There has been no attempt to describe the philosophical background to Soviet psychology and the nature of the reflex theory associated with the names of Sechenov and Pavlov which constitutes its scientific foundation. These questions naturally arise in relation to this book but they were covered in some detail in the introduction to Psychology in the Soviet Union.
It was this that led to concentration on learning as a process which in turn involved research into the development, the formation of mental processes. There has since been widespread study of the psychology of learning different subjects and in the past decade attention has been turning more and more to the learning process in general with the result that Soviet psychologists feel that the general outlines of a learning theory are now beginning to emerge. It is important to bear in mind here that the school system in the U. Though there is some differentiation of education over the age of 15, even then there is not the same degree of specialisation as here.
Consequently it is with the education of children in school that Soviet psychologists are concerned, the imparting of a socially-determined body of knowledge to all, the methods necessary to enable the younger generation to master this knowledge so that they may develop their capacities in an all-round way. This accounts for the scope of research into the learning process, for the constant emphasis on finding out in detail how children learn, analysing mistakes, discovering the cause of difficulties, and seeking improvements in the order of teaching and teaching methods in order to facilitate the learning process and the development of mental abilities.
First, the chief preoccupation is study of human learning, and, particularly, learning under the conditions of organised teaching in school, under planned educational influences. Third, the emphasis is on developmental, or genetic, studies. Finally, as an outcome of all this, qualitative methods of research are used standing out in sharp contrast to the mass, quantitative methods favoured by psychometry which are well illustrated by papers in Part III of this volume.
These methods are directed to discovering not only common characteristics in the process of learning but also individual differences in learning. These trends are of particular interest to educationists and psychologists in Britain who find their attention being more and more drawn to the vital question of educating the ordinary child. This is only another way of saying that faith in psychometric techniques and findings is waning, the heavy emphasis on streaming and selection is increasingly questioned, and ways are being sought of furthering relevant experimental research into human abilities and learning.
There is room and to spare for similar co-operation here between psychologists and educationists in tackling problems in the very complex, but infinitely rewarding, field of education. VYGOTSKI1 ALL the main interpretations of the relation between development and learning in the child can be schematically reduced to three basic groups—these may be considered in turn so that the points are set out clearly and fully.
The first group of solutions advanced in the history of science has as its central proposition the independence of the process of development from the process of learning. In the light of these theories learning is considered as a purely external process which is in some way congruous with the course of child development but does not itself participate actively in that development, does not change anything in it, which utilises the achievements of development rather than advancing its course and changing its direction.
Vygotski, Selected Psychological Works, ed. Leontiev and A. Luria Moscow, , pp. An active researcher in the period —34, Vygotski is considered to have laid the foundations of a scientific psychology, particularly in relation to the development of speech and thought in the child. In his Thinking and Speech and other works he underlined the need to reject the behaviourist outlook and direct research to problems of the development of conscious mental processes.
Other writings, previously unpublished, have appeared under the title The Develop ment of Higher Mental Functions Moscow, When a child of five is asked why the sun does not fall, the idea in mind is not merely that the child has no prepared answer but that he is in no position—even were he a genius—to give anything approaching a satisfactory answer. It is easy to see that this theory implies the complete independence of the process of development from the process of learning, that even a separation of these processes in time is postulated.
Development must reach a certain stage, certain functions must mature, before the school can embark upon teaching certain knowledge and habits to the child. The course of development always precedes the course of learning. Learning lags behind development, development always goes before learning. This approach makes it impossible even to pose the problem of the role played in development by learning and by the maturing of those functions which are activised in the course of learning.
The development and maturation of these is a prerequisite rather than a result of learning. Learning is a superstructure on development, nothing is exchanged in essence. The second set of solutions of the problem—which may be understood as a reversal of focus, a directly opposite thesis—declares that learning is development. This compressed and precise formula expresses the essence of this set of theories though they arise on various foundations.
At first glance this standpoint may seem more progressive than the preceding one, which is fundamentally based on complete separation of the processes of learning and development, in that it gives to learning the central significance in child development. But a closer examination of this second set of solutions indicates that, for all the apparent contradictions, the two standpoints agree on basic points and are, in fact, very similar to each other. Every acquired reaction, says James, is usually either a more complex form of the innate reaction which a given object initially tended to evoke, or a substitute for it.
James affirms this proposition as a general principle which underlies all processes of acquisition, i. For him the individual is simply a living complex of habits. It is difficult to clarify this concept except by saying that this set of theories regards laws of development as natural laws which teaching must take into account, just as technology must take account of the laws of physics; teaching can no more change these laws than technology can change anything in the general laws of nature.
Despite the resemblance between the two theories there are essential differences which can be distinguished if we turn to the connection in time of the processes of learning and development. As has been seen, supporters of the first theory affirm that the course of development precedes the course of learning. Maturation goes before learning. The educational process lags behind mental formation. The second theory sees both these processes as accomplished proportionally and in parallel, so that each stage in learning corresponds to a stage in development.
Development follows on learning as a shadow follows on the object that casts it. Even this comparison is hardly bold enough for a theory which takes as its starting point the full union and identification of the processes of development and learning, which postulates an even closer interconnection by making no differentiation at all between them. According to this theory development and learning are superimposed upon one another at all points, like two equal geometrical figures laid upon each other. The further question as to which process precedes, which follows after, is, of course, pointless from the point of view of this theory—simultaneity, synchronisation, is the basic tenet of theories of this kind.
The third set of theories tries to reconcile the extremes of the first two points of view simply by way of their conjunction. On the one hand the process of development is conceived of as independent of learning; on the other, this same learning, in the course of which the child acquires a whole number of new forms of behaviour, is conceived of as identical with development.
This implies a dualistic theory of development. On the one hand there is maturation, which depends directly on 1 Retranslated from the Russian, as are all the quotations in this paper which lack references Ed. What is new in this theory may be summarised as three moments. First, as has been indicated, it brings together two contradictory points of view, formerly thrust apart.
This very fact indicates that the two standpoints are not contradictory and mutually exclusive but, in reality, have not a little in common. Second, there is the concept of interdependence, that the interaction of two basic processes brings about development. But these observations suggest that the process of maturation prepares for and makes possible a given process of learning; the process of learning as it were stimulates and to some extent advances the process of maturation.
Finally, the third and most essential new moment is that the role of learning in the course of child development is extended. This point must be examined more closely. It leads us directly to a longstanding pedagogical problem, which has recently become less actual, to what is usually called the problem of formal discipline.
From this point of view, different subjects have varying values. In the light of this idea a school will choose subjects such as a classical language, ancient history, mathematics, on the grounds that they evoke a kind of discipline of great value to general mental development, quite independently of their actual value. As is well known, the theory of formal discipline has inspired a very conservative approach to the practice of education.
The bankruptcy of the theory of formal discipline has been shown by a number of researches which indicate that learning in one particular region has very little influence on general development. Thus Woodworth and Thorndike have found that adults, after special practice, can successfully estimate the length of short lines but that this adds hardly at all to their skill in estimating longer lines; and that adult subjects who achieve success in estimating the area of a given figure produce less than one third of successes in estimating the area of a number of varying figures.
Quite a number of researches of a similar nature have been conducted with almost identical results, showing that special learning in a particular form of activity bears very little relation to other forms of activity even if these closely resemble the first. As Thorndike says, the extent to which a particular reaction performed daily by pupils develops their mental abilities as a whole is a question of the general educational significance of the subjects taught, or, in short, a question of formal discipline.
The usual answer given by the theoretical psychologist and educationist is that each particular acquirement, each special form of development, directly and uniformly improves general skill. The teacher has thought and acted on the basis of this theory, that the mind is a complex of abilities—powers of observation, attention, memory, thinking etc.
In the light of this theory the concentration of powers of attention on Latin grammar means strengthening of ability to concentrate attention on other matters. It is the general opinion that the words accuracy, liveliness, reasoning, memory, observation, attention, concentration etc.
It is considered that intellectual abilities act independently of the material with which they operate. It is even considered that the development of one ability in itself leads to the development of others. Thorndike has opposed this standpoint in the light of a number of researches which show it to be untenable. He has pointed out the dependence of different forms of activity on the specific material with which the activity operates.
The development of one particular ability rarely signifies a similar development of others. Close investigation of the matter shows, he says, that the specialisation of abilities is even greater than it appears to simple observation. For instance, if from a hundred individuals ten are selected who master the ability to note mistakes in orthography or to estimate a length, these ten do not reveal better ability in estimating the weight of an object correctly. Even speed and accuracy in addition are not connected with the same kind of speed and accuracy in thinking out antonyms to given words.
The task of teaching is not to develop the single ability of thinking, but to develop many special abilities of thinking about different kinds of subject, not to change our general ability to attend but to develop different abilities to concentrate attention on different subjects. Methods which ensure the influence of specialised learning on general development act only through the agency of identical elements, identical material, the identical processes. Habit rules us.
Hence the conclusion that to develop cognition is to develop many specific independent abilities, to form many specific habits, since the activity of each ability depends on the material with which this ability operates. An improvement in one function of cognition or one aspect of its activity influences the development of others only when there are elements common to both functions or activities.
The third set of theories to which we have referred stands opposed to this point of view. Theories based on the now dominant structural psychology— which affirms that the process of learning can never operate merely to form habits but comprises activity of an intellectual nature, allowing for transfer of structural principles implicit in the performance of one task to a whole number of others—advance the proposition that the influence of learning is never specific. In learning any particular operation the child acquires the ability to form a structure of a specified type, independently of the varying material with which he operates, independently of the separate elements which go to make up this structure.
This theory covers, therefore, an essential new moment, a new approach to the question of formal discipline, which comes directly into contradiction with its own primary proposition. It may be recalled that Koffka adopts the old formula which states that learning is development. At the same time he does not see learning as merely a process of acquiring skills and habits, does not regard learning and development as identical but postulates a more complex interrelationship. If, for Thorndike, learning and development are superimposed upon each other at all points, as two identical geometrical figures laid one upon another, then for Koffka development always covers a wider sphere than learning.
The interrelation between the two processes might be schematically designated by two concentric circles, the smaller symbolising the process of learning, the larger the process of development extending beyond learning. The child learns to perform an operation of some kind.
Consequently by taking one step in learning the child moves two steps in development, i. Since the three sets of theories described interpret the relation between learning and development so variously, we may set them aside and contemplate a sounder solution of the problem. Schooling never begins in a vacuum. All the learning the child meets with in school has its pre-history. For instance, he begins to study arithmetic. But long before entering school he has gained some experience of quantities, he has already come across various operations of division and addition, complex and simple, so that the child has his own pre-school arithmetic which the psychologist would be blind to ignore.
Careful investigation indicates that this pre-school arithmetic is extremely complex, that the child has gone through an arithmetical development of his own for a long time before embarking on learning arithmetic in school. But whether we have to do in school with a continuation of pre-school learning or its negation we cannot ignore the fact that school learning never begins in a vacuum but is always preceded by a definite stage of development attained by the child before entry to school. The arguments of such researchers as Stumpf and Koffka, who attempt to obliterate the line between learning in school and learning at pre-school age, seem to us extremely convincing.
It can easily be demonstrated that learning does not begin at school age. It is not merely a matter of systematisation: school learning brings something altogether new into the course of child development. Nevertheless these authors are correct when they draw attention to the neglected fact that learning is 27 L. Does not the child learn language from adults? Does he not, in questioning and receiving answers, acquire a whole range of knowledge, of information, from adults?
Is it not through training by adults, accepting their direction of his actions, that the child himself forms a whole number of habits? It goes without saying that this process of learning, as it takes place before entry to school, differs fundamentally from mastery of the elements of knowledge in the course of teaching in school.
Nevertheless when, as a result of his early questioning, the child masters the names of objects in his environment he is already embarking on a specific stage of learning. The question confronting us has, therefore, a dual complexity. It resolves itself into two separate questions. First, we must understand the relation between learning and development in general, second, the specific characteristics of this interrelation at school age.
We may begin with the second question since it helps to clarify the first. In answering it we may take into account the results of some research which, in our view, is of first importance and has enabled the advancing of a new theory of key significance to the correct solution of the problems we have been considering: this relates to the zone of potential development. That only at a certain age can a start be made in teaching grammar, only at a certain age has the child the ability to study algebra—it is hardly necessary to offer evidence of this.
We may, therefore, confidently take as a starting point the incontestable and basic fact that there is a relation between a given level of development and potentiality for learning. Recently, however, attention has been drawn to the fact that when attempting to define the actual relation of the process of development to potentiality for learning we cannot confine ourselves to only one given level of development.
Let us suppose that we have tested two children and found that both have a mental age of seven. When we set these children further tests, however, essential differences between them come to light. With the help of guiding questions, examples, demonstration, one child easily performs the tests, depassing his level of actual development by two years; the other can only do tests which advance him by half a year. Here we meet directly with the central concept necessary for estimating the zone of potential development. This, in its turn, is connected with a revaluation of the problem of imitation in contemporary psychology.
All the contemporary systems of testing embody this outlook. The only tests considered to indicate mental development are those which the child does independently, without help from others, demonstration or guiding questions.
Research has shown that this standpoint is untenable. Experiments with animals have shown that an animal can imitate actions which lie in the zone of its actual potentiality.
If an animal is able to imitate an intellectual action this means that in its independent activity in certain conditions it displays ability to perform an analogous action. The essential difference in the case of the child is that he can imitate a number of actions which depass the boundaries of his own potentiality, if not to a limitless extent.
With the help of imitation in collective activity, under adult guidance, the child does much more than he can do with understanding, independently. It is only necessary to recall the example already given. We have before us two children with a mental age of seven but one, with a little help, can do tests up to nine years, the other only those proper to seven and a half. Is the mental development of these two children equivalent? That which a child is in a position to do with adult help we call the zone of his potential development.
This means that, with the aid of this method, we can measure not only the process of development up to the present, the stage already accomplished, the processes of maturation that have taken place, but also those processes which are in the course of becoming established, which are only now maturing, developing. What the child can do to-day with adult help he will be able to do independently to-morrow. The two children we have taken as an example exhibit an equivalent mental age in relation to the course of development already accomplished but the dynamics of their development are entirely different.
This fact, which in itself may seem of little significance, is in reality of decisive importance and brings into question all the theories about the relation between the processes of learning and development in the child. In particular, it alters the traditional view as to what should be the pedagogical approach when development has been diagnosed. That this standpoint is harmful has been recognised in practice before it was clearly understood in theory. This may be illustrated in relation to the teaching of mentally backward children.
As is known, research has established that such children show little ability for abstract thinking. Teachers in special schools, therefore, adopting what seemed to be a correct approach, decided to base all their teaching on visual material. After long experience this approach has proved deeply disappointing. It has been demonstrated that a system of teaching based exclusively on the visual, excluding everything pertaining to abstract thinking, not only fails to help the child to overcome a natural disability but in fact reinforces this disability since stress on visual thinking smothers the small beginnings of abstract thinking in such children.
In the present practice of special schools we can observe a beneficial turn from the former insistence on teaching by visual means. Emphasis on the visual is necessary and does no harm if it is used only as a stage in the development of abstract thinking, as a means but not as an end in itself. Similar considerations apply to the development of the normal child. The theory of the zone of potential development allows for a formula which directly contradicts the traditional approach: the only good teaching is that which outpaces development.
We know from a whole number of researches—to which we can only refer here as there is no space to detail them—that the development of higher mental functions in the child, of those specifically human functions formed in the course of the history of mankind, is a unique process. We have formulated the basic law of development of these functions elsewhere as follows: All higher mental functions make their appearance in the course of child development twice: first, in collective activity, social activity, i. The development of speech serves as a paradigm of this whole problem.
Speech originally arises as a means of communication between the child and people around him. In his latest work Piaget has shown that co-operation underlies the development of moral feelings in the child. VYGOTSKI What we have presented here as separate examples illustrate a general regularity in the development of higher mental functions in childhood which, in our view, applies to the process of child learning as a whole.
After all that has been said there is no need to underline that the essential mark of learning is that it creates the zone of potential development, i. Learning is, therefore, an internally necessary and universal moment in the process of development in the child not of natural but of historically formed human characteristics. Just as the child of deaf mute parents, who does not hear speech around him, remains mute despite all the innate prerequisites for the development of speech and so does not develop those higher mental functions connected with speech, so also the whole process of learning is a source of development calling to life a number of processes which could not themselves develop without learning.
The role of learning as a source of development, constituting the zone of potential development, may be further illustrated by comparing the process of learning in the child and the adult. Little attention has been given recently to the differences between adult and child learning.
Adults, as is known, command a high ability to learn. Recent experimental research contradicts the proposition advanced by James that adults cannot acquire new ideas after the age of twenty-five. But what it is that, in essence, differentiates adult learning from child learning has not hitherto been adequately explained. In the light of the theories adopted by Thorndike, James and others, outlined earlier, which reduce the process of learning to the formation of habits, there cannot be any essential differences between adult and child learning. The very suggestion is frivolous. According to this view one and the same mechanism underlies the formation of habits whether in the adult or the child.
One forms a habit with more, the other with less, ease and speed; that is all there is to it. The question arises: what essentially differentiates the process of learning to use a typewriter, ride a bicycle, play tennis, in an adult from the process of learning written speech, arithmetic, natural science at school age? Learning of this kind makes use of an already elaborated and completed course of development and precisely because of this contributes very little to general development.
The process of learning written speech is quite a different matter. We may attempt now to summarise what has been said and give a general formulation of the relation between the processes of learning and development. Before doing this we may note that all the experimental researches into the psychological nature of the processes of learning arithmetic, writing, natural science and other subjects in the primary school show that the foundation for these, the axis around which they revolve, is a new formation at school age.
All are inter-laced with the development of the central nervous system. The very direction of school learning stimulates internal processes of development. To trace the rise and fall of these internal lines of development, as this takes place in the course of school learning, is the immediate task of analysis of the educational process.
This hypothesis necessarily presupposes the proposition that the process of development does not coincide with the process of learning, the process of development follows on the process of learning which creates the zone of potential development. The second essential moment of this hypothesis is the proposition that learning and child development, though directly connected, never take place symmetrically and in parallel with one another. Tests of scholastic attainment cannot, therefore, reflect the real course of child development.
There is an extremely complex, dynamic, interdependence between the process of development and the process of learning which cannot be covered by a single, a priori, speculative formula. This implies reconsideration of the whole problem of formal discipline, i. Such a matter cannot be dealt with by a single formula of some kind but rather suggests how great is the scope for extensive and varied experimental research. Soviet psychology has long recognised the decisive influence of education on mental development.
But all the implications of this have not been fully worked out, as has been pointed out in the specialist and general press [17, 24, 40]. This is a very complex and extensive problem and this paper will be confined to drawing on the findings of recent experimental research with the aim of raising some of the issues involved and drawing attention to the need for further research. In this connection one of the most important questions is the interaction between learning, education and mental development.
It is well known that psychologists abroad have reached and still hold different views on this question. Printed in Voprosy Psikhologii, , No. An example of the former standpoint is the view of A. On the other hand, the identity of development and learning, passage from the first to the second by a process of forming habits, is the characteristic standpoint of the behaviourist school.
Rubinstein  has advanced as a basic proposition in this respect that the child develops as he is educated and taught. Though there have been very few experimental researches specially directed to clarifying the interrelations between learning and development, from the analysis and generalisation of numerous recent researches into the psychology of learning—the mastery of different aspects of knowledge, skills and habits—certain conclusions can be drawn concerning the internal interrelations and the specificity of the processes of learning and development. All this makes possible a more specific explanation as to how the internal prerequisites for mental development are created in the process of learning and permits of a deeper understanding of their social conditioning.
In this connection data relating to the effect of mastering speech on mental development in early childhood has a particular interest. As research has shown speech processes, first mastered by the child in the form of immediate social acts directed to the satisfaction of needs of some kind, become later, in their external and internal form, significant factors in the development of his perception, of imagery, instruments of his thinking and of the entire organisation and regulation of his behaviour [18, 27, 28, 29].
Whereas at pre-school age there is involuntary assimilation of knowledge, school age children engage in various forms of purposeful educational activity. Research has shown that when reading, writing, the vocabulary of the native language, grammar, arithmetic, geometry, physics, are mastered the results are not comprehended under the fact of acquisition.
When the content of texts is mastered pupils also master the ability to use forms of analysis and synthesis bringing out the important ideas, bringing these together, the plan of composition, etc. The mastery of more complex concepts enables development of the requisite abstraction and generalisation, leads to the formation and improvement of logical operations, the arousal of curiosity, to initiative and independence in the assimilation of knowledge.
This is no place for detailed analysis of the data of the relevant researches: it can only be emphasised that, taken as a whole, they clearly reveal the dependence of mental development upon teaching and give a new content to the concept that teaching plays an active role in development. When teaching sets new cognitive tasks to the pupils it does not merely organise the activity directed to performance of these tasks; it arms pupils with the requisite methods, mastery of which gives rise to new mental actions and qualities, to the development of mental potentialities.
It is with the forming of these connections that development takes place. As has been noted by A. Leontiev  connections formed in the process of learning are links in the complex physiological mechanisms which underly the formation of mental qualities in the child. Research data U. KOSTIUK bearing on the improvement in mental processes that takes place in the process of learning help us definitely to establish that it is not the differentiation of complex forms of mental activity innate in the child that constitutes mental development, by underlining that these forms of activity are elaborated in the process of mastering social experience.
These findings also indicate that the transition from mastery to development is not a simple but a complex process. First, the process whereby children actually master specific knowledge, skills or habits, does not take place immediately; it proceeds—as innumerable facts have indicated—through a series of stages, the character of which depends on the complexity of the content to be mastered and the readiness of the pupil.
This depends on what is mastered and how it is mastered. Third, the transition from mastery to development takes place in different ways in relation to different aspects of the developmental process. It must be borne in mind that there are different, though connected, aspects of development: the development of knowledge, of cognitive activity, and the development of mental qualities simple and complex, partial and general included in this process, and of the functional properties of the brain which underlie them.
Research findings illustrate, for instance, that when the young child masters certain words from adult speech this does not lead immediately to changes in activity nor establish a new ability to organise his own actions. The child acquires this function gradually, through a series of micro-intervals, the sum of which gives rise to more notable qualitative change. Research has shown that when a preschool or primary school child masters a new word, from a literary or scientific text, this is not at once brought into his active vocabulary.
Research has shown [39, 20] that a considerable time is necessary, an adequate level of mastery of methods of analysis and synthesis and generalisation of these, before pupils develop the capacity to improve their understanding of the content of a text, voluntary memorisation and reproduction. Teaching in our schools is not confined merely to transmitting certain knowledge to the pupil, to forming a certain minimum of skills and habits.
If this aim is to be achieved there must be successful solution of the immediate problems of teaching. One of the most active factors in success in school is the development of logical thinking . This is the case when there are faulty methods of teaching, when dogmatism or formalism prevail. General sedative formulae about the educational character of teaching are, therefore, inadequate: we must study the conditions in which teaching acquires this character and help teachers to provide these conditions in practice.
This points to the need to clarify how teaching influences mental development, the development of mental qualities, to find ways of estimating the effectiveness of different methods of teaching in relation to their influence on the development of thinking, memory and other mental processes. There have been few researches of this kind. At best elementary improvements in cognitive activity come to light but the further dynamics of these, which arise as a result of mastery of the given knowledge, are not followed up. The fact is that the process of development only begins with the mastery of scholastic material.
As Vygotski correctly pointed out , and others have done since, the processes of learning and development are differentiated in all their various connections. This raises the problem of the interrelations between learning, mastery and development. The indices of these processes are different. But this is not all there is to the guidance of development.
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It must have in view specific aims and ways of achieving them. If the teacher forgets about this and only directs attention to what the children assimilate he fails to ensure that they master knowledge. Study of the specific interrelations between learning and development at different stages of school work in different subjects is needed if fundamental methods of effectively guiding mental development are to be found. The data of recent research into the psychology of teaching show its important role in this process, not only in respect of the content but also the use of methods ensuring that mastery of knowledge has an active character and that the requisite mental actions are formed.
A necessary condition for the transition from mastery to development is an order of teaching [2, 8], systematisation of the knowledge to be mastered, which provides the foundation for the formation of systems of temporary connections. Teaching leads to real mental development when it guides the formation of such systems.
The systematisation of connections is fundamental not only to profound and durable mastery of knowledge but also to the development of cognitive activity, the formation of new logical operations, new mental qualities. As Piaget has correctly noted, a generalised logical operation only exists and functions as part of a system of operations . The role of systematisation in the formation of mental qualities has been indicated  and experimental investigations undertaken in Leningrad show that systems of connections formed in the process of learning various school subjects have great significance in clarifying the internal interconnection between learning and development [3, 8, 35].
It is necessary in connection with such research to formulate a psychological concept of systematisation which, of course, can only be successfully achieved on the basis of generalising the results of research. Sometimes when this concept is used to clarify the interconnection between learning and development, systematisation is understood only in the sense of the stereotype.
The latter has undoubtedly great importance in mental development since formation of the new always proceeds on the basis of the old, the already completed and reinforced. But the stereotype alone is not an adequate concept to cover the rise of those new formations which are characteristic of real development. It is also necessary to study those motive forces under the influence of which the transition from lower to higher levels of organisation of activity is accomplished. This raises major questions, the experimental study of which is only beginning.
II In order to clarify the problem of the interrelations of education and development it is also necessary to investigate how the motivational aspect of mental activity is formed. The development of intellectual qualities in pupils cannot be adequately discussed in isolation from the development of other qualities emotional, volitional, characterological , in isolation from the formation of the psychological structure of the developing personality as a whole.
The development of personality is a unified process, not simply the sum of partial changes evoked by separate educational actions. Among other qualities it is necessary particularly to refer to attitudes to the environment recently successfully studied by V. Other researches have shown the important part played in the assimilation of knowledge by motives, the subjective relations of the pupil to school work .
Some of these attitudes are formed in the process of learning itself. Such, for instance, are the cognitive, scholastic interests of pupils, their love of knowledge, etc. The results of a number of researches go to show that these attitudes are the result of active cognitive activity on the part of pupils, organised in a specific way, which enables them independently to solve problems accessible to them and leads to cognition and realisation of the results achieved.
Learning and education, of course, have much in common. On the one hand in teaching children, imparting knowledge to them, we are to a considerable degree educating them. On the other hand in all education there is always mastery by the educand of certain elements of social experience viewpoints, value judgments, norms, correct moral behaviour, etc.
Nevertheless, for all that they have in common, these processes have also specific peculiarities which must be borne in mind 41 G. Some of these attitudes take shape at pre-school age under the influence of particular forms of education. Thus the pre-school child begins to develop general motives of behaviour in an elementary form for instance, a striving to do something positive for people around him, a positive attitude to work, etc. Research has shown that the formation of positive attitudes to school work proceeds through a series of stages. Later, with the accumulation of experience, the child begins to fulfil his tasks without help.
There has been formed a positive internal attitude to work which is initially manifested within very narrow limits but gradually acquires a generalised character . The data of other researches characterise the conditions and methods for forming various qualities in the schoolchild—love of work, disciplined behaviour, responsibility and so on.
As Miasishchev has noted  these data indicate that moral norms regulating behaviour are formed under the determining influence of accepted and mastered external social demands which are transmuted into internal demands made by the pupil on himself.
The regulating norm begins to be formed in direct work in co-operation with adults and other children and functions with continuous support from their side. Later it is converted into an internal regulator of behaviour which acts without direct stimulation and reinforcement on the part of others, without their aid, as the initiative of the pupil himself. Research has shown [4, 14, 34, 36] that this process takes place differently with different individuals. When there is a favourable subjective soil the demands made upon him immediately and readily take root and rapidly have an active outcome.
It often happens that a pupil who is conscious of these demands in relation to others does not apply them to his own behaviour. Where such subjective conditions obtain educational influences cannot evoke the necessary response from the child, the tasks set do not represent an actual necessity for him. The pupil overtly or covertly indicates his resistance.
Often endless persuasion fails to produce a specific and stable result, fails to evoke in the child proper attitudes to the matter in hand, to change his real behaviour. What has been said is relevant to discovering the conditions for effective educational guidance in the development of qualities of personality, in particular, motives of behaviour, attitudes to other people and to obligations. The effectiveness of guidance depends on whether the methods of education correspond to its tasks, on the identity and constancy of different educational demands by the school, the home , on unity of word and deed in education, on how, in fact, the life and activity of each educand is organised and guided.
Education achieves its immediate simple and ultimate general aims when it brings into action the powers of the pupils themselves and correspondingly guides their use. However not all education actively guides development towards specified aims. There are cases and to our knowledge sufficiently frequent when it produces results quite contrary to what is desired. It is impossible, therefore, to be satisfied with soothing declarations about the leading role of education in the development of personality; rather it is necessary to find those conditions in which education really does fulfil this role and thereby to 43 G.
KOSTIUK give practical assistance in foreseeing negative phenomena in the development of moral and other qualities of the adolescent personality which justly concern our society. Education which separates words from deeds is bankrupt; verbal pedagogical instruction which the child does not use fails to bring about any real change in his life, in his position in the collective.
III All that has been said leads to the conclusion that there is a genuinely complex interrelation between education and development. On the one hand the development of personality depends on education, which provides the necessary conditions for it, is determined by education. The process of education, by setting before the pupil new aims and tasks—by setting ever new requirements in the performance of which he is involved and providing the necessary means—guides development.
On the other hand education itself depends on the development of the child, his age and individual characteristics. In the absence of demands from society there cannot be development of personality, but these demands only become real when potentialities for fulfilling them are created in the child in the course of development. Development takes place by means of what the child masters in the process of learning and education, but its results extend further in some respects than what is directly mastered.
As a result of development there arise new potentialities, new reserves for education. At present the interrelation of these processes is often simplified and explained one-sidedly. Statements on this question often stress only that development depends on education. Interpretations of this kind arise from a confusion of learning, education and development. These processes, though closely interconnected, are in reality different. From what has been said earlier it follows that the differences between them are not absolute but relative. Nevertheless they exist.
Such a simplification has a harmful effect on practice. By emphasising exclusively the limitless potentiality of education it in fact limits it because it narrows and so disarms pedagogics. It has, however, its own characteristics, its own laws, connected with the laws governing learning and education but not identical with them; it has, also, its own specific motive force. The map of mental development is not a simple replica of the educational influences to which the child is subjected, a simple, stratified, quantitative accumulation of that which he acquires in separate acts of scholastic and other activity.
There is selection, internal transformation, reorganisation, amalgamation, interaction, as a consequence of which one quality disappears, another is born and develops. In their general form the laws governing development reflect the connections and relations underlying the constitution of the conscious personality, the formation of various qualities, the transition from lower to higher forms of reflection of reality, from lower to 45 G. This applies also to the psychology of child development. The motive force of this development must be seen primarily in the internal contradictions between new demands made upon the child and the undertaking of these, his questions, strivings, actual aims and the level of development he has achieved, between new tasks and already stereotyped thinking and behaviour, between potentialities formed internally, subjectively, and objective relations with the environment.
It is sometimes thought that acceptance of the spontaneous character of mental development is inconsistent with the principle of determinism, the principle that development is socially conditioned and that education plays a determining role. This view rests, on the one hand on idealist interpretations of the spontaneity of development, on the other on a simplified, mechanistic, understanding of how development is conditioned.
The significance of these laws for educational practice is overlooked when this standpoint is adopted. This is evidenced in the inadequate attention paid to study of age and individual characteristics in mental development and to the application of research results in practical educational work in school. The more education is guided by these laws, the more conscious it is, the more is it in a position successfully to guide the development of personality in accordance with educational aims. To recognise the specific nature of mental development is to ensure that psychologists devote close attention to study of this process, to arm pedagogy with a knowledge of its characteristics, and so to provide the psychological foundation for active methods of guiding the education of the rising generation in ways that ensure the all round development of personality.
Philosophical Notebooks The order of teaching, SP, , No. Characteristics of the development of judgment of qualitative relations between things at pre-school age, Papers of the Republican Psychological Conference Kiev, In Ukrainian. Thinking and Speech Moscow, An experimental study in the formation of mental actions, Materials of the Conference on Psychology M. Translated in Psychology in the Soviet Union, pp. A psychological analysis of inadequacies in the understanding and use of words by pupils of younger classes, Papers of the Republican Psychological Conference Kiev, The development of responsibility in schoolchildren, Transactions of the Ukrainian Institute of Psychology, Vol.
X The influence of the word on the development of voluntary memorisation, Papers of the Conference on Psychology M. The introduction of Pavlovian physiological theory into pedagogics, SP, , No. Learning and development in schoolchildren, SP, , No. Changes in the interrelations of the two signal systems in the process of development of the pre-school child, Materials of the Conference on Psychology M.
The development of involuntary and voluntary memory, SP, , No. The development of logical thinking in schoolchildren, SP, , No. Conditions for the development of elementary logical thinking in the pre-school child, Papers of the Republican Psychological Conference Kiev, Towards strengthening the links between psychological science and practice, Communist, , No.
Influence of the mastery of written speech on the development of memory in schoolchildren, Papers of the Republican Psychological Conference Kiev, The nature and formation of mental properties and processes, VP, , No. Translated under this title, London, Some questions relating to the genesis of voluntary actions, Papers of the Republican Psychological Conference Kiev, Collected Works, Vol.
II Foundations of General Psychology M. Characteristics of cognition by pupils of moral qualities of personality, Papers of the Republican Psychological Conference Kiev, A psychological analysis of some conditions for the re-education of undisciplined pupils, Doklady APN, , No. Selected Works, Vol. Mastery by the schoolchild of new words in a text, VP, , No. The Psychology of Memory M. The ontogenesis of infant behaviour, in Manual of Child Psychology, ed. Carmichael 2nd ed. In the former, the subjective is often equated though not necessarily with the individual, and the individual's intentions and interpretations of the objective.
The objective is often considered any public or external action or outcome, on up to society writ large. A primary question for social theorists is how knowledge reproduces along the chain of subjective-objective-subjective, that is to say: how is intersubjectivity achieved? While, historically, qualitative methods have attempted to tease out subjective interpretations, quantitative survey methods also attempt to capture individual subjectivities. Also, some qualitative methods take a radical approach to objective description in situ. The latter concern with scientific knowledge results from the fact that a sociologist is part of the very object they seek to explain.
How can the sociologist effect in practice this radical doubting which is indispensable for bracketing all the presuppositions inherent in the fact that she is a social being, that she is therefore socialised and led to feel "like a fish in water" within that social world whose structures she has internalised? How can she prevent the social world itself from carrying out the construction of the object, in a sense, through her, through these unself-conscious operations or operations unaware of themselves of which she is the apparent subject.
Structure and agency, sometimes referred to as determinism versus voluntarism,  form an enduring ontological debate in social theory: "Do social structures determine an individual's behaviour or does human agency? Discussions over the primacy of either structure or agency relate to the core of sociological epistemology "What is the social world made of? Synchrony and diachrony, or statics and dynamics, within social theory are terms that refer to a distinction emerging out of the work of Levi-Strauss who inherited it from the linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure.
Diachrony, on the other hand, attempts to analyse dynamic sequences. Following Saussure, synchrony would refer to social phenomena as a static concept like a language , while diachrony would refer to unfolding processes like actual speech. In Anthony Giddens' introduction to Central Problems in Social Theory , he states that, "in order to show the interdependence of action and structure In terms of sociology, historical sociology is often better positioned to analyse social life as diachronic, while survey research takes a snapshot of social life and is thus better equipped to understand social life as synchronized.
Some argue that the synchrony of social structure is a methodological perspective rather than an ontological claim. Many people divide sociological research methods into two broad categories, although many others see research methods as a continuum: . Sociologists are often divided into camps of support for particular research techniques. These disputes relate to the epistemological debates at the historical core of social theory. While very different in many aspects, both qualitative and quantitative approaches involve a systematic interaction between theory and data.
Most textbooks on the methodology of social research are written from the quantitative perspective,  and the very term "methodology" is often used synonymously with " statistics. The work produced by quantitative researchers is also deemed more 'trustworthy' and 'unbiased' by the general public,  though this judgment continues to be challenged by antipositivists. The choice of method often depends largely on what the researcher intends to investigate.
For example, a researcher concerned with drawing a statistical generalization across an entire population may administer a survey questionnaire to a representative sample population. By contrast, a researcher who seeks full contextual understanding of an individual's social actions may choose ethnographic participant observation or open-ended interviews.
Studies will commonly combine, or 'triangulate' , quantitative and qualitative methods as part of a 'multi-strategy' design. For instance, a quantitative study may be performed to obtain statistical patterns on a target sample, and then combined with a qualitative interview to determine the play of agency. Quantitative methods are often used to ask questions about a population that is very large, making a census or a complete enumeration of all the members in that population infeasible. A 'sample' then forms a manageable subset of a population.
In quantitative research, statistics are used to draw inferences from this sample regarding the population as a whole. The process of selecting a sample is referred to as 'sampling'. While it is usually best to sample randomly , concern with differences between specific subpopulations sometimes calls for stratified sampling. Conversely, the impossibility of random sampling sometimes necessitates nonprobability sampling , such as convenience sampling or snowball sampling. Sociologists increasingly draw upon computationally intensive methods to analyse and model social phenomena.
Although the subject matter and methodologies in social science differ from those in natural science or computer science , several of the approaches used in contemporary social simulation originated from fields such as physics and artificial intelligence. In relevant literature, computational sociology is often related to the study of social complexity. Sociologists' approach to culture can be divided into "sociology of culture" and "cultural sociology"—the terms are similar, though not entirely interchangeable. Conversely, cultural sociology sees all social phenomena as inherently cultural.
For Simmel , culture referred to "the cultivation of individuals through the agency of external forms which have been objectified in the course of history". Cultural sociology often involves the hermeneutic analysis of words, artefacts and symbols, or ethnographic interviews. However, some sociologists employ historical-comparative or quantitative techniques in the analysis of culture, Weber and Bourdieu for instance.
The subfield is sometimes allied with critical theory in the vein of Theodor W. Adorno , Walter Benjamin , and other members of the Frankfurt School. Loosely distinct from the sociology of culture is the field of cultural studies. Birmingham School theorists such as Richard Hoggart and Stuart Hall questioned the division between "producers" and "consumers" evident in earlier theory, emphasizing the reciprocity in the production of texts.
Cultural Studies aims to examine its subject matter in terms of cultural practices and their relation to power. For example, a study of a subculture such as white working class youth in London would consider the social practices of the group as they relate to the dominant class. The " cultural turn " of the s ultimately placed culture much higher on the sociological agenda. Sociology of literature, film, and art is a subset of the sociology of culture. This field studies the social production of artistic objects and its social implications.
None of the founding fathers of sociology produced a detailed study of art, but they did develop ideas that were subsequently applied to literature by others. Durkheim's view of sociology as the study of externally defined social facts was redirected towards literature by Robert Escarpit. Bourdieu's own work is clearly indebted to Marx, Weber and Durkheim. Criminologists analyse the nature, causes, and control of criminal activity, drawing upon methods across sociology, psychology , and the behavioural sciences.
The sociology of deviance focuses on actions or behaviours that violate norms , including both infringements of formally enacted rules e. It is the remit of sociologists to study why these norms exist; how they change over time; and how they are enforced. The concept of social disorganization is when the broader social systems leads to violations of norms. For instance, Robert K. Merton produced a typology of deviance , which includes both individual and system level causal explanations of deviance.
The study of law played a significant role in the formation of classical sociology. Durkheim famously described law as the "visible symbol" of social solidarity. Sociology of law is a diverse field of study that examines the interaction of law with other aspects of society, such as the development of legal institutions and the effect of laws on social change and vice versa.
For example, an influential recent work in the field relies on statistical analyses to argue that the increase in incarceration in the US over the last 30 years is due to changes in law and policing and not to an increase in crime; and that this increase has significantly contributed to the persistence of racial stratification. The sociology of communications and information technologies includes "the social aspects of computing, the Internet, new media, computer networks, and other communication and information technologies".
The Internet is of interest to sociologists in various ways; most practically as a tool for research and as a discussion platform. Online communities may be studied statistically through network analysis or interpreted qualitatively through virtual ethnography. Moreover, organizational change is catalysed through new media , thereby influencing social change at-large, perhaps forming the framework for a transformation from an industrial to an informational society. As with cultural studies , media study is a distinct discipline that owes to the convergence of sociology and other social sciences and humanities, in particular, literary criticism and critical theory.
Though neither the production process nor the critique of aesthetic forms is in the remit of sociologists, analyses of socializing factors, such as ideological effects and audience reception , stem from sociological theory and method. Thus the 'sociology of the media' is not a subdiscipline per se , but the media is a common and often indispensable topic.
The term "economic sociology" was first used by William Stanley Jevons in , later to be coined in the works of Durkheim, Weber and Simmel between and The relationship between capitalism and modernity is a salient issue, perhaps best demonstrated in Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Simmel's The Philosophy of Money The contemporary period of economic sociology, also known as new economic sociology , was consolidated by the work of Mark Granovetter titled "Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness". This work elaborated the concept of embeddedness , which states that economic relations between individuals or firms take place within existing social relations and are thus structured by these relations as well as the greater social structures of which those relations are a part.
Social network analysis has been the primary methodology for studying this phenomenon. Granovetter's theory of the strength of weak ties and Ronald Burt 's concept of structural holes are two of the best known theoretical contributions of this field. The sociology of work, or industrial sociology, examines "the direction and implications of trends in technological change, globalization , labour markets, work organization, managerial practices and employment relations to the extent to which these trends are intimately related to changing patterns of inequality in modern societies and to the changing experiences of individuals and families the ways in which workers challenge, resist and make their own contributions to the patterning of work and shaping of work institutions.
The sociology of education is the study of how educational institutions determine social structures, experiences, and other outcomes. It is particularly concerned with the schooling systems of modern industrial societies. The study also found that socially disadvantaged black students profited from schooling in racially mixed classrooms, and thus served as a catalyst for desegregation busing in American public schools. Environmental sociology is the study of human interactions with the natural environment, typically emphasizing human dimensions of environmental problems, social impacts of those problems, and efforts to resolve them.
As with other sub-fields of sociology, scholarship in environmental sociology may be at one or multiple levels of analysis, from global e. Attention is paid also to the processes by which environmental problems become defined and known to humans. As argued by notable environmental sociologist John Bellamy Foster , the predecessor to modern environmental sociology is Marx's analysis of the metabolic rift , which influenced contemporary thought on sustainability.
Environmental sociology is often interdisciplinary and overlaps with the sociology of risk , rural sociology and the sociology of disaster. Human ecology deals with interdisciplinary study of the relationship between humans and their natural, social, and built environments. In addition to Environmental sociology, this field overlaps with architectural sociology , urban sociology , and to some extent visual sociology. In turn, visual sociology—which is concerned with all visual dimensions of social life—overlaps with media studies in that it uses photography, film and other technologies of media.
Social pre-wiring deals with the study of fetal social behavior and social interactions in a multi-fetal environment. Specifically, social pre-wiring refers to the ontogeny of social interaction. Also informally referred to as, "wired to be social. Research in the theory concludes that newborns are born into the world with a unique genetic wiring to be social. Circumstantial evidence supporting the social pre-wiring hypothesis can be revealed when examining newborns' behavior. Newborns, not even hours after birth, have been found to display a preparedness for social interaction.
This preparedness is expressed in ways such as their imitation of facial gestures. This observed behavior cannot be contributed to any current form of socialization or social construction. Rather, newborns most likely inherit to some extent social behavior and identity through genetics. Principal evidence of this theory is uncovered by examining Twin pregnancies.
The main argument is, if there are social behaviors that are inherited and developed before birth, then one should expect twin foetuses to engage in some form of social interaction before they are born. Thus, ten foetuses were analyzed over a period of time using ultrasound techniques. Using kinematic analysis, the results of the experiment were that the twin foetuses would interact with each other for longer periods and more often as the pregnancies went on.
Researchers were able to conclude that the performance of movements between the co-twins were not accidental but specifically aimed. The social pre-wiring hypothesis was proved correct, "The central advance of this study is the demonstration that ' social actions ' are already performed in the second trimester of gestation. Starting from the 14th week of gestation twin foetuses plan and execute movements specifically aimed at the co-twin. These findings force us to predate the emergence of social behavior : when the context enables it, as in the case of twin foetuses, other-directed actions are not only possible but predominant over self-directed actions.
Family, gender and sexuality form a broad area of inquiry studied in many sub-fields of sociology. The family unit is one of the most important social institutions found in some form in nearly all known societies. It is the basic unit of social organization and plays a key role in socializing children into the culture of their society. The sociology of the family examines the family, as an institution and unit of socialization , with special concern for the comparatively modern historical emergence of the nuclear family and its distinct gender roles.
The notion of " childhood " is also significant. As one of the more basic institutions to which one may apply sociological perspectives, the sociology of the family is a common component on introductory academic curricula. Feminist sociology , on the other hand, is a normative sub-field that observes and critiques the cultural categories of gender and sexuality, particularly with respect to power and inequality.
The primary concern of feminist theory is the patriarchy and the systematic oppression of women apparent in many societies, both at the level of small-scale interaction and in terms of the broader social structure. Feminist sociology also analyses how gender interlocks with race and class to produce and perpetuate social inequalities. For example, one recent study has shown that resume evaluators penalize women for motherhood while giving a boost to men for fatherhood. The sociology of health and illness focuses on the social effects of, and public attitudes toward, illnesses , diseases, mental health and disabilities.
This sub-field also overlaps with gerontology and the study of the ageing process. Medical sociology, by contrast, focuses on the inner-workings of medical organizations and clinical institutions. In Britain, sociology was introduced into the medical curriculum following the Goodenough Report The sociology of the body and embodiment  takes a broad perspective on the idea of "the body" and includes "a wide range of embodied dynamics including human and non-human bodies, morphology, human reproduction, anatomy, body fluids, biotechnology, genetics.
This often intersects with health and illness, but also theories of bodies as political, social, cultural, economic and ideological productions. A subfield of the sociology of health and illness that overlaps with cultural sociology is the study of death, dying and bereavement,  sometimes referred to broadly as the sociology of death. This topic is exemplifed by the work of Douglas Davies and Michael C. The sociology of knowledge is the study of the relationship between human thought and the social context within which it arises, and of the effects prevailing ideas have on societies.
The term first came into widespread use in the s, when a number of German-speaking theorists, most notably Max Scheler , and Karl Mannheim , wrote extensively on it. With the dominance of functionalism through the middle years of the 20th century, the sociology of knowledge tended to remain on the periphery of mainstream sociological thought. It was largely reinvented and applied much more closely to everyday life in the s, particularly by Peter L.
Berger and Thomas Luckmann in The Social Construction of Reality and is still central for methods dealing with qualitative understanding of human society compare socially constructed reality.
The "archaeological" and "genealogical" studies of Michel Foucault are of considerable contemporary influence. The sociology of science involves the study of science as a social activity, especially dealing "with the social conditions and effects of science, and with the social structures and processes of scientific activity. Merton and Bruno Latour. These branches of sociology have contributed to the formation of science and technology studies. Sociology of leisure is the study of how humans organize their free time.
Leisure includes a broad array of activities, such as sport , tourism, and the playing of games. The sociology of leisure is closely tied to the sociology of work, as each explores a different side of the work—leisure relationship. More recent studies in the field move away from the work—leisure relationship and focus on the relation between leisure and culture.
This subfield of sociology studies, broadly, the dynamics of war, conflict resolution, peace movements, war refugees, conflict resolution and military institutions. It is a highly specialized sub-field which examines issues related to service personnel as a distinct group with coerced collective action based on shared interests linked to survival in vocation and combat , with purposes and values that are more defined and narrow than within civil society. Military sociology also concerns civilian -military relations and interactions between other groups or governmental agencies.
Topics include the dominant assumptions held by those in the military, changes in military members' willingness to fight, military unionization, military professionalism, the increased utilization of women, the military industrial-academic complex, the military's dependence on research, and the institutional and organizational structure of military. Historically, political sociology concerned the relations between political organization and society. A typical research question in this area might be: "Why do so few American citizens choose to vote?
A major subfield of political sociology developed in relation to such questions, which draws on comparative history to analyse socio-political trends. The field developed from the work of Max Weber and Moisey Ostrogorsky. Contemporary political sociology includes these areas of research, but it has been opened up to wider questions of power and politics. Such questions are more likely to be studied qualitatively. The study of social movements and their effects has been especially important in relation to these wider definitions of politics and power.
Political sociology has also moved beyond methodological nationalism and analysed the role of non-governmental organizations, the diffusion of the nation-state throughout the Earth as a social construct , and the role of stateless entities in the modern world society. Contemporary political sociologists also study inter-state interactions and human rights.
Demographers or sociologists of population study the size, composition and change over time of a given population. Demographers study how these characteristics impact, or are impacted by, various social, economic or political systems. The study of population is also closely related to human ecology and environmental sociology, which studies a populations relationship with the surrounding environment and often overlaps with urban or rural sociology. Researchers in this field may study the movement of populations: transportation, migrations, diaspora, etc. Demographers may also study spread of disease within a given population or epidemiology.
Public sociology refers to an approach to the discipline which seeks to transcend the academy in order to engage with wider audiences. It is perhaps best understood as a style of sociology rather than a particular method, theory, or set of political values. This approach is primarily associated with Michael Burawoy who contrasted it with professional sociology, a form of academic sociology that is concerned primarily with addressing other professional sociologists.
Public sociology is also part of the broader field of science communication or science journalism. The sociology of race and of ethnic relations is the area of the discipline that studies the social , political, and economic relations between races and ethnicities at all levels of society. This area encompasses the study of racism , residential segregation , and other complex social processes between different racial and ethnic groups.
This research frequently interacts with other areas of sociology such as stratification and social psychology , as well as with postcolonial theory. At the level of political policy, ethnic relations are discussed in terms of either assimilationism or multiculturalism. The sociology of religion concerns the practices, historical backgrounds, developments, universal themes and roles of religion in society.
The sociology of religion is distinguished from the philosophy of religion in that sociologists do not set out to assess the validity of religious truth-claims, instead assuming what Peter L. Berger has described as a position of "methodological atheism". Contemporary debates often centre on topics such as secularization , civil religion , the intersection of religion and economics and the role of religion in a context of globalization and multiculturalism.
The sociology of change and development attempts to understand how societies develop and how they can be changed. This includes studying many different aspects of society, for example demographic trends,  political or technological trends,  or changes in culture. Within this field, sociologists often use macrosociological methods or historical-comparative methods.
In contemporary studies of social change, there are overlaps with international development or community development. However, most of the founders of sociology had theories of social change based on their study of history. For instance, Marx contended that the material circumstances of society ultimately caused the ideal or cultural aspects of society, while Weber argued that it was in fact the cultural mores of Protestantism that ushered in a transformation of material circumstances.
In contrast to both, Durkheim argued that societies moved from simple to complex through a process of sociocultural evolution. Sociologists in this field also study processes of globalization and imperialism. Most notably, Immanuel Wallerstein extends Marx's theoretical frame to include large spans of time and the entire globe in what is known as world systems theory. Development sociology is also heavily influenced by post-colonialism. In recent years, Raewyn Connell issued a critique of the bias in sociological research towards countries in the Global North.
She argues that this bias blinds sociologists to the lived experiences of the Global South , specifically, so-called, "Northern Theory" lacks an adequate theory of imperialism and colonialism. A social network is a social structure composed of individuals or organizations called "nodes", which are tied connected by one or more specific types of interdependency , such as friendship , kinship , financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships , or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige. Social networks operate on many levels, from families up to the level of nations, and play a critical role in determining the way problems are solved, organizations are run, and the degree to which individuals succeed in achieving their goals.
An underlying theoretical assumption of social network analysis is that groups are not necessarily the building blocks of society: the approach is open to studying less-bounded social systems, from non-local communities to networks of exchange. Drawing theoretically from relational sociology , social network analysis avoids treating individuals persons, organizations, states as discrete units of analysis, it focuses instead on how the structure of ties affects and constitutes individuals and their relationships.
In contrast to analyses that assume that socialization into norms determines behaviour, network analysis looks to see the extent to which the structure and composition of ties affect norms. On the other hand, recent research by Omar Lizardo also demonstrates that network ties are shaped and created by previously existing cultural tastes. Sociological social psychology focuses on micro-scale social actions.
This area may be described as adhering to "sociological miniaturism", examining whole societies through the study of individual thoughts and emotions as well as behaviour of small groups. Some of the major topics in this field are social inequality, group dynamics , prejudice, aggression, social perception, group behaviour, social change, non-verbal behaviour, socialization, conformity, leadership, and social identity.
Social psychology may be taught with psychological emphasis. Social psychology looks at social influences, as well as social perception and social interaction. Social stratification is the hierarchical arrangement of individuals into social classes, castes , and divisions within a society. Proponents of structural functionalism suggest that, since the stratification of classes and castes is evident in all societies, hierarchy must be beneficial in stabilizing their existence.
Conflict theorists , by contrast, critique the inaccessibility of resources and lack of social mobility in stratified societies. Karl Marx distinguished social classes by their connection to the means of production in the capitalist system: the bourgeoisie own the means, but this effectively includes the proletariat itself as the workers can only sell their own labour power forming the material base of the cultural superstructure.
Max Weber critiqued Marxist economic determinism , arguing that social stratification is not based purely on economic inequalities, but on other status and power differentials e. According to Weber, stratification may occur among at least three complex variables: 1 Property class : A person's economic position in a society, based on birth and individual achievement. Weber noted how managers of corporations or industries control firms they do not own; Marx would have placed such a person in the proletariat.
This could be determined by the kind of job this person does or wealth. For example, individuals in state jobs, such as an employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or a member of the United States Congress, may hold little property or status but they still hold immense power  Pierre Bourdieu provides a modern example in the concepts of cultural and symbolic capital.
Theorists such as Ralf Dahrendorf have noted the tendency towards an enlarged middle-class in modern Western societies, particularly in relation to the necessity of an educated work force in technological or service-based economies. Urban sociology involves the analysis of social life and human interaction in metropolitan areas.
It is a discipline seeking to provide advice for planning and policy making. After the industrial revolution , works such as Georg Simmel 's The Metropolis and Mental Life focused on urbanization and the effect it had on alienation and anonymity. In the s and s The Chicago School produced a major body of theory on the nature of the city, important to both urban sociology and criminology, utilizing symbolic interactionism as a method of field research.
Contemporary research is commonly placed in a context of globalization , for instance, in Saskia Sassen 's study of the " Global city ". As agriculture and wilderness tend to be a more prominent social fact in rural regions, rural sociologists often overlap with environmental sociologists. Often grouped with urban and rural sociology is that of community sociology or the sociology of community. Sociology overlaps with a variety of disciplines that study society, in particular anthropology , political science , economics , social work and social philosophy.
Many comparatively new fields such as communication studies , cultural studies , demography and literary theory , draw upon methods that originated in sociology.
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The terms " social science " and " social research " have both gained a degree of autonomy since their origination in classical sociology. The distinct field of social anthropology or anthroposociology is the dominant constituent of anthropology throughout the United Kingdom and Commonwealth and much of Europe France in particular  , where it is distinguished from cultural anthropology. Sociology and applied sociology are connected to the professional and academic discipline of social work.
The applied sociologist would be more focused on practical strategies on what needs to be done to alleviate this burden. The social worker would be focused on action ; implementing theses strategies "directly" or "indirectly" by means of mental health therapy , counselling , advocacy , community organization or community mobilization. Social anthropology is the branch of anthropology that studies how contemporary living human beings behave in social groups.
Practitioners of social anthropology, like sociologists, investigate various facets of social organization. Traditionally, social anthropologists analysed non-industrial and non-Western societies, whereas sociologists focused on industrialized societies in the Western world. In recent years, however, social anthropology has expanded its focus to modern Western societies, meaning that the two disciplines increasingly converge.
Sociocultural anthropology , which include linguistic anthropology , is concerned with the problem of difference and similarity within and between human populations. The discipline arose concomitantly with the expansion of European colonial empires, and its practices and theories have been questioned and reformulated along with processes of decolonization.
Such issues have re-emerged as transnational processes have challenged the centrality of the nation-state to theorizations about culture and power. New challenges have emerged as public debates about multiculturalism , and the increasing use of the culture concept outside of the academy and among peoples studied by anthropology.
These times are not "business-as-usual" in the academy, in anthropology, or in the world, if ever there were such times. Irving Louis Horowitz , in his The Decomposition of Sociology , has argued that the discipline, while arriving from a "distinguished lineage and tradition", is in decline due to deeply ideological theory and a lack of relevance to policy making: "The decomposition of sociology began when this great tradition became subject to ideological thinking, and an inferior tradition surfaced in the wake of totalitarian triumphs.
Talented individuals who might, in an earlier time, have gone into sociology are seeking intellectual stimulation in business, law, the natural sciences, and even creative writing; this drains sociology of much needed potential. In , The Times Higher Education Guide published a list of 'The most cited authors of books in the Humanities' including philosophy and psychology.
The most highly ranked general journals which publish original research in the field of sociology are the American Journal of Sociology and the American Sociological Review. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Scientific study of human society and its origins, development, organizations, and institutions. This article is about the discipline. For the journal, see Sociology journal. Main articles: History of sociology , List of sociologists , and Timeline of sociology.
Capitalism at the End of the Twentieth Century Main article: Positivism. Main article: Anti-positivism. Main article: Sociological theory. Main article: Structural functionalism. Main article: Conflict theory. Main articles: Symbolic interactionism , Dramaturgy sociology , Interpretive sociology , and Phenomenological sociology.
Main articles: Utilitarianism , Rational choice theory , and Exchange theory. Main articles: Objectivity science , Objectivity philosophy , and Subjectivity. Main article: Structure and agency. Main article: Social research. Main article: Computational sociology. Main article: Outline of sociology. Main articles: Sociology of culture and Cultural studies. Main articles: Sociology of literature , Sociology of art , Sociology of film , and Sociology of music. Main articles: Criminology , Sociology of law , Sociology of punishment , Deviance sociology , and Social disorganization theory.
Main articles: Sociology of the Internet and Digital sociology. Main article: Media studies. Main article: Economic sociology. Main articles: Industrial sociology , sociology of work , and Industrial relations. Main article: Sociology of education. Main articles: Environmental sociology and Sociology of disaster. Main articles: Human ecology , Architectural sociology , Visual sociology , and Sociology of space.
Main articles: Sociology of the family , Sociology of childhood , Sociology of gender , Feminist sociology , Feminist theory , and Queer theory. Main articles: Sociology of health and illness and Medical sociology. Main articles: Sociology of knowledge , Sociology of scientific knowledge , Sociology of the history of science , and Sociology of science. Main articles: Sociology of leisure and Sociology of sport. Main articles: Peace and conflict studies , Military sociology , and Sociology of terrorism. Main article: Political sociology. Main articles: Demography , Human ecology , and Mobilities.
Main article: Public sociology. Main articles: Sociology of race and ethnic relations and Sociology of immigration.
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Main article: Sociology of religion. Main articles: Social change , Development studies , Community development , and International development. Main articles: Social network , Social network analysis , Figurational Sociology , Relational sociology , and Sociomapping. Main articles: Social psychology sociology and Psychoanalytic sociology. Main articles: Social stratification , Social inequality , Social mobility , and Social class. Main articles: Urban sociology and Rural sociology.
See also: List of sociology journals. Sociology portal. The American Heritage Science Dictionary. Retrieved 13 July , from Dictionary. American Sociological Association. Retrieved 19 July — via Colgate. Sociological theory: Classical statements 6th ed. Boston: Pearson Education. Introduction to Sociology. Sixth Edition. New York: W. Norton and Company. Chapter 1. Annual Review of Sociology. Kahle; Pierre Valette-Florence Marketplace Lifestyles in an Age of Social Media.
New York: M. Sharpe, Inc. Halsey , A history of sociology in Britain: science, literature, and society , p. International Sociology. January Research Gate. Journal of Religion and Health. Ibn Khaldun: His Life and Works. The Other Press. Current Sociology. Gates July—September Journal of the History of Ideas.
Mowlana See also the article 'sociologie' in the French-language Wikipedia. Sociology 7th Canadian ed. Toronto: Pearson Canada. Retrieved 4 November Image Books, New York. Classical Sociological Theory. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Karl Marx: His Life and Environment. Sociological Quarterly. The American mind: an interpretation of American thought and character since s. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sarah A. Solovay and John M. Mueller, ed.
Related The Human Group: Volume 7 (International Library of Sociology)
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