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Briefly describe the four factors that contributed to the emergence of sociology as a discipline in the 19th century.
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The four factors contributing to the emergence of sociology were as follows: the Industrial Revolution, the American and French revolutions, imperialism, and the success of the natural sciences in applying the scientific method in answering questions about the natural environment. The Industrial Revolution caused a great social upheaval in Europe as the shift from agriculture to factory production brought about many changes in people's lives. These changes included an increase in urbanization, horrible working conditions, and the failure of tradition in providing answers for their life experiences. Second, the American and French revolutions introduced new ideas about individuals' inalienable rights. As a result, more democratic forms of governance were introduced and tradition no longer provided adequate answers for individuals. Imperialism exposed Europeans to radically different cultures and brought up the question of why cultures differed. And, with the success of the natural sciences in answering questions about the natural environment by using the scientific method, some thought it logical to apply this method to questions about the social world.
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