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Organizing Relationships
A Sociology Exhibit

Organizing Relationships
  • The Sexual Question : A Scientific, Psyc... (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Sketches of the Fair Sex, in All Parts o... (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Introduction to the Science of Sociology (by )
    Book Rating (30)
  • Conception Control and Its Effects on th... (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • The Negro in Chicago : a study of race r... (by )
    Book Rating (30)
  • Towards the Great Peace (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Business Statistics (by )
    Book Rating (45)
  • Almost a Woman (by )
    Book Rating (30)
  • Catastrophe and Social Change, Based Upo... (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • The Structure of Social Action; A Study ... (by )
    Book Rating (60)
  • Democratic Ideals and Reality : A Study ... (by )
    Book Rating (30)
  • Some Ksatriya Tribes of Ancient India (by )
    Book Rating (30)
  • The Physical Life of Woman: Advice to th... (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • What the Mother of a Deaf Child Ought to... (by )
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  • Six Thousand Country Churches (by )
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Organizing Relationships:  A Sociology Exhibit

Many disciplines beyond Sociology, such as Mathematics and Psychology and Economics, are utilized in the Social Sciences.  In our Collections under these and other topics, contain hundreds of titles by writers and theorists who have dedicated to their lives to the study of human society.  Featured books in the following collections include Herbert Spencer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Talcott Parsons and David Emile Durkheim.
Sociology of Past Power Structures
Sociology of Past Power Structures
Throughout history, all sub-disciplines of Sociology, as well and religious and government groups have been studied and experimented with different methods of social organization of population.  Sometimes, these attempts at social definitions and control have been tempered, but at other times, rigid – some men have use groups for their own gain.  Ultimately, however, if social organization is to be implemented, it has to be understood.  

From the beginning of time, both men and animals have used verbal and non-verbal cues and strategies to enforce hierarchy.  With chimpanzees, it is the Alpha Male.  With men:  Domesday Books, mathematics and accounting, psychology and linguistics.   The word “organization” is derived from the Greek word
organon, which means "organ."  Therefore, studies of how groups of people (with a common goal) structure themselves, is the study of mankind and its relationships as a collective.   

The Domesday Book, created under the reign of William the Conqueror, has been studied to understand the role of documentation in asserting authority and also to facilitate taxation.  According to Young Folks’ History of England, William the Conqueror was a Norman who conquered England.   In 1086, he ordered the documentation of land, livestock and taxes under the administration of the previous rulers, to find out what would be transferred over to Norman rule.  Whatever was recorded in the Domesday book could not be appealed. The data that William the Conqueror collected into the Domesday book revealed his tendency for control.  In the book titled, William the Conqueror, it is said that “William would not set...over any part of his dominions before his time, and it was his policy to keep his children dependent on him.  While he enriched his brothers, he did not give the smallest scrap of the spoils of England to his sons” (William the Conqueror, World Heritage Encyclopedia).  Robert, his son, was angry about this and fought his father in a battle, but later asked for his pardon.   Today, the Domesday Books is considered an artifact of sociological research. Domesday Studies, Being the Papers Read at the Meetings of the Domesday Commemoration 1886 examines how this document changed the course of history in the United Kingdom (
Domesday Studies, Being the Papers Read at the Meetings of the Domesday Commemoration 1886, Edward P. Dove).   

Debates in Defining Sociology
Debates in Defining Sociology
Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet was a 19th-Century Belgian mathematician, statistician and sociologist who introduced statistical methods into the social sciences.  He assigned variables to the complexity of social phenomena, in order to measure the statistical laws underlying crime, marriage or suicide rates.  Other scientists thought his ideas were controversial because it contradicted freedom of choice (“Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet,” World Heritage Encyclopedia).  

The author of Adolphe Quetelet, A Statistician discusses Auguste Comte as another researcher of social physics and sociology, but that Quetelet invented the method of investigation for “social physics” (Adolphe Quetelet as Statistician, Frank Hamilton Hawkins).  So Comte reinvented the term sociologie (sociology) to differentiate it from Quetelet’s collection of statistics (“Adolphe Quetelet,” World Heritage Encyclopedia).  Comte believed that there was an order of nature, not of man, which could be scientifically understood by unifying history, psychology and economics.  Social ills could be remedied through sociological positivism, or using a broader philosophy that methodologically orders scientific observations (Outlines of Sociology, Lester Frank Ward).  In this book, Ward writes Comte’s use of the term “hierarchy” did not imply subordination.  “There is genetic affiliation without subordination.  The more complex and less exact sciences may be regarded as the children of the more simple and exact ones, but between parent and offspring there is no difference or rank.”  Additionally, he wrote that Comte “laid the foundations for understanding the more complex sciences by acquainting himself with the simpler ones upon which the other sciences successively rest” (Outlines of Sociology, Lester Frank Ward).  Other social scientists like Karl Marx also mixed scientific methods to measure social impacts of industrialization occurring in Europe, documented in his work Wage Labour and Capital ("Wage Labour and Capital," Karl Marx).  

Studying Social Life
Studying Social Life
David Émile Durkheim was a 19th century French sociologist who believed that sociology should study phenomena attributed to society at large, rather than being limited to the specific actions of individuals. Barbara Anne Mendheim however, applied sociology differently in The Sociology of Gender in a Kindergarten-First Grade Classroom.  She writes that people gain knowledge of the social world by identifying typicality and finding language to order their social experience. For example, girls understand that being a girl means being personally relevant and intimate with other people. Boys understand being a boy through being powerful and competent in the world (The Sociology of Gender in a Kindergarten-First Grade Classroom, Barbara Anne Mendheim).  However, in Woman: Her Charm and Power, Robert Downes uses sociological methods to explore how women in Egyptian and Iranian society were given opportunity for education and in leadership. But in Roman culture, women’s roles were to birth children.  Women’s positions in society are influenced by the dominant culture’s definition of their functions and role in society (Woman: Her Charm and Power, Robert Downes).  

Sociology has also been used to study group relations.  Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism discusses how entrepreneurs used religion to spread the system of capitalism.  By tapping into religious belief systems, he proffered, people could work toward their profit making motive.

Works Cited
"August Compte."  World Heritage Encyclopedia.  WorldLibrary.org.  Web.  2014. 

David Émile Durkheim.”  World Heritage Encyclopedia.  WorldLibrary.org.  Web.  2014. 

"Domesday Book."  World Heritage Encyclopedia.  WorldLibrary.org.  Web.  2014. 

Dove, P. Edward.  "Domesday Studies, Being the Papers Read at the Meetings of the Domesday Commemoration 1886."  London:  Longmans, Green and Company, 1886.  

Downes, Robert.  Woman: Her Charm and Power.  London:  The Epworth Press, 1900.

Hawkins, Frank Hamilton.  Adolphe Quetelet as Statistician.  New York:  Columbia University Press, 1877.

Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet.”  World Heritage Encyclopedia.  WorldLibrary.org.  Web.  2014. 

Marx, Karl.  "Wage Labour and Capital."   Neue Rheinische Zeitung, April 1849.  Reproduced:  World Public Library, 2002.  Web.

Mendheim, Barbara Anne.  The Sociology of Gender in a Kindergarten-First Grade Classroom.  Diss. University of Florida, 1979.

Norman People.”  World Heritage Encyclopedia.  WorldLibrary.org.  Web.  2014.

"Sociology."  World Heritage Encyclopedia.  WorldLibrary.org.  Web.  2014.

Ward, Lester Frank.  Outlines of Sociology.  New York:  The MacMillan Company, 1921.

Weber, Max.  The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.  New York: Scribner, 1930

William the Conqueror.”  World Heritage Encyclopedia.  WorldLibrary.org.  Web.  2014. 

Yonge, Charlotte Mary.  Young Folks’ History of England.  Boston:  Estes and Lauriet, 1879.


Sociology Collections
"Organizing Relationships: A Sociology Exhibit" demonstrates how sociological methods have been used to study the configuration of power, through documentation, analysis of order, and social effects.  Sociology brings together different methods of thinking, to understand the complexity of society more accurately, and why we should always be vigilant of power.  

Learn more about how the discipline of sociology is used, in these collections:


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