Sociological Positivism And Social Constructionism

511 Words3 Pages
Sociological Positivism vs. Social Constructionism Social phenomena exist and deserve explanation. Sociological Positivism and Social Constructionism are two differing social theories that seek to explain the cause of social phenomena. Although these theories are often in direct discourse, they are both highly accepted and are used frequently. Sociological Positivism was first theorized my Auguste Comte. It is described by Structural Anthropologist Edmund Leach as follows: "Positivism is the view that serious scientific inquiry should not search for ultimate causes deriving from some outside source but must confine itself to the study of relations existing between facts which are directly accessible to observation."(Sic) Sociological Positivism (hereafter “Positivism”) is guided by the following principles. Firstly, the scientific method must be used. Secondly, the goal of inquiry is to explain and predict. Also, scientific knowledge is testable; research must me able to be empirically proved and be observable with human senses. Furthermore, science is unequal with “common sense”; “common sense” must not be used in research. Finally, research should be free of extraneous cause; it should be explicitly for the good of knowledge and must be judged by logic. Therefore research must produce results that meet the following conditionals: “For all conditions of X, if X has property P and P=Q, then X has property Q” and “Statements must be true for all times and places.” Positivists make certain assumptions about the world. They assume that nature is orderly and that there is an underlying cause or pattern. They assume that we can know nature and that knowledgeis always preferable to ignorance. Finally, they also assume that natural phenomena have natural causes and that all knowledge comes through human

More about Sociological Positivism And Social Constructionism

Open Document