1. Describe the sociological perspective and explain its
importance in understanding human behavior: The sociological perspective is an approach that seeks to understand human behavior by placing it within its broader social context (Intro, 2005). From the sociological perspective, society is a system of beliefs and actions carried by human beings, but that transcends these carriers (Bartle, 2005). Social organizations such as family and community are not people, but are systems, or patterns of beliefs and actions by people which are carried by people. To understand society, it is necessary to understand more than just the individuals in it, but how it functions as a whole and why.
2. Identify and explain the contributions and theoretical perspectives of Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber: Auguste Comte set out to create a naturalistic science of society which could explain the past development of mankind and predict its future (Comte, 2005). He created "positive" science and insisted that nothing is absolute, and the relative lies at the core of his teachings. Herbert Spencer believed evolution is a progressive movement towards an equilibrium, "where individual beings change their characteristics and habits until they are perfectly adapted to circumstances and no more change is called for" (Spencer, 2005). Karl Marx believed in the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and argued that the condi