An English scholar, Herbert Spencer, known as one of the most brilliant intellects of modern times, contributed a great deal to the establishment of sociology as a systematic discipline. His three volumes of "Principles of Sociology", published in 1877 were the first systematic study devoted mainly to the sociological analysis. He was much more precise than Comte in specifying the topics or special fields of sociology.
According to Spencer. the fields of sociology are: the family, politics, religion, social control and industry or work. He also mentioned the sociological study of associations, communities, the division of labour, social differentiation, and stratification, the sociology of knowledge and of science, and the study of arts and aesthetics.
Spencer stressed the obligation of society to deal with the inter-relations between the different elements of society, to give an account of how the parts influence the whole and are in turn reacted upon. He insisted that sociology should take the whole society as its unit for analysis. He mentioned that the parts of society were not arranged unsystematically. The parts bore some constant relation and this made society as such a meaningful 'entity', a fit subject for scientific inquiry.
Spencer's another contribution is his famous organic analogy, in which society is compared with human organism. Spencer was influenced by the theory of organic evolution of his contemporary, Charles Darwin, Even L. F. Ward, Sumner and Giggings were highly influenced by the organismic theory of society advocated by Spencer.