Singh: The Scientific Study of Society


Lavrudra Pratap Singh,  Indian Institutes of Technology  As a matter of fact, the study of social phenomena and ways and means of promoting what Giddings calls human adequacy is one of the most logical and reasonable of all subjects that ought to be made scientific. This century must be one of developing human and social welfare if we are to make social progress. It is, therefore, rightly thought by many that sociology may be the best approach of all the social sciences and therefore a key study for the present situation. As Beach says, sociology has a strong appeal to all types of minds through its direct bearing upon many of the critical problems of the present world. Giddings has suggested that economics tells us how to get the things we want to have, while sociology tells us how to become what we want to be. Thus, sociology becomes, as the scientific study of society, the representative of great advice. Society is the largest organization of the individuals. Society has its own problems in every field. It is through the study of sociology that the scientific study of society has been possible. The study of society not only has value in modern complex society, it becomes indispensable.  The study of society contributes to the formulation of social policies which require a certain amount of knowledge about that society. Descriptive sociology provides a great deal of information that is helpful in making decisions on social policy. In India, the solution of the problem of extreme poverty requires from the sociologist primarily an investigation of the fact such [inequality] undoubtedly influences social policy. If the society is to develop and prosper, the study of society is meant for politicians, administrators, social reformers, students, and teachers.

The practical aspect of sociology is too of great importance in the study of social problems and in social work and social adjustment. The one social problem is of course that of people living well and happily together. To achieve this, a scientific study of society is needed to make necessary adjustments.  Another scientific aspect of the practical side of sociology is the study of the great social institutions and the relation of the individual to each of them. There is, therefore, a particular need for the strengthening of the first essentials in the scientific study of their problems and solutions.  One of the most important aspects and one of the greatest opportunities of sociology is that of making scientific inquiry into the questions of social concern. It ought to be clear that social evils don’t just happen, and everything has its due cause. It ought to be clear that the world has gone on too long determining its social policy on unsound basis and with insufficient knowledge. To begin the study of social problems through the method of scientific research, therefore, offers an important task to students everywhere. The aim of the sociologist is to study human society and its institutions with the dispassionate objectivity of an entomologists studying insects. Sociology teaches every member of every association as to how they can progress in the life through mutual cooperation. The association must renounce their negative attitudes towards others so as to progress in their life. Sociology, with its widespread subject matter, keeps enough ways and means to set everything in the right direction. Family is a leading organization of humanity and the first school and first world for a child. Like society, the family organization has [its problems]. Various elements revolving around the family present a great problem for the sociologist and social reformers. Such problems as what should be the [average] age of marriage?

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