Sociology Important terms and theories

The Utilitarian theory was proposed by two sociologists namely Jeremy Bentham and J.S. Mills. The motive of this theory accounts for maximum happiness of a maximum number of people. It says that whether anything is right or wrong is determined by its results and effects on mass. There were three basic principles or axioms related to this theory which is discussed below

1.  This theory is mainly happiness or pleasure driven, thus it acts as the most fundamental property of this theory.

2.  It termed actions as right or wrong depending on their result, i.e. right actions delivered happiness whereas wrongdoings presented depression.

3.  Each member of the society happiness is important and counts fairly.


Rationality theory was proposed by Max Weber and Hobhouse. According to Weber, he termed rationality as the methods in which input is less and efficiency is highest. Weber termed rationality as the perfect synchronization of society in respect to ideas, beliefs, and actions to produce maximum efficiency. He believed that traditions and beliefs should be modified into calculated ones to have maximum output.

Leisure Class

Veblen, a popular economist derived Leisure Class Theory from social stratification. He categorized people in two ways, i.e. the capitalists which are involved in unnecessary and unproductive means of work which does not benefit society. On the other hand, the middle class and lower class were found enormously engaged in productive work which benefits the society but they were not designed to live a leisure life.

Ideal Type

Max Weber introduced the term Ideal Type. Ideal type should not be confused with perfect type. He himself stated that ideal type notion is not any individual notion; instead, it is an accumulation of different perceptions being heard and then removing the discrete patterns and ideas.

Thus it involves many viewpoints but keeping the intact records. This theory was criticized by the sociologists who believed in Normal Type Theory. They said that it is impossible to have a certain ideal behavior at every circumstance. The beliefs, ideas and traditions modification was a function of time.

Ideological State Apparatus

Marxist theorist Louis Althusser came up with Ideological State Apparatus in which he claimed that school, churches, family, and trade unions should be counted in the state as they are serving state functions. Firstly they were formally out of state function but seeing its function and impact Louis wanted it to be a part of it.

Imperatively Coordinated Association

Dahrendof explained this theory as the continuous cycle of power and position among the society members. The members are in massive authority accounting for other people too. For example an industrialist who is the MD of the company will see for the capacity of coal to be transferred from mines to his company. Suppose the capacity is 200 TP only, but he ordered 250 TP, it directly led to the effects operators and engineers will face in the company. Thus through ICA, Dahrendof studied how decision making process affect other peoples too in the society.



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I am Prerna Jha, pursuing mechanical engineering from KIIT, Odisha, But I Love to Read and Write Sociology Related Concepts and Theories. I have done schooling from MVM School, Bilaspur. I have interest in writing love stories or any specific genre. I pursue a great interest in quilting. Right now I am an aspiring writer who writes for various pages. I have participated in many social events. I am a social animal who likes to have maximum participation in any fest.