Comte divided Sociology into TWO Theoretical Aspects;
- Social Statics and
- Social Dynamics
Social static focuses on how order is maintained in the society and social dynamic focuses on how society changes over time.
Comte separated social statics from social dynamics. Social statics are concerned with the ways in which the parts of a social system (social structures) interact with one another, as well as the functional relationships between the parts and to the social system as a whole. Comte therefore focused his social statics on the individual, as well as such collective phenomena as the family, religion, language, and the division of labor.
Comte placed greater emphasis on the study of social dynamics, or social change. His theory of social dynamics is founded on the law of the three stages; i.e., the evolution of society is based on the evolution of mind through the theological, metaphysical, and positivist stages. He saw social dynamics as a process of progressive evolution in which people become cumulatively more intelligent and in which altruism eventually triumphs over egoism. This process is one that people can modify or accelerate, but in the end the laws of progressive development dictate the development of society. Comte's research on social evolution focused on Western Europe, which he viewed as the most highly developed part of the world during his times.
This distinction between social statics and social dynamics is one of his lasting contributions to sociology. His aim was to create a naturalistic science of society, which would explain the past development of mankind and predict its future course.
1) Social Statics
- Social Statics refers to the study of the conditions and pre-conditions of social order.
- It is concerned with the present structure of the society.
- It studies the issues of social stability and social order.
- It studies the current laws, rules and present conditions of the society.
- It observes how these laws and rules are affecting the present society.
- It investigates the law of action and reaction of the different parts of the social system.
- It is concerned with the study of major institutions, which preserve the social order.
- For example, family; it occupies an important position in social structure. It provides the base for the social order and progress of the society.
- Individual, family and social combinations are three levels of society. Family is the smallest and basic unit of sociology.
Three Factors of Social Statics:
According to Comte, there are three factors of social statics. They are;
- Language; It is the means of storing thoughts and culture for proceeding generations. Without a common language, attaining solidarity and social order is not possible.
- Religion; It provides the guidance for behaviour and it is the root of social order.
- Division of Labour; It is essential for the success of the state cooperation as it creates interdependence among the people in the society.
2) Social Dynamics
- It begins with the study of the process of social changes. Therefore, it is concerned with the matter of social progress.
- The term 'Progress' refers to the orderly development of the society, which are according to the natural law. Hence, the order and progress or statics and dynamics are co-related to each other.
- Dynamics begin when the functions of the social institutions are altered or changed.
- According to Comte, social dynamics describe the successive and necessary stages in the development in the human mind and the society.
- Further, he opined that the social dynamics should depend on the historical perspectives in order to study the process of social change and progress.
- Thus, the social dynamics are found in all the aspects of the society, such as physical, moral and intellectual. However, the intellectual is the most important.
- Social dynamics refers to the pattern of the revolutionary progress in which the sequence of the development is necessary and inevitable.
- Moreover, it is natural that the social systems, such as institutions are interrelated and interdependent, so they can make a harmonious whole.