Below is guest post from Holly Kearny:
Social science is not new. It has been around for hundreds of years and is still being studied to this day. However, there were many founders of the science that looks at the non-natural world and into the elements of human behavior and beyond. Below, we have listed five of the most famous social scientists and their work.
- Auguste Comte – He was the first to coin the term “social science” in the nineteenth century. He was a French philosopher who believed in the concept of positivism, or that the collected senses made up all worthwhile information. He was also a prominent figure during the French Revolution in which he called for a doctrine based on science.
- Max Weber – This German was a sociologist and political economist who influenced many social scientists to come. He was one of the first to study methodological antipositivsm, or the belief that the findings that arise in social science cannot be fully interpreted by the scientific method and should focus on the meanings that social actions have.
- Karl Marx – He wasn’t just an advocate for workers or communism, Karl Marx was also a social scientist. Born in Germany, he came from a long line of rabbis. After his work brought controversy, he sought refuge in Belgium where he theorized that “the nature of individuals depends on the material conditions determining their production.” He would later join the Communist League and write the manifesto with Friedrich Engels, and it is still a hot topic of dispute today.
- Wiliam Du Bois – He proved that social sciences aren’t just for white men. Du Bois was born in 1868 in Massachusetts and was a stern advocate for civil rights. In his book “The Suppression of the African Slave Trade,” he even included an attack on civil rights leader Booker T. Washington for not doing more in the campaign for civil rights.
- Leon Festinger and James Carlsmith – A dual of social scientists took on an individual’s central stories and why they think and behave the way they do. The experiment was conducted in 1959 at Stanford University and involved students doing a boring task and then being paid to promote it. Expectations, outcomes, and more marked this amazing moment in social science history.
Holly Kearny manages the site www.becomingateacher.org. Her site helps students find the right college to get a teaching degree.