By Robert Benjamin Bailey
My preliminary curiosity in sociology stemmed from the need to work out particular social swap in yes components of my local u . s .. My relatively naive assumption at the moment was once that if actually recognized approximately social phenomena and provided to rational and trained individuals, public opinion will lead to the fascinating social switch. that's, i presumed a few computerized linkage among fact, rationality and social development. definitely a few of the so-called "pioneers" of sociology additionally assumed this automated linkage. hence, the chance to review in Europe, at the soil of a few of those "pioneers" heightened my curiosity and wish to study extra concerning the courting among sociology and social growth. After residing and learning numerous years in a variety of components of Western Europe - England, Germany, France, Holland - one unearths that eu sociology has remained very heavily associ ated with social philosophy and background, has usually been resisted by way of the schools, and isn't as empirical as American sociology. the ecu sociologist, nonetheless rather aware of the blunders of the early fathers - Comte, Spencer, Marx, between others - is intensely wary touching on difficulties of social growth and social motion. he's conscious that his technological know-how remains to be younger and sus pect. he's additionally much less yes than his predecessors concerning the particular function of sociology.
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Additional resources for Sociology Faces Pessimism: A Study of European Sociological Thought Amidst a Fading Optimism
Merton says in relevance to this point the following: "Chiefly but not solely in anthropology, functional analysts have commonly adopted three interconnected postulates which, it will now be suggested, have proved to be debatable and unnecessary to the functional orientation. Su bstantially these postulates hold first, that standardized social activities or cultural items are functional for the entire social or cultural system; second, that all such social and cultural items fulfill sociological functions; and third, that these items are consequently indispensable.
Malinowski, "Anthropology," Encyclopedia Britannica, First Supplementary Volume, (London and New York, 1926), pp. 132, 136). 1 2 48 FORMS OF PESSIMISM As has already been stated, the term pessimism was formed as a correlative to the term optimism which was used to describe the philosophical thinking which said this is the best of possible worlds. And although pessimism has seldom meant that this is the worst of all possible worlds, this is just the view maintained by the German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860).
It should be clear that both pessimism and optimism are always present in every society. Sorokin in his book Social and Cultural Dynamics presents a chart to demonstrate the fluctuation of pessimism and optimism in society over many centuries. 1 This idea of a pulsation implies that optimism and pessimism are best thought of in terms of a continuum. A decrease or increase in optimism implies a counter increase or decrease in pessimism. A society of 100% optimism or of 100% pessimism seems hardly likely.