Durkheim, Marx, and the German theorist Max Weber (1864–1920) are typically cited as the three principal architects of sociology.  Herbert Spencer , William Graham Sumner , Lester F. Ward , W. E. B. Du Bois , Vilfredo Pareto , Alexis de Tocqueville , Werner Sombart , Thorstein Veblen , Ferdinand Tönnies , Georg Simmel and Karl Mannheim are often included on academic curricula as founding theorists. Curricula also may include Charlotte Perkins Gilman , Marianne Weber and Friedrich Engels as founders of the feminist tradition in sociology. Each key figure is associated with a particular theoretical perspective and orientation.