Famous 19th Century Sociologists

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 1 W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois.
6
Famous As: Civil Rights Activists
Birthdate: February 23, 1868
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Great Barrington, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 27, 1963

W. E. B. Du Bois was an American civil rights activist, sociologist, and Pan-Africanist. Du Bois played an instrumental role in fighting for full civil rights for people of color around the world. A co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Du Bois also played an important role as the leader of the Niagara Movement.

 2 Emile Durkheim

Emile Durkheim.
4
Famous As: Sociologist & Philosopher
Birthdate: April 15, 1858
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Épinal
Died: November 15, 1917

Emile Durkheim was a French sociologist. He is credited with establishing the discipline of sociology for academic purposes and is widely regarded as the chief architect of modern social science. During his lifetime, Emile Durkheim published several works on topics like morality, religion, and education. He also played a major role in the development of sociology and anthropology as disciplines.

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 3 Vilfredo Pareto

Vilfredo Pareto.
4
Famous As: Economist, Writer, Philosopher, Sociologist, University teacher
Birthdate: July 15, 1848
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris
Died: August 19, 1923

A qualified civil engineer, Vilfredo Pareto had initially worked for the railways and the ironworks. However, he gradually deviated to philosophy, sociology, and politics and gained fame for his application of math to economic issues and his introduction of Pareto efficiency. Mind and Society remains his best-known work.

 4 Georg Simmel

Georg Simmel.
4
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: March 1, 1858
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 26, 1918

 5 Harriet Martineau

Harriet Martineau.
3
Famous As: Linguist, Journalist, Economist, Historian, Translator, Writer, Sociologist, Essayist, Feminist
Birthdate: June 12, 1802
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Norwich
Died: June 27, 1876

Regarded by many as the first female sociologist, Harriet Martineau was a prominent 19th-century social theorist, classical economist, and intellectual who penned the iconic work The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte. She was partially deaf and had lost her sense of taste and smell in childhood.

 6 Karl Marx

Karl Marx.
0
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 5, 1818
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Trier, Germany
Died: March 14, 1883

Karl Marx, the philosopher, economist, political theorist and socialist revolutionary, is best-known for the 1848 pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto and the three-volume Das Kapital. His theories, called Marxism, maintained that class conflict leads to the development of human societies and that internal tension were inherent in capitalism, which would ultimately be replaced by the socialist mode of production.

 7 Ludwig von Mises

Ludwig von Mises.
4
Famous As: Economist, Philosopher, Sociologist
Birthdate: September 29, 1881
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lviv, Ukraine
Died: October 10, 1973
A polyglot at age 12, Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises grew up to acquire a doctorate in law and taught at the universities of New York and Vienna. Known for his works such as The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, he supported free-market liberalism and opposed socialism. 
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 8 Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 3, 1860
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut
Died: August 17, 1935

 9 Karl Polanyi

Karl Polanyi
3
Famous As: Economist, Anthropologist, Economic historian, Historian, Journalist, Philosopher, Writer, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: October 25, 1886
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: April 23, 1964

 10 Elton Mayo

Elton Mayo
3
Famous As: Psychologist, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: December 26, 1880
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Adelaide
Died: September 7, 1949

Elton Mayo was an Australian-born industrial researcher, psychologist, and organizational theorist. As a psychologist, Mayo played an important role during World War I, helping soldiers returning from the war recover from the stresses. He also conducted psycho-pathological tests and is credited with pioneering the psychoanalytic treatment of shell-shock. Elton Mayo's works also laid the basis for the human relations movement.

 11 Lewis Mumford

Lewis Mumford
3
Famous As: Architect, Historian of technology, Historian, Sociologist, Screenwriter, Literary critic, Philosopher, Journalist
Birthdate: October 19, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City
Died: January 26, 1990

Lewis Mumford was an American sociologist, historian, literary critic, and philosopher of technology. He made significant contributions to American literary and cultural history, social philosophy, and the history of technology. His works also influenced a number of thinkers and authors like Jacques Ellul and Amory Lovins. Lewis Mumford also had a strong influence on American cellular biologist Barry Commoner.

 12 Gustave Le Bon

Gustave Le Bon
3
Famous As: Physician, Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Psychologist, Philosopher, Historian, Sociologist
Birthdate: May 7, 1841
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nogent-le-Rotrou
Died: December 13, 1931

French social psychologist Gustave Le Bon is best remembered for his research on crowd psychology. In his iconic work La psychologie des foules, or The Crowd, he stated that people are driven by their emotions and not by their intellect when they act as part of a crowd.

 13 Ruth Benedict

Ruth Benedict
5
Famous As: Anthropologist, Folklorist, University teacher, Poet, Sociologist, Biographer
Birthdate: June 5, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: September 17, 1948

Ruth Benedict was an American folklorist and anthropologist. Benedict, who played an important role in the American Folklore Society, also served as the American Anthropological Association's president; the association gives away an annual prize named after Ruth Benedict. In 2005, she was made an inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 14 Walter Bagehot

Walter Bagehot
3
Famous As: Journalist, Economist, Political scientist, Writer, Sociologist
Birthdate: February 3, 1826
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Somerset
Died: March 24, 1877

Born to Stuckey's Bank MD Walter Bagehot was initially part of his father’s shipping and banking business. He later became the editor-in-chief of The Economist and married the publication’s founder James Wilson’s daughter. He penned path-breaking works such as Lombard Street and The English Constitution and co-established National Review.

 15 William Graham Sumner

William Graham Sumner
3
Famous As: Anthropologist, Political scientist, Historian, Sociologist, Philosopher, University teacher
Birthdate: October 30, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paterson, New Jersey
Died: April 12, 1910

William Graham Sumner was an American social scientist who held America's first professorship in sociology; he served as a professor of social sciences at Yale. Sumner, who wrote several essays and books on American history, political theory, sociology, and economic history, was one of the most popular and influential teachers at Yale. He also had an influence on American conservatism.

 16 Patrick Geddes

Patrick Geddes
3
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: October 2, 1854
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Died: April 17, 1932

 17 Wilhelm Dilthey

Wilhelm Dilthey
3
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: November 19, 1833
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Biebrich, Wiesbaden, Germany
Died: October 1, 1911

Wilhelm Dilthey was a German psychologist, sociologist, historian, and hermeneutic philosopher. An ardent admirer of Friedrich Schleiermacher, Dilthey helped revive the former's works on hermeneutics. Wilhelm Dilthey is also credited with teaching future philosophers like Hans Lipps, Eduard Spranger, and Theodor Litt.

 18 Alfred Weber

Alfred Weber
3
Famous As: Economist, Educationist, Sociologist, University teacher
Birthdate: July 30, 1868
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Erfurt
Died: May 2, 1958

 19 Pierre Guillaume Frédéric le Play

Pierre Guillaume Frédéric le Play
1
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: April 11, 1806
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: La Rivière-Saint-Sauveur, France
Died: April 5, 1882
French mining engineer and sociologist, Pierre-Guillaume-Frédéric Le Play, developed techniques for systematic research on the family. Le Play's first important work, European Workers was a collection of monographs on the moral life and material conditions of 36 working-class families. He utilized the device of the family budget for the purpose of determining standards of living. 

 20 Karl Mannheim

Karl Mannheim
2
Famous As: Sociologist, University teacher, Writer
Birthdate: March 27, 1893
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: January 9, 1947

 21 Kenneth Burke

Kenneth Burke
3
Famous As: Philosopher, Literary critic, University teacher, Sociologist, Journalist, Writer
Birthdate: May 5, 1897
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pittsburgh
Died: November 19, 1993

 22 Werner Sombart

Werner Sombart
2
Famous As: Economist, Sociologist, University teacher
Birthdate: January 19, 1863
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ermsleben
Died: May 18, 1941

 23 Harold Innis

Harold Innis
2
Famous As: Economist, Historian, Philosopher, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: November 5, 1894
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Otterville, Ontario
Died: November 8, 1952

Born into a farming community, Harold Innis was encouraged to be a Baptist minister but became a political economist and academic instead. The former University of Toronto professor is remembered for his work on the staple thesis. He had also fought on the front lines in World War I.

 24 Otto Neurath

Otto Neurath
2
Famous As: Economist, Philosopher, Sociologist, Graphic designer, Statistical graphics
Birthdate: December 10, 1882
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: December 22, 1945

Otto Neurath was an Austrian-born philosopher of science, political economist, and sociologist. He is known for inventing the ISOTYPE method of pictorial statistics. A native of Vienna, he was one of the leading figures of the Vienna Circle. As an economist, he advocated for ideas like "in-kind" economic accounting in place of monetary accounting. 

 25 Gustav Ratzenhofer

Gustav Ratzenhofer
0
Famous As: Officer
Birthdate: July 4, 1842
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 8, 1904

Gustav Ratzenhofer was an Austrian philosopher, officer, and sociologist. Ratzenhofer left his military career to devote his time to study sociology and philosophy. He then went on to become a respected sociologist and was counted among the founding fathers of policy sociology in the United States of America.

 26 Max Nordau

Max Nordau
2
Famous As: Sociologist, Physician, Journalist, Writer
Birthdate: July 29, 1849
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pest
Died: January 22, 1923

 27 Roger Nash Baldwin

Roger Nash Baldwin
2
Famous As: Sociologist, Trade unionist
Birthdate: January 21, 1884
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Massachusetts
Died: August 26, 1981

Roger Nash Baldwin was a pacifist who played a major role in the development of the human rights movement in USA. He was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union and also founded the International League for the Rights of Man. He was a conscientious objector during World War I. He received the Medal of Freedom in 1981.  

 28 Maurice Halbwachs

Maurice Halbwachs
2
Famous As: Sociologist, Psychologist, Philosopher, Professor, Musicologist
Birthdate: March 11, 1877
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Reims
Died: March 16, 1945

 29 Emily Greene Balch

Emily Greene Balch.
1
Famous As: Social Activist
Birthdate: January 8, 1867
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston
Died: January 9, 1961

 30 W. I. Thomas

W. I. Thomas
2
Famous As: Sociologist, Writer
Birthdate: August 13, 1863
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Russell County
Died: December 5, 1947

 31 Ernst Troeltsch

Ernst Troeltsch
1
Famous As: Politician, Theologian, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: February 17, 1865
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Augsburg-Haunstetten
Died: February 1, 1923

Ernst Troeltsch was one of the first German theologians to insist that the Christian church should reconsider its version of absolute truth. The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches remains his best-known work. The son of a physician, he was skeptical of religious absolutism from the very beginning.

 32 Othmar Spann

Othmar Spann
1
Famous As: Economist, Philosopher, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: October 1, 1878
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: July 8, 1950

Austrian philosopher and sociologist Othmar Spann initially taught in Brünn and then fought during World War I. He later taught at the University of Vienna for almost 2 decades. His ideas were radically anti-liberal. A Nazi Party member, he believed in the superiority of a corporate state.

 33 Ahmed Cevdet Pasha

Ahmed Cevdet Pasha
1
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: March 22, 1822
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ottoman Empire
Died: May 25, 1895

 34 Jaime Luciano Balmes

Jaime Luciano Balmes
1
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: August 28, 1810
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vic, Spain
Died: July 9, 1848

Spanish philosopher Jaime Luciano Balmes is best known for iconic work Protestantism and Catholicism Compared in Their Effect on the Civilization of Europe, penned in defense of Catholicism. An expert in civil and canon law, he initially taught math and physics, and was criticized by Catholics for being too liberal.

 35 Friedrich Albert Lange

Friedrich Albert Lange
1
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: September 28, 1828
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Solingen, Germany
Died: November 23, 1875

 36 Pyotr Lavrov

Pyotr Lavrov
1
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 14, 1823
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pskov Governorate, Russia
Died: February 6, 1900

 37 Robert Staughton Lynd

Robert Staughton Lynd
8
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: September 26, 1892
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Albany, Indiana, United States
Died: November 1, 1970

 38 Nikolay Konstantinovich Mikhaylovsky

Nikolay Konstantinovich Mikhaylovsky
1
Famous As: Literary critic
Birthdate: November 27, 1842
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Meshchovsk, Russia
Died: February 10, 1904

 39 Albert Schäffle

Albert Schäffle
0
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: February 24, 1831
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Nürtingen, Germany
Died: December 25, 1903