‘Sociology Should Not and Could Not Be Considered a Science.’ to What Extent Do Sociological Arguments and Evidence Support This View? (33 Marks)

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‘Sociology should not and could not be considered a science.’ To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view? (33 marks) The sociology and science debate relates to how sociologists should study society. Sociology cannot and should not be considered a science according to interpretivists such as Weber and Popper. They believe this as science is defined as objective, testable, theoretical, cumulative and empirical – of which interpretivists argue sociology is not. However, positivists, such as Comte and Durkheim believe sociology can and should be considered a science. According to positivists sociology should be considered a science. Comte is one such positivist that argued science and sociology were similar due to the fact they both wanted to look at cause and effect. Positivists, such as Comte, believe it’s possible to apply methods of natural sciences when studying society and by doing so we are able to gain true and objective knowledge. Positivists believe that just like nature, society is an objective reality made up of social facts, therefore is able to be observed and treated objectively. Also, as positivts believe society is not random but instead has a form of structure, this allows them to observe society empirically. Durkheim stated that sociology should be considered a science as it followed the scientific method. The scientific method being; a method of procedure that has characterized natural science consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses. Durkheim argues laws are discoverable and will explain patterns therefore sociologists can discover laws that determine how society works; this is called induction or inductive reasoning. However, it can be disagreed that society is

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