Positivists are of the opinion that society can be studied using a scientific approach comparable to the way scientists study the natural world. The early sociologists such as Comte were of this opinion and Durkheim’s famous study ‘Le Suicide’ demonstrated many aspect of this positivist approach. On the other hand an interpretist will take a more humanist approach and are of the opinion that is in fact the individuals free will that shapes societythis social action is in stark contrast to the social systems approach. This is a viewpoint whereby the individual
They should be detached observers, suspicious of common sense and able to reject with evidence. Evidence and hypothesis is the key to positivism. They believe that scientific knowledge is the only valid form of knowledge; science makes anything open for debate (Gilbert 117). This is why the positivism “should” be used. Although the scientific method can be assessed in sociological research, the interpretivistic approach in sociology contradicts their beliefs.
Is it possible for Sociology to be a science? What predictions can sociologists make about how people behave, and to what extent are these tested through blind studies? Are there any models in sociology, that make it possible to make predictions like the other sciences? Jake Gordon (2002) said in an internet article, “Sociologists study society as a 'social science' however, the status of sociology as a science is easily questionable when compared to how acknowledged scientists study the natural world.” Science, as defined by Giddens (2001), is “the use of systematic methods of investigation, theoretical thinking and the logical assessment of arguments, to develop a body of knowledge about a particular subject matter.” A key element of what constitutes a science is the ability to provide rational, plausible explanations. Sociology observes one of the most subjective factors we can think of, that is, human action and makes predictions, from which persons are able to generate explanations for human social behaviour.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST:- Humanist and Radical view. Claim: There is a fundamental distinction between the natural and social sciences. The latter cannot, nor should they, aspire to value-free explanation: 1. Social science meaningfully interprets: regular patterns between events tell us nothing unless we can show that they have a meaning fir the social actors. The aim of Sociology is to reveal the meanings which actors attach to their actions.
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.
Theories in Natural science are constructed to explain, predict, and master phenomena. They must be empirically testable or lead to retro dictions that are testable. This is extensively know as the scientific method. The scientific method is one reason is that we put our confidence in scientists. To yield and to develop their theories and conclusions.
“Sociology is not, cannot be and should not be a science”. To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support his view? There has been a constant debate that sociology is or is not a science. Positivists believe that sociology should be studied in an objective and no bias way gathering quantitative data. On the other hand, interpretivists study sociology by putting themselves in the shoes of whom they are studying as this created verstehern.
Thus, according to Weber History and Sociology are interdependent. Max Weber’s effort to understand the internal characteristics of social groups and his corresponding attempts to understand these groups as they understood themselves add nothing to sociology as an objective science because Weber reckoned that human actions are not dependent on the regularities that control the world of nature. Weber’s contend was that verstehen was the best way of understanding social phenomenon. This method tries to understand the meaning of human beings attribute to their experiences, actions and interactions (Weber 98). Thus, it is a rigorous and systematic form of inquiry that is essential in micro and macro sociological analysis.
Science as defined above is sometimes called pure science to differentiate it from applied science, which is the application of research to human needs. Fields of science therefore are commonly classified along two major lines: - Natural science, the study of natural world and social sciences, the systematic study of human behaviour and society. According to Giddens (2006:4), “sociology is the systematic study of human social life, groups and societies.” It is a dazzling and compelling enterprise as its subject matter is our own behaviour as social beings. Sociology deals with the ways that social structure and culture are related. Social structure is defined by a variety of ideas.
princes town west secondary school | Sociology | Is sociology a Science? | | Kerdyja Narcis | 10/1/2012 | | Kerdyja Narcis Form 6 L Sociology Sociology cannot be a science because its subjective matter is too varied , abstract and difficult to measure Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Support your response by referring to the characteristics of the discipline of sociology as well as the nature of social behaviour. In response to the question stated above, I disagree with it. In order to, successfully debate the point, we must first define the key concepts.