Science in Sociology

In: Social Issues

Submitted By siraje
Words 1181
Pages 5
Assess the Extent to which sociology could be seen as a science (33 marks)

Science is characterised by five components. These are as follows. Empirical means we can count and measure information and testable is defined as experiments being able to be repeated and retested, therefore seen as more reliable. The theoretical means science seeks out causal relationships and doesn’t rely on descriptions but also to explain. Cumulative means it builds on previous knowledge and moves our understanding of the world forwards. Lastly, the objective details that personal feelings, prejudices etc have no place in science. It basically has to be unbiased. It is debated as to whether sociology fits into this definition, with strong divides in the for and against.
One argument presented as to why sociology is a science comes from Positivists. Positivists use quantitative data and methods such as questionnaires in order to distinguish any trends, patterns or correlations in an investigation. By adopting the methods of natural sciences they establish sociology as a real science. Comte argued that it should be based on the methodology of the natural sciences. This is the approach that positivists take however, there comes a difficulty with applying these measures to the subject. In science the aim is to achieve the same and correct answer each time the experiment is done, and this shows reliability and validity in whatever claims that are trying to be made. If an anomaly appears steps are taken to single out why this happened and then more often than not corrected. On the other hand, within the realms of sociology it would be extremely hard to work out a right or wrong answer. Also, the experiment cannot be redone as the variables cannot be controlled, whereas in a laboratory everything can be repeated as needed. Interpretivists contribute to these criticisms, highlighting that…...

Similar Documents

Sociology

... Introduction of Sociology SOC 111 Question: What is Sociology? Date of Submission: 7th Nov 2012 Mode of Submission: Coordinator Examiner: Mr.Olomi This paper proposes to show up, examine the concept of sociology and also to discuss the objective of sociology and its importance. The term Sociology as quoted by Geoffrey, et al, (1970 p.201) from the new dictionary of sociology state that, ‘sociology is the study of human social life, groups and societies’. It is amazing and compelling enterprise, having as its subject matter our own behavior as social being. The scope of sociology is very wide, ranging from the analysis of passing encounters between individual in the street up to the investigation of world-wide social processes. To support dictionary, sociology is the study of societies in a scientific way. Before the emergence of sociology, there was no systematic and scientific attempt to study human society with all its complexities. Sociology has made it possible to study society in a scientific manner. This scientific knowledge about human society is needed in order to achieve progress in various fields. Father more; Sociology is the study of the social lives of humans, groups and societies. It concerns itself with the social rules and processes that bind and separate people not only as individuals, but as members of associations, groups, and institutions Sociology is interested in......

Words: 989 - Pages: 4

Sociology

...Sociology is the scientific study of human society[1] and its origins, development, organizations, and institutions.[2] It is a social science which uses various methods of empirical investigation[3] and critical analysis[4] to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity, structures, and functions. A goal for many sociologists is to conduct research which may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, while others focus primarily on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter ranges from the micro level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure.[5] The traditional focuses of sociology include social stratification, social class, culture, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, social mobility, religion, secularization, law, and deviance. As all spheres of human activity are affected by the interplay between social structure and individual agency, sociology has gradually expanded its focus to further subjects, such as health, medical, military and penal institutions, the Internet, environmental sociology, political economy and the role of social activity in the development of scientific knowledge. The range of social scientific methods has also expanded. Social researchers draw upon a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques. The linguistic and cultural turns of the mid-twentieth century led to increasingly interpretative, hermeneutic, and philosophic......

Words: 270 - Pages: 2

Sociology

...Sociology: Nature and Scope Sociology Defined. — Definitions of sociology are many. While it would be hardly correct to say that there are as many as there are sociologists, it is safe to say that they are as numerous as the various points of view of the respective groups of sociologists. The term 'Sociology' was coined by Auguste Comte, a French philosopher in 1839. It is the youngest of all social sciences. Sociology is the outcome of man's search for a more valid, and precise knowledge about the nature of man and the society. The word 'Sociology' is derived from the Latin word 'Societus' meaning 'society and the Greek word 'logos' meaning 'study or science'. Thus, the etymological meaning of 'Sociology' is the 'science of society'. In other words, we can say Sociology is the study of man's behaviour in groups or of interaction among human beings of social relationships and the processes by which human group activity takes place. Definitions: To make the study more clear, it is wise on our part to discuss some of the definitions given by famous sociologists. Unfortunately, there is no short-cut definition of Sociology so far. It has been defined in a number of ways by different sociologists, but no single definition of Sociology has yet been accepted as completely satisfactory. Auguste Comte, the founding father of Sociology, defines Sociology "as the science of social phenomena subject to natural and invariable laws, the discovery of which is the object of......

Words: 2197 - Pages: 9

Sociology

...Assignment in Society and Culture 1. What is Social Science? Why do we have to study Social Science? * Social Science is the study of the characteristics, changes, causes and consequences of human behavior in groups. It provides an understanding of the structure and dynamics of social systems from small interactions to entire societies and world systems. * We study it to be able to evaluate the effects of gender, ethnic background, social class, religion, and community on an individual or group. Another is that the sociological perspective is crucial for success in today’s multicultural and multinational work environments. Thus, a background in social science is valuable preparation for careers in almost any modern organizational setting. 2. What are the disciplines of Social Science? * Social science is actually the commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to the academic disciplines concerned with society and the relationships among individuals within a society. These disciplines include anthropology, economics, political science, psychology and sociology and many more. 3. What is Anthropology? Why do we study Anthropology? * Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. Anthropologists look at cross-cultural differences in social institutions, cultural beliefs, and communication styles. They often seek to promote understanding between groups by "translating" each culture to the other, for instance by spelling out common,......

Words: 1250 - Pages: 5

Sociology

...produce unanticipated and harmful outcomes (Vaughan,1999). It is often an unintended consequence of the normal activities of actors within an organization” (Fox & Harding 2005) Sociology- scientific study of human behavior, social groups, and society. * As stated by the American Sociological Association, sociology is the study of social life and the social causes and the consequences of human behavior. The term social life encompasses all the interpersonal relationships, all groups or collections of person, and all types of social organizations. The “Causes and consequences of human behavior” encompass how these relationships, groups, and organizations are interrelated; how they influence personal and interpersonal behavior; how they affect and are affected by the larger society, how they change or why they remain static; and what the consequences are of these factors. This definition reflects the belief that people can be understood only in the context of their contacts, associations, and communications with other people. The very heart of sociology then its concern with the complexities and subtleties of human social life makes it a discipline that is highly relevant not only to professional sociologists, but also to people in virtually every line of work and at every level. * Thus sociology may consider a wide range of general questions such as the following; HOW DO GROUPS INFLUENCE INDIVIDUAL HUMAN BEHAVIOR? Social Imagination- quality of mind that allows......

Words: 2608 - Pages: 11

Sociology

...Sociology = the scientific study of society and human nature   I.  What are the two components of the sociological perspective (imagination) and why are both elements essential?              a.    b.      II. What is social location?   a.      III. What is the role of tradition vs. science in the origins of sociology and what is the scientific method?             a.               b.     IV. Who was credited as the founder of sociology?  What was he known for?               a.              b.   V. Who was known for Social Darwinism and what is it?             a.             b.      VI. How did Comte and Spencer differ?             a.      VII. Karl Marx believed that societal problems were a result of class conflict. What is class conflict? a. Class Conflict-                         i. bourgeoisie-                         ii. proletariat-   VIII. What did Max Weber believe and how did he and Marx differ?           a.   IX. Explain Emile Durkheim’s following contributions to sociology?           a. In reference to the discipline of sociology:                       b. Social facts or forces (patterns of behavior):               c. Social integration:     X.  What was the role of women in early sociology and who were the key women figures (and their contributions)?           a.             b.             c.   XI.  Explain racism in early sociology and the role of  W.E.B.Du Bois?           a.           b.       XII....

Words: 264 - Pages: 2

Sociology

...Sociology is and should be a science Karl Popper- If academic subjects want to be called a science they must undergo falsification. This means sociology would have to come up with a hypothesis; such as suicide is caused by insufficient integration and regulation. He rejects Marxism as a pseudo-science because its concepts are too abstract to be seen or measured (false class consciousness) Destructive method- Theory has loads of challenges to the hypothesis. Inductive method- Finds loads of evidence to prove self. Research process- If it should be a science it must adopt body of metholgical principles common in natural sciences: Empiricism- Must be able to prove or disprove theories with direct experience. Religion can never be proved so isn’t science. Objectivity- Conclusions should be based on available evidence and not opinions or beliefs of researcher. Controlled Experimentation- Systematic and controlled experiments where any other influence isn’t involved. Cumulative progression- Science is a march of progress, where new discoveries improve previous knowledge. Sociologists can adopt research methods that are faithful to the natural sciences, quantitative data used to reveal patterns of human behaviour, and then conclusions can be made which gives laws. Durkheim- believes sociology is the study of social acts that are external to the individuals, didn’t directly observe the social cause of suicide but did observe its effects. Not......

Words: 587 - Pages: 3

Sociology

...see things as they are; we see things as we are.” In my opinion, sociology is a perspective for understanding our behaviour as human beings due to the fact that our everyday life inspires sociological theories. Marx Weber (1897) exerts that, “sociology is a science which attempts the interpretive understanding of social action in order thereby to arrive at a causal explanation of its course and effects." Prior to careful analysis of various views sociologist hold on sociology as a scientific discipline I would have deemed sociology as a science. However, subsequent to immense reading open-mindedly, I beg to differ that sociology is a science. According to Hindes (2015), a science is “a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws.” A scientific study constitutes objectivity, observation, testability, accurate and reliable predictions and measurements as well as generalisation. With this being said, it is argued by many sociologist that sociology is a science since it harnesses scientific methods in its study of society. According to Auguste Comte and Durkheim, sociology is a science because it adopts and applies the scientific method”, as cited by Mondal (2015) in Sociology as a branch of science. Sociology as a science requires the study of the social phenomena of society with the possession of the characteristics of science. However, it is evident that much Sociological research......

Words: 459 - Pages: 2

Sociology

...What is Sociology? Sociology is defined as the scientific study of society and human behavior. Sociology is a part of social sciences. The study of sociology aims at analyzing the patterns of human behavior, deriving their causes and speculating the future of the behavioral patterns in society.  Importance of Sociology The various disciplines of sociology include the study of social interaction between people. The areas covered by sociology include the analysis of social contacts between members of a society as also the interactions between different people around the world. Sociology attempts to study how and why people are organized as a society. It analyzes the structure of society and studies the factors that contribute to the creation of social groups. Sociology includes the study of the behavioral patterns, interactions and relationships among the individuals of society. This field tries to examine the organizational structure of society and the influence it has on the social, political and religious ideas of the members. It encompasses the study of the organization of families and businesses. It attempts to analyze the creation and management of social groups as well as the factors, which lead to their breakdown. The disciplines of sociology are concerned with the effects of social behavior on the formation of social traits. It also includes the ethical and moral values of society.  Sociology is regarded as a branch of social sciences. It deals with the......

Words: 254 - Pages: 2

Sociology

...Republic of the Philippines Naval State University Naval, Biliran In In Assignment SOCIOLOGY Submitted By: OLIVER B. JAGUINES BSCpE – IIA Student Submitted To: Mrs. Ma. Joan Delda Instructor Auguste Comte (1798-1857) The legitimacy of sociology started when the term was coined by Auguste Comte, a French philosopher, and from that time on, sociologist have sought to be more scientific in their methods and more systematic in their observations. Comte’s significant contributions to advance sociology to the frontiers of human knowledge earned for him the title “Father of Sociology”. * His contribution to sociology can be divided into four categories. They are namely: (1) Classification and ordering of social sciences. (2) The nature, method and scope of sociology. (3) The law of three stages. (4) The plan for social reconstruction. (5) Positivism. * The law of human progress, states that each of our leading conceptions, each branch of knowledge, all human intellectual development, pass successively through three different theoretical conditions – the theological or fictitious, the metaphysical or abstract, and the scientific or positive. * Theological or Fictitious Stage: During the primitive stage, the early man believed that all phenomena of nature are the creation of the divine or supernatural. The primitive man and children do not have the scientific outlook; therefore it is characterized by unscientific outlook. They failed to......

Words: 1496 - Pages: 6

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

...Sociology cannot and should not be a science.’ To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view? (33marks) There are disagreements between sociologists as to whether sociology is considered to be a science. Some suggest that there is no way that sociology could be a science. For example, Popper believes that sociology is not a science, as inductive reasoning doesn’t create science. Therefore Popper he proposed that scientific research methods should be based on the principle of falsification, that is, instead of looking for evidence to prove a hypothesis right, scientists should look for evidence that proves it false. As sociology never makes claims that can be falsified, it’s not therefore a science. However, Popper has been criticized by Kaplan, who argues that many scientific discoveries are made by accident, which inspires luck to play a crucial role in scientific research. Moreover, many scientists make false starts or collect data that takes them up blind alleys before they get back on track. Also, Feyerabend argues that in reality there is no logic to science as individualist scientists follow their own rules, which often do not resemble textbook models. Thus, Poppers views on sociology not being a science are inaccurate, due to his understanding of what science is. Popper was only mainly concerned with the logic of science, whereas Kuhn argued that scientists work within conceptual paradigm that strongly influences the way in which......

Words: 790 - Pages: 4

Sociology

...Introduction to Sociology Nandy Nedd Essay Outline #1 Title: “Sociology is the systematic observation of social behavior”   Introduction: Sociology is the science of society. Body: * Science is defined as the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena, Sociology is a science because it uses the methodologies of observation, experiment, comparison and historical research to understand social behavior whereas Interpretive Sociology goes on assumptions about how we come to know about social phenomena. * Using the positivist approach which assumes that an objective reality exists “out there”, Sociologists study this reality without changing it any way, they strive to remain objective so that their own attitudes and beliefs do not influence their results whereas in the Interpretive approach, lived experience may be distorted by false consciousness and ideology * In A general View of Positivism, Comte (1798 – 1857) argues that “the primary object of positivism is to generalize our scientific conceptions and to systemize the art of social life,  According to him; true knowledge is based on experience of senses and can be obtained by observation and experiment, while it is for our heart to suggest our problems, it is for the intellect to solve them. * In his book “Rules of Sociological Method”, Durkheim writes –“The first and most fundamental rule is – consider social facts as things.” By...

Words: 366 - Pages: 2

Sociology as a Science

...Assess the view that Sociology can and should be seen as a Science In this essay it will assess the view that sociology can and should be seen as a science. It will provide you with examples throughout. Sociology is seen as science by some, this is because they believe it is very similar to the natural sciences, much like the natural sciences, hypothesis’ can be made and facts can be a result by collecting data or carrying out experiments. Sociology is really considered to be a social science like many other subjects. Sociologists in the 19th century believed that using the rules and logic of scientific methods could be used to test sociology the same way as it does in the natural sciences. Sciences are considered to be chemistry, biology, and physics; this is because these subjects all use explanations and reasons throughout the work. Before sociology is to be named worthy of being a science, the meaning of science is to find ways of understanding the world and explaining it. When studying in science scientific methods are used, the process starts with something being observed, and then a hypothesis is made to give a possible relationship between the events being studied and an experiment or research to prove or disprove the hypothesis is done and finally, an evaluation is made and a conclusion if proven correct, or a new hypothesis is created to test again. Many believe that sociology does this because it too also tries to explain and understand the social world.......

Words: 829 - Pages: 4

Sociology

...Sociology is the scientific study of society .[1] It is a social science (a term with which it is sometimes synonymous) which uses various methods of empirical investigation[2] and critical analysis[3] to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity. For many sociologists the goal is to conduct research which may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, while others focus primarily on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter ranges from the micro level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure.[4] The traditional focuses of sociology have included social stratification, social class, culture, social mobility, religion, secularisation, law, and deviance. As all spheres of human activity are affected by the interplay between social structure and individual agency, sociology has gradually expanded its focus to further subjects, such as health, medical, military and penal institutions, the Internet, and the role of social activity in the development of scientific knowledge. The range of social scientific methods has also expanded. Social researchers draw upon a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques. The linguistic and cultural turns of the mid-twentieth century led to increasingly interpretative, hermeneutic, and philosophic approaches to the analysis of society. Conversely, recent decades have seen the rise of new analytically, mathematically and computationally...

Words: 1748 - Pages: 7

The Sociology of Science

...The sociology of science: theoretical and empirical investigations By Robert King Merton The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 60637; 1973 The ethical decision-making process begins when an individual recognizes an ethical dilemma. Subsequently, the individual makes a judgment and forms behavioral intentions, which are thought to be predictive of actual behavior. This process is affected by individual, situational and issue-contingent factors. Our study examines the effect of four issue contingencies on marketers' ethical decision-making process. More than 300 marketing professionals took part in our study, responding to questions regarding two sales scenarios. We controlled for relevant individual and situational factors and tested hypotheses using hierarchical regression. Perceptions of a greater magnitude of consequences were positively related to issue recognition and judgments that the action was unethical in both scenarios and behavioral intentions in one scenario. Perceptions of a societal consensus were associated with issue recognition and judgments that the action was unethical in one scenario. Magnitude of consequences demonstrated the strongest relationship with the ethical decision-making process. Author ISSUE-RELATED FACTORS. Conceptual research by Thomas Jones in the 1990s and subsequent empirical studies suggest that ethical issues in business must have a certain level of "moral intensity" before they will trigger ethical decision-making processes....

Words: 433 - Pages: 2