“Beginning June 12, 1802 and died June 27,

“Beginning in the
19th century, European theorists made pioneering contributions to the
development of a science of human behavior.” (Schaefer, R. T. (2017) p.7) A 19th
century sociological pioneer I find very interesting is Harriet Martineau. She
was born June 12, 1802 and died June 27, 1876; in her 74 years of life she greatly
advanced knowledge about society. “Martineau’s writings emphasized the impact
that the economy, law, trade, health, and population could have on social
problems. She spoke out in favor of the rights of women, the emancipation of
slaves, and religious tolerance.” (Schaefer, R. T. (2017) p.8) Many of
Martineau’s presented methods continue to be used by sociologists. “Martineau
(1838 1989) also wrote the first book on sociological methods.” (Schaefer, R.
T. (2017) p.7) A method of hers that is still used today is systematic observation.
Systematic observation means, “getting data in well-ordered manner that will
give reliable information about something.” (Nugent, P. M. (2015, June 23)) Systematic
observation is the method of starting a study in a way to get rid of bias. Martineau’s
method of systematic observation is still very much important and relevant in
our modern world. Systematic observation is an important method used in studies
today to eliminate bias and a method outlining how to conduct a fair and
reliable conclusion to an observation or study. For a study or observation to
be fair or reliable, which is still important in today’s modern world, bias
must be eliminated.

A 20th
century sociologist I find interesting is Robert Merton. “Sociologist Robert
Merton (1910–2003) made an important contribution to the discipline by
successfully combining theory and research.” (Schaefer, R. T. (2017) p.11) “He
noted different ways in which people attempt to achieve success in life. In his
view, some may deviate from the socially approved goal of accumulating material
goods or the socially accepted means of achieving that goal.” (Schaefer, R. T.
(2017) p.11) “For example, in Merton’s classification scheme, innovators are
people who accept the goal of pursuing material wealth but use illegal means to
do so, including robbery, burglary, and extortion.” (Schaefer, R. T. (2017) p.11)
Merton’s theory has contributed greatly to the sociological field of study. “His
theory helps to account for the high crime rates among the nation’s poor, who
may see no hope of advancing themselves through traditional roads to success.”
(Schaefer, R. T. (2017) p.11) Merton’s theory is also still very relevant in modern
world as well. I say this because, “Merton (1968) produced a theory that is one
of the most frequently cited explanations of deviant behavior.” Deviant
behavior is still very much a thing in modern world and Merton’s theory is
still relevant in explaining deviant behavior and crime rates among the nation’s
poor; his relevance shows by his theory being one of the most cited

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