Sociology is the study of society of human interactions; inter relations and patterns of social relationship and fundamentally deals with the network of social relationship called society. Sociology in its simplest meaning is the study of society and the social institutions. It evolved as a nascent discipline with the profound influence of natural sciences. Sociology as a discipline is easy to understand as it deals with what we actually do and see on a daily basis.
The word sociology is derived from the Latin word societus meaning society and the Greek word logos meaning study or science. Thus the etymological meaning of sociology is the science of society.
In 1839 a French philosopher Auguste Comte coined the term sociology. Sociology is concerned with social relations in general and with social groups and institutions in particular.
According to Ginsberg, “Sociology is a study of society, that is of the web or tissue of human interactions and inter relations.”
According to Simmel, “Sociology asks what happens to man and by what rules they behave, no in so far as they unfold their understandable individual existences in their totality, but in so far as they form groups and are determined by their group existence because of interaction.”
Ogburn says, “Sociology is a body of learning about society. It is description of way to make society better. It is social ethics, a social philosophy generally however it is defined as a science of society.”
Giddings believe that sociology is an attempt to account for the origin, growth structure and activities of society by the operation of physical causes working together in process of revolution.
According to MacIver Sociology seeks to discover the principles of cohesion and of order within social structure,the ways in which it roots and grows within an environment ,the moving equilibrium of changing structure and changing environment ,the main trends of incessant change,the forces which determine its direction at any time,the harmonics and conflicts, the adjustments and maladjustmens within the structure as they are revealed in light of human desires and thus, the practical application of menas to ends in the creative activities of social man.