The sociological theory upholds that, people are not instinctively good or bad, happy or depressed, and intelligent or ignorant, but are rather shaped into their own individuality over time by the interactions, connections and relations that one endures along with the situations and circumstances which are undergone throughout a lifetime. First off what is sociology? Well it is the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society, or to put it more simply it is the scientific study of social structure. With that is where the understanding of the sociological perspective comes into play. There are two major aspects in regards to the sociological perspective, the first being interaction between social structure and an individual and the idea of two levels of analysis.
Sociology differs from social psychology because sociology specifically looks at the different social behaviors and the surrounding influences at more of a broader view. Sociologists look at and their interests are with the institution and also the different cultures that influence how people behave. Psychologists or researchers use many different scientific methods to conduct their research in social psychology. Some examples of these methods are; descriptive research- shows what may already exist within a group.
Sociology and Anthropology Both sociologists and cultural anthropologists use similar research methods to support their scientific theories. Some examples of their research methods include historical research data, experiments, observation, surveys, interviews and comparative data. Sociologists study human societies and their social interactions in order to gain understanding of social situations and behaviors and to predict what will occur in the future (Tischler, 2007, Chapter 1). Cultural anthropologists research the inner workings and relationships among people within a society to better understand how and why people deal with challenges and live the way they do (Haviland, Prins, Walrath, & McBride, 2008). Sociological Research Methods Sociologists search to find repeating patterns within a society in order to better understand social phenomena, situations and social relations (Tischler, 2007, Chapter 1).
It was a term coined by one of the founding fathers of classical sociology Comte and it involves: “Knowledge that is disciplined, empirical and scientific free from religious or political bias.” On the other hand as society and the early science of sociology evolved a different approach was seen by many to be the way forward. This anti-positivist thinking or interpretist approach believes that society cannot be studied as a science; this methodological anti-positivism proposed the theory of the human in society as an individual and thus research be directed to human cultural norms, values and symbols. The interpretist will take a more subjective approach were as the positivist tries to look at society objectively. Let us now look to compare and contrast positivism with an interpretist approach. Positivists are of the opinion that society can be studied using a scientific approach comparable to the way scientists study the natural world.
Positivism is a huge part of sociology. There is an abundance of controversy between whether sociology should be studied using that or Interpretivism. Positivism, adapted by Marx and Engels, allows sociologists to make laws about human behavior just like how scientists make laws of the natural world (Gordon). Sociology should use positivism because sociology uses empirical research methods, behaviors can be objectively studied and values can be removed from the equation, and also because sociology mainly consists of discovering social facts. Positivists tend to use empirical research methods such as experiments and questionnaires to study sociology (Andrews).
This science has allowed for collected data and theories to be tested and proven on the effects of exterior motives that implement individual behavior. Define social psychology Social psychology concentrates on individual behavior in a social context. Baron, Byrne & Suls (1989) define social psychology as “the scientific field that seeks to understand the nature and causes of individual behavior in social situations”. (p. 6). Social psychologist observe human behavior and significance of influence by outside sources such as people, society, environment, and culture.
The interactionist perspective focuses on the idea of understanding society. Sociologists study the different ways people use to interact and study the society as a whole afterwards. This perspective is mainly supported by macrosociology although some later sociologists have preferred using the micro level of social behavior. Interactionists believe in the importance of interactionism within this approach. They classify the symbolic interactions of people into non-verbal communication.
There is increasing interest in something called "phenomenological sociology." If this interest is to be sustained, indeed if this sub-discipline is to contribute to our knowledge of the social world, we must become clear on what phenomenological sociology is and can become. At present serious problems exist in the writings of many sociologists who have contributed to, and implicitly defined, this approach to sociology. In general, they display only a metaphorical understanding of phenomenology as a philosophy and as a set of methods. In addition, and partly as a result, they fail to understand the relationship between sociology and phenomenology.
What arguments would a sociologist use to counter the idea that “Biology is destiny”? The idea that “biology is destiny” is an intrinsic element of what is known as the genetic self, the nature part of the nature or nurture debate. A sociologist will use points with grounds in social influences on the self to argue that rather than biology, there are other elements such as socialization that affect how we behave and are “destined” to be. This paper demonstrates the ideas and research of several sociologists to counter the ‘destiny of biology’ as it were, to show that development and behaviour are not pre-determined by genetics but instead by other, social-related factors, and goes on to level the argument with the notion that perhaps both are mutually influential on one another in the outcome of the self. Determinism is the philosophical doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will.
Sociological views are based on rigorous research and therefore evidence based. This can either be based on large scale quantitative research or in-depth qualitative research. Sociology knowledge is, therefore, the product of theory development and testing. 2. Common sense views tend to reflect social traditions and conventions and therefore tend to reinforce the status quo and resist social change.