Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber have been named among the “founding fathers” of sociology. Critically discuss the contributions of any two of these theorists to the development of sociology as a discipline.




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According to Mulkey (1993) sociology is a way of finding out why people behave the way they do. With this definition it can be noted that the theories put forward by the ‘founding fathers’ of sociology have all contributed to its existence as a discipline. Although they have been considered as the founding fathers of sociology, they each have their own perspective of society and its function. Emile Durkheim views society from a functionalist perspective. He coined the term ‘social facts’ and made his contribution in areas such as education, methodology, religion and suicide. Whilst Karl Marx, a conflict theorist showed great interest in inequality and social reproduction in the capitalist society. Also Max Weber a social action theorist, as such it can be noted that their contributions therefore are directly influenced by their perspective of the society