Positivism Essay

2138 WordsMar 9, 20149 Pages
Knox community college Sociology 1 Nikita Khouri Positivism Positivism is a way of thinking developed by Auguste Comte and is based on the assumption that it is possible to observe social life and establish reliable, valid knowledge about how it works. This knowledge can then be used to affect the course of social change and improve the human condition. Positivism also argues that sociology should concern itself only with what can be observed with the senses and that theories of social life should be built in a rigid, linear, and methodical way on a base of verifiable fact. It has had relatively little influence on contemporary sociology, however, because it is argued that it encourages a misleading emphasis on superficial facts without any attention to underlying mechanisms that cannot be observed. Interpretivism Interpretivism refers to the approaches which are used to emphasize the meaningful nature of the people's participation in both social and cultural life. This approach or theory is distinctive in the sense that it rules out any methods of natural science. It was advocated for by Max Weber. Interactionists look on society on a small scale they do not want to generalize their ideas to the whole of society. They study how people behave in small scale situations. For example they would not look on what education has done for the whole society, but they would look on one class in a school and observe how the teachers and students treat each other then they would look at how it affects exam results. They look on how people behave different wit each other in schools, home and work. Quantitative data The word "quantitative" expresses data that is subject to measurements and numbers. Quantitative methods of research in sociology employ data that is objective and statistical. This type of research generates information with trends and correlations.
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