He was born in Derby, England on 27 April 1820 He died from a long illness on December 8, 1903.
Herbert Spencer studied and created two groups to categorize societies that sociologists today use: Militant- a society that is structured around relationships of hierarchy and obedience. It is simple and undifferentiated. Industrial- a society based on voluntary contractually assumed obligations. It is complicated and differntiated.
Spencer began his observations after reading Auguste Comte’s (the father of sociology) work. He based his theories off of the basic principles that Comte set: Positivism-beliefs are analytic and proven by science. Law of 3 stages: Theological/fictitious Metaphysical/Abstract Positive/scientific
Spencer is well known for his “survival of the fittest” theory. Which states that only the most intelligent and physically fit will survive in the competition of life and the weak will not . He is credited for helping to develop functionalist perspective (which basically means that each aspect of society is interdependent and contributes to society's stability and functioning as a whole. For example, the government provides education for the children of the family, which in turn pays taxes on which the state depends to keep itself running.)
He wrote many books explaining his observations of the functionalist perspective: Which talks about how each part of society contributes to the society as a whole. Some of his books were: Social Statics: The Conditions Essential to Human Happiness (1850) The Principal of Sociology (1876-1896)