The Theory isn’t dead: A Classical Sociological Gaze of Covid-19



Classical sociology, COVID-19, Disruption, Social order


One of the most basic but arduous questions confronting sociology scholars and students around the world today is, "Do we still need to talk about the classical sociological theorists?" However, the fundamental premise of classical sociologists has made pivotal their requirement in today’s world. The world faces the crisis of COVID-19, which has been responsible for many deaths, suffering and upending of lives. This paper contextualized some of the fundamental assumptions of selected classical sociological scholars, namely Comte, Spencer and Simmel, to examine the spread and implications of COVID-19 that has been characterized as a pandemic. The paper focuses on how their social scientific lens are useful in explaining the pandemic, threatening the traditional ways of life and institutions worldwide. The dominant stance is that COVID-19 disrupts the social order, which is a fundamental discourse in the writings of classical sociologists. The outbreak has caused human, economic, social crises, and thereby creating social instability. At the same time, individuals struggle for power and agency in the face of the “devastating” lockdown. The manifest social conflict reflects in the state measures during the COVID-19 with emerging social resistance. While there is a scramble for vaccines and cure, social solidarity and equity, another stance in the writings of the classical and contemporary sociologists could be an effective panacea to resolving the COVID-19 crisis and any future pandemic.


Download data is not yet available.



How to Cite

The Theory isn’t dead: A Classical Sociological Gaze of Covid-19. (2021). Tanzania Journal of Sociology, 7(1), 48-61.