Sociologists

Any person who is an expert in the study of social institutions in the society and the development of humans with social circles in communities may be referred to as a sociologist. Sociologists study human behavior, their origins, evolution and other factors like their development, interactions and their collective behavioral patterns in social groups. Thus, sociologists are engaged in the scientific analysis and the examination of any social institution and its relationship and effects on the various facets of the human society. They study the reasons for behavioral change in humans over a period of time and determine the various factors that cause can in behavior. Sociology originated in the 18th and the 19th century, during the period when Western Europe was going through a host of economical, technical changes and social changes that a great impact on the social order. Sociologist may be specialized in fields like social problems, social psychology, social statistics, industrial sociology, sociology of work, sociology of occupations and professions and other files. Some other areas of specializations include race, gender, sex, cultural diversity, labor and industrial relations, personnel management and business relations. Discover some of the world’s most famous sociologists with the help of their biographies that include trivia, interesting facts, timeline and life history.
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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 Max Weber

Max Weber.
6
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: April 21, 1864
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Erfurt, Germany
Died: June 14, 1920

Max Weber was a German historian, political economist, jurist, and sociologist. Widely regarded as one of the most influential and important theorists, Weber's ideas had a profound influence on social research and social theory. Although he did not see himself as a sociologist, Weber is often counted among the fathers of sociology alongside Émile Durkheim, Auguste Comte, and Karl Marx.

 4 Jürgen Habermas

Jürgen Habermas.
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 18, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

German philosopher and sociologist Jürgen Habermas is counted among the most influential philosophers across the world and is identified with the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. He influenced many disciplines through his work which addresses communicative rationality and the public sphere, and includes topics starting from social-political theory to aesthetics, language to philosophy of religion, and epistemology.

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 5 Pierre Bourdieu

Pierre Bourdieu.
4
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: August 1, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Denguin, France
Died: January 23, 2002

 6 Jean Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard
4
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: July 27, 1929
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Reims, France
Died: March 6, 2007
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 7 Talcott Parsons

Talcott Parsons.
4
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: December 13, 1902
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Died: May 8, 1979
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 8 Robert K. Merton

Robert K. Merton.
4
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: July 4, 1910
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: February 23, 2003
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 9 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.

 10 Bruno Latour

Bruno Latour
6
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 22, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Beaune, France

Holberg Prize-winning French sociologist and anthropologist Bruno Latour had initially studied theology and even received his PhD in the subject. His later research Ivory Coast drew him to anthropology, and he soon gained fame as a renowned academic in the field, having co-written iconic books such as Laboratory Life.

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 11 George Herbert Mead

George Herbert Mead.
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 27, 1863
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: South Hadley, Massachusetts, United States
Died: April 26, 1931

American philosopher and social psychologist George Herbert Mead was one of the pioneers of pragmatism and symbolic interactionism. He taught at the University of Chicago, and his ideas later came to be known as the Chicago school of sociology. His notable lectures were published as books only after his death.

 12 Georg Simmel

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

 13 Anthony Giddens

Anthony Giddens
4
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: January 18, 1938
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Edmonton, London, England

 14 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.

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 15 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.

 16 Theodor W. Adorno

Theodor W. Adorno.
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: September 11, 1903
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
Died: August 6, 1969

One of the most prominent intellectuals of the 20th century, Theodor Adorno was a pioneer of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory and despised the culture industry. Born to a singer mother, the German sociologist grew up amid music and could even play Beethoven on the piano by 12.

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 17 Erich Fromm

Erich Fromm.
6
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: March 23, 1900
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
Died: March 18, 1980

Erich Fromm was a German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, and socialist. A German Jew, he fled the Nazi regime and settled in the United States. He was a co-founder of  The William Alanson White Institute and was associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory. He is best remembered for authoring the book Escape from Freedom.

 18 Erving Goffman

Erving Goffman
4
Famous As: Sociologist, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: June 11, 1922
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Canada
Died: November 20, 1982

Canadian-American sociologist, social-psychologist and writer Erving Goffman, regarded as the most influential American sociologist of the 20th century by some, is best-known for his study of symbolic interaction and development of his dramaturgical analysis. His book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life was the first that treated face-to-face interaction as a subject of sociological study.

 19 Herbert Marcuse

Herbert Marcuse.
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 19, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: July 29, 1979

The proponent of the Frankfurt School of critical theory, Herbert Marcuse largely influenced the leftist student revolts of the 1960s. Equipped with a PhD in German literature, he wrote Hegel’s Ontology and the Theory of Historicity, with Martin Heidegger. His Eros and Civilization spoke at length about capitalism.

 20 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. 

 21 Aleksandr Dugin

Aleksandr Dugin
4
Famous As: Analyst
Birthdate: January 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

One of the prime organizers of the National Bolshevik Party, Russian politologist Aleksandr Dugin is known for his association with fascism. He supports the creation of a Eurasian empire, which will oppose North Atlantic interests. He has also penned books such as The Fourth Political Theory and Foundations of Geopolitics.

 22 Herbert Simon

Herbert Simon.
6
Famous As: Economist, Political scientist, sociologist, psychologist, and professor
Birthdate: June 15, 1916
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milwaukee
Died: February 9, 2001

 23 Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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

 24 C. Wright Mills

C. Wright Mills
4
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: August 28, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Waco
Died: March 20, 1962

 25 Marcel Mauss

Marcel Mauss
3
Famous As: Sociologist, Anthropologist
Birthdate: May 10, 1872
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Épinal, Vosges, France
Died: February 10, 1950

 26 Stanley Milgram

Stanley Milgram
6
Famous As: Psychologist, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: August 15, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 20, 1984

Social psychologist Stanley Milgram was inspired by the suffering of the Jews during the Holocaust to understand what drove people to harm others, and thus created his Milgram experiment. He also taught at prestigious institutes such as Harvard and Yale. His studies also included the six degrees of separation concept.

 27 Paul Ekman

Paul Ekman
4
Famous As: Psychologist, Anthropologist, Sociologist, Non-fiction writer, University teacher
Birthdate: February 15, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.

 28 Ulrike Meinhof

Ulrike Meinhof
6
Famous As: Journalist, Writer, Sociologist
Birthdate: October 7, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oldenburg
Died: May 9, 1976

 29 Stuart Hall

Stuart Hall
6
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: February 3, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: February 10, 2014

 30 Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Daniel Patrick Moynihan
9
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 16, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
Died: March 26, 2003

 31 Shelby Steele

Shelby Steele
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: January 1, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

 32 Zygmunt Bauman

Zygmunt Bauman
6
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: November 19, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Poznań, Poland
Died: January 9, 2017

 33 Charles Fourier

Charles Fourier
4
Famous As: Economist, Sociologist, Philosopher
Birthdate: April 7, 1772
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Besançon
Died: October 10, 1837

French social theorist Charles Fourier is regarded as one of the pioneers of utopian socialism. Apart from advocating social reconstruction based on phalanges, or Fourierism, he is also credited with coining the term feminism with respect to women’s rights. The Social Destiny of Man remains one of his notable works.

 34 Patricia Hill Collins

Patricia Hill Collins
3
Famous As: Philosopher, Sociologist, University teacher, American Sociological Association Distinguished Scholarly Book Award
Birthdate: May 1, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia

 35 Clifford Geertz

Clifford Geertz
3
Famous As: Anthropologist, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: August 23, 1926
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Francisco
Died: October 30, 2006

Clifford Geertz was an anthropologist who strongly supported and influenced the practice of symbolic anthropology. He attended Harvard University, where he completed an interdisciplinary program. He then embarked on an academic career and wrote several theoretical pieces and essays on symbolic anthropology. He has left a strong influence on modern anthropology and communication studies. 

 36 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

 37 Fredric Jameson

Fredric Jameson
3
Famous As: Essayist, Political scientist, Writer, Professor, Literary critic, Sociologist, Journalist
Birthdate: April 14, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cleveland

 38 Henri Lefebvre

Henri Lefebvre
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 16, 1901
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hagetmau, France
Died: June 29, 1991

 39 Jacques Ellul

Jacques Ellul
3
Famous As: Theologian, Philosopher, Writer, Sociologist, University teacher
Birthdate: January 6, 1912
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bordeaux
Died: May 19, 1994

 40 Immanuel Wallerstein

Immanuel Wallerstein
3
Famous As: Economist, Geopolitician, Economic historian, Historian, Political scientist, Writer, Sociologist, University teacher
Birthdate: September 28, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City

Sociologist, author, and economic historian Immanuel Wallerstein is best remembered for his iconic work The Modern World System, which was the first volume of his world-system theory. He was a Yale researcher and had first been driven to understand world history when he read up about the anticolonial movement in India.

 41 Michel Aflaq

Michel Aflaq
5
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: January 9, 1909
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ḥamāh, Syria
Died: June 23, 1989

 42 Gregory Bateson

Gregory Bateson
3
Famous As: Anthropologist, Philosopher, Sociologist, Psychologist
Birthdate: May 9, 1904
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Grantchester
Died: June 11, 1980

Gregory Bateson was an English anthropologist, social scientist, linguist, and visual anthropologist. Along with his colleagues, he developed the double-bind theory of schizophrenia. Also a cyberneticist, he was part of the core group of the Macy Conferences in Cybernetics. He was a member of philosopher William Irwin Thompson's esoteric nonprofit foundation Lindisfarne Association.  

 43 Ferdinand Tönnies

Ferdinand Tönnies
3
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: July 26, 1855
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oldenswort, Germany
Died: April 9, 1936

 44 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.

 45 Daniel Bell

Daniel Bell
3
Famous As: Sociologist, Writer, University teacher, Journalist
Birthdate: May 10, 1919
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: January 25, 2011

 46 Jeremy Rifkin

Jeremy Rifkin
3
Famous As: Economist, Sociologist, Writer, Prospectivist, University teacher
Birthdate: January 26, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Denver

 47 Alva Belmont

Alva Belmont
3
Famous As: socialite
Birthdate: January 17, 1853
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama, United States
Died: January 26, 1933

 48 Robert E. Park

Robert E. Park
2
Famous As: sociologist, criminologist, writer, university teacher
Birthdate: February 14, 1864
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Harveyville
Died: February 7, 1944

 49 William Julius Wilson

William Julius Wilson
2
Famous As: Sociologist, University teacher, Professor, Writer
Birthdate: December 20, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pennsylvania

 50 Lewis Hine

Lewis Hine
3
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: September 26, 1874
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States
Died: November 3, 1940
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