Sociological theories have been developed and introduced as far as a few hundred years ago to address this issue and to better understand the reasons behind people’s behavior. Sociologists use these classical theories to reason and analyze how social action, social processes, and social structures work in different ways
According to Durkheim, social facts are things that influence people’s behavior and these things can include jobs, money, education or marital status
(http://www.cf.ac.uk/socsi/undergraduate/introsoc/durkwrk.html, 1977). These are things external to an individual but yet are considered as powerful determinants to the patterns of behavior that are evident in individuals. Thus, an individual will feel the constraints with or without these factors, if these become embedded in the consciousness of an individual because of its ability to direct an individual’s desires.
Having established that society influences an individual’s interests and directs an individual’s desires, Durkheim went on to study the characteristics of two different religious groups and the behavior of its respective followers. In this study, Durkheim found that social integration, or the lack of, of a group, affects the behavior of individuals, whether good or bad. This social integration includes specific social attachments among individuals as well as the degree to which they share common sentiments and beliefs (Classical Stage European Sources of Sociological Theory, 2008). Durkheim believes that strengthening the adherence to a moral code would be suitable in securing social integration within the society. He also highlighted the importance of the division of labor in creating harmony between people.
Max Weber, another classical sociology theorist, formulated the characteristics of bureaucracy. He believes that rationalization is an ideal form of bureaucracy, whereas traditional forms are irrational. The traditional forms may use social factors, like religion, to explain the social world and that authority may also be derived from these. .