Social theories are statements that try to explain how and why some facts in the society happen the way the happen. Moreover they help human beings to predict what may happen in future. Social theory can be divided into anthropology, political science and economics. All the branches explain the different aspect of human life and how they relate to the environment. This essay will discuss on the various social theories from different sociologists and try to explain how the theories explain human behaviours.
Classical social theory was developed in Europe by various Europe thinkers. This followed a series of changes that happened in Europe including separation of families and the decrease of the power of the king. Augustine Comte who lived between 1798 and 1857 developed the theory of Human Progress’. The theory states that development started from a theoretical stage where human beings associate the cause of social development to a supreme being called God. In the other two stages namely metaphysical and positivistic stages, people view life in a broader way though science and empirical evidence. Through this human beings started doubting the existence of God that interns explains why different religious beliefs exist.
Hebert Spencer who lived between 1820 and 1903 developed another social theory. Darwinism which is also known as the theory of social evolution states that each person develops on his own. Hebert developed the famous slogan ‘survival for the fittest’. On the contrary, Karl Max who lived between 1818 and 1903, developed a theory of social equality known as Marxism. Karl max emphasised on equal development in the society where the different classes of people in the society could grow uniformly. Max identified the social conflicts in the society that contributed in the unequal distribution of resources between different classes in the society. They included class differences, racism and unequal resource allocation.These principles of Marxism came to be popular in the 20th century and are associated with the Russian revolution of 1917. After this, people started having different notions on development which in turn brought about other theories.
Modern theories were mainly developed in the early 20th century. George Herbert, who lived from 1893 to1931, based his study on the growth of every person individually as opposed to the growth to the community as a whole. He looked at individual identity and the relationships that an individual has with others as the main aspect of growth. The latter part of the 20th century documented much of the social theory development. The other theories were improved at this time with new ideas incorporated to have a better explanation on the development of the society.
With the different studies done on the human behaviour and the society as a whole, man is still modifying on both the classical and modern social theories. In one way or another, he will be able to fully explain why thing happen the way they happen. The change in the theories shows how human approach to life keeps on changing explaining why humans are dynamic beings.