Sociology the discipline emerged from the intellectual revolution and enlightenment thought , shortly after the French Revolution . Its foundation was laid by a French scholar Auguste Comte as a positivist science of society , study of human behavior in collectivity and social relationship through social interaction. It emerged as a reaction to modernity , capitalism , urbanization, rationalization and expanded methodologically with the passage of time. Its emergence coincided with two most significant and landmark social and political revolutions of 18th century i.e industrial and french revolution . This period of history is often described as a period of great transformation laid the grounds of socio historical factors that led to the realization of issues such as urbanization , poverty , rights , unemployment , hunger , citizenship which broadened the dimensions of study of society and led to the realization of the need for its systematic study .
The french revolution which overshadowed the 19th century was a landmark even that led to the overthrow of old order of society . It strengthened the state to represent the will of people an rejected any form of despotism .There was a replacement in allegiance to god to an allegiance to state , due to emergence of france as one of the most powerful nation state of the 18th century .The grants of new legal rights , and a new system of inheritance gave people a new perspective to view society .With greater emphasis on state there was an unprecedented rise of nationalism which inspired and sparked various other revolutions in other parts of europe and the world . The new ideas that surfaced aafter the role played by philosophers gave an ideological base to the development of sociology . These revolutionary ideas not only acted as a catalyst to challenge the traditional authority and religiosity but also laid the intellectual framework for sociology .
The industrial revolution that started in england with an optimism that rapid industrialization will foster improve the world through enlightened self interests of individuals involved in the process was guided by the principle of equality to compete , which further broadened the inequality of outcomes. It was instrumental in transformation of simple, preliterate, subsistence based society into a complex, occupationally divergent , urbanized and populous modern society. The social change was driven by economic reasons giving way to mass production , concept of surplus , profitability it changed the way premodern society was aligned . It brought new social classes and broadened the inequality between them along with rise in intensity of exploitation and dependence was raised .
The new industrial capitalism although improved the quality of life but it also led to creation of urban centers , population boost and realization of problems such as exploitation , housing , health , slum development etc which became problems and issues of sociology .
The events that were conducive in transformation of Europe from premodern to modern along with socio, political and economic revolutions are integral to the emergence of sociology . It cannot be studied in isolation of the unprecedented transformation witnessed at the aftermath of of the two most significant and landmark events of industrial and french revolution .