Important Contribution To Sociology

I have chosen Harriet Martineau as my 19th century socialogical pioneer and Robert Merton as my 20th-century sociologist. Harriet and Robert both made important contributions to sociology. While they both made several contributions, I will go over the major ones that I believe are still relevant today. Harriet was a British social theorist. She is believed to be the first major female sociologist. She translated the works of Auguste Comte, which was already a great contribution to English-speaking social scientists. She was most concerned with women’s rights, but also fought slavery and religious discrimination.

Robert was an American sociologist. He was the first to be awarded the US National Medal of Science for his contributions to sociology. A well-known contribution from Robert was the self-fulfilling prophecy as well as the law unintended consequecnes. Harriet and Robert both made contributions that are relevant today. Harriet contributed to many issues that are still issues in today’s society. Though we live in an age with many religions and open-minded people, there are still those that struggle with religious intolerance.

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It causes violence toward individuals and groups alike. This, and even women’s rights, are issues that continue to plague modern society. However, I believe her findings were some of the first to slowly lead people in the right direction.

These issues have slowly been changing for the better throughout history. Hopefully, they will not be an issue in the future. Robert’s theory of the self-fulfilling prophecy is well-known and can be applied to today’s world.

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Lee Jussim uses the example of a bank. He states that a reliable bank becomes the victim of a false rumor. The rumor states that the bank was insolvent, or it was incapable of covering its deposits. People panic and begin to take all of their money out, thus causing the bank to actually become insolvent. An originally false belief led to the rumor’s own fulfillment. Robert also brought to light the idea of unintended consequences from social actions. This is something that can be applied to many aspects of life and not just sociology. For instance, we have the intention of getting rid of pests through pesticides.

However, pesticides are usually harmful chemials that can leech into the plants and soil, thus creating an unintended problem down the line for those that consume plants treated with pesticides. This can definitely be applied to changes socially. Though we may have good intentions to change issues for the greater, there may be backlashes that we have no predicted. From the previous examples given, it is clear that Robert’s theories hold true even today. However, I personally think Harriet was one of the first women to make amazing strides toward equality for not just women, but people as a whole. Hopefully, sociologists will continue to contribute to society to better the world for the future.

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Important Contribution To Sociology. (2022, Jan 06). Retrieved from

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