Polish philosopher Florian Znaniecky was first to define humanistic sociology in his works. This branch treats humans as a constituent of values. Humanist sociology aims at improving society enhancing changes which are beneficial to individuals. Unlike other sociologists, secular humanist sociologists make their contribution not referring to the politics but trough scientific research. According to these scholars, all humans can be positive in their relations to one another unless the negative impact of traditional institutions such as politics or economy influence them.
Sociology of humanism underlines the importance of research and activism – the two methods which can reorganize society and make it live according to humanist values. Psychologist Erich Fromm in his book The Sane Society suggests that individuals create unfavorable social and economic conditions themselves and become helpless before these forces. Secular humanists put science over anticipation or religion. They suppose that individuals should work for their own improvement and not expect it to come from the supernatural.
To accomplish social improvement, humanist sociology concentrates upon human needs. Psychologist Abraham Maslow created a hierarchy of such needs on the top of which stands self-actualization. Thus, a sane society shall strive to the universal self-actualization by means of activism. Humanists distrust traditional social institutions and tried to abolish or abandon them. Critical thinking and ethical values are opposed to the religion which is treated as redundant in the sociology of humanism. Except for abolishing the institute of Church, humanists promote legislation for LGBT groups, same-sex marriages, and animal rights.