Introduction: Origins of Sociological Theory

Social life has always been subjected to inquiry and critical probing throughout history. It has been a human drive to push the boundaries of knowledge further, to come out of ignorance, the basic motivation being to explore the secrets of life. Much before the organization of knowledge in systemic form about social life, thinking human beings — from great sages and saints to social reformers have had incisive contemplation of their social environment. The advent of sociological theory is just a little more than a couple of centuries old. But it is preceded by a long history of sociological thinking. So we have a ‘pre-history’ of sociological theory contributed by the sharpest jural-religious thinkers ...

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