Rise of sociology as an intellectual tradition. Classical tradition in sociology of the XIX century

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Gesellschaft or society. This distinction is based on the assumption that there are only two basic forms of an actor's will. Following his essential will, an actor sees himself as a means to serve the goals of the social group; very often it is an underlying, subconscious force.

A group formed around an essential will is called Gemeinschaft. Of another type is an arbitrary will: an actor sees a social group as a means to further his individual goals; so it is purposive and future-oriented. A group formed around the arbitrary will is called Gesellschaft.

Whereas the membership in Gemeinschaft is self-fulfilling, Gesellschaft is instrumental for its members. In pure sociology (theoretically) these two normal types of will are to be strictly separated; in applied sociology (empirically) they are always mixed. Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929), an American sociologist, is considered the founding father of the institutional approach due to his study of social institutions.

In his central work, The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), he defined a social institution as social patterns of human behaviour and habits of thinking. According to him, mankind and human civilization develop as far as social institutions (those of private property, money competition, demonstrative consumption etc. ) change.

The engine of the society's development is economy, in particular the development of production that results in change of social institutions and norms of social life; managers and technical intelligentsia play the major role in this development. He also described capitalism as class struggle but not as happening between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat (according to K. Marx and F.

Engels), but between businessmen (bankers, lawyers, brokers, managers) and industry (engineers,.


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