Is Sociology a Science or Common Sense

1972 Words8 Pages
The objective of this essay is to consider the relationship between sociology, science and common sense, before unpacking the phenomenon surrounding these three schools of thought. It will begin by defining the three concepts and use empirical as well as theoretical evidence to illuminate their relationship as argued by Parker (2003) and Wright-Mills (1970). Although this essay will be based mainly on the arguments of the two above mentioned sociologists, it will also look at a few arguments by other well-known sociologists. Sociology, science and common sense share the same focus of concern, pertaining to people’s life experiences and understanding of their surroundings. Giddens (2009 p.6) defined sociology as ‘‘the scientific study of human life, social groups, whole societies and the human world as such’’. He argued further about sociology by suggesting that, ‘‘it is a dazzling and compelling enterprise, as its subject matter is our own behaviour as social beings’’. Hence, it is opined that sociology is an academic tool that broadly looks at human organisms’ lives in order to explain why they act the way they do. Black (1979 p.18) defines common sense as ‘‘the style of discourse by which people understand reality in everyday life”. Sociology is in one way or another related to science and common sense but it is also in many ways distinct from the two. Early sociologists like Comte Durkheim tried to link sociology with the natural sciences as they argued that human beings and social activity could be studied rationally and objectively producing anticipated results. However this is only true to a certain extent, because as we know people are not atoms or identical particles, their existence consists of feelings and attitudes and their social realm is shaped and created through meaning and interpretation. Sociology is not a science but it isscientific. The
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