In terms of theory, a theory is good if in principle it can be falsified but withstands any attempts to do so, and explains a lot of what it was made to prove.
The second is open systems: Scientific methods are not necessarily applicable to most areas of sociological study, and direct casual explanations cannot be made where individual people are involved, especially for things such as suicide where things are too personal to conduct a valid study.
Weber saw the increasing shift from traditional beliefs to those of science and this development of science, modern technology and bureaucracy was described by Weber collectively as, rationalization.
Again, not everyone accepts this view, producing three major challenges to it. Quite often some of the human behaviour is unique and unrepeatable. Human behaviour does not follow recurrent patterns like physical objects. However, interpretivists would challenge this view as they do not believe that the methods of the natural sciences can be applied to sociology as the studies of people is different; the natural sciences deal with matters that have no consciousness, therefore its behavior and any effects on it is an automatic reaction to external forces.
But then it is argued that science itself is not just one paradigm over time, there are scientific revolutions and so sociology could be a science if it can form one overarching paradigm.
Secondly, Thomas Kuhn argues that sociology cannot be a science either because science is defined by having paradigms that all scientists work under, sociology has so many conflicting theories there can be no one paradigm and therefore it cannot be a science.
For instance he did not define exactly what both of them were and so technically all deaths and suicides could be fitting into one or more category, having such blurred lines means we cannot prove the theory wrong because if we decide a suicide does not fit into regulation it could be argued to fit into regulation and cannot not fit into these.
Finally there is; Realism and Science. He thought that the ultimate social structure was communism, which was classless, and was achieved via a proletarian revolution.
In sociology we notice this kind of tendency. Therefore sociology can be a science because it holds some of the control systems that science does also.
As sociology can sometimes not be proved wrong we can assume that the studies are not objective. However it is just one version of the truth and it brings about very bad things; for instance we are now in a scientific risk society, we are aware of greater risks to our health from pollution and nuclear war because of science than we were before.
He places fundamental importance on the production of goods and the stratification of the population that results from the mode of production in all historical human societies: Essentially sociology should not be a science because it will monopolise society through its influence.
All scientists work under this and research is funded if it best fits the paradigm, sociology does not have one. But it is argued that the universally accepted scientific method of observation and experiment cannot be applied in the study of society.
Auguste Comte can be seen as a key founder of the subject due to his coinage of the term, sociology. Overall, whether sociology is a science or not can be argued either way, but it would appear that there is more sociological evidence to suggest that sociology cannot and should not be a science.
Science by being objective from the paradigm that this is the best thing, restricts the information it can collect. During the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, there was a broad spectrum of social and economic transformations.
Psychological research has proved that the manner in which we perceive the knowledge of physical and social phenomena is the same. In conclusion it could be argued that the main point of clash in whether sociology can and should be a science is what exactly the phenomena that sociology is studying is.
He believes that it depends on the internal meanings that would lead to the eventual result of a person committing suicide because it is something that can never be found out as it is impossible to define an exact reason why a person would choose to end their life.
However the three employed very different approaches in their study of the social world. The first is closed systems: The practice of Sociology is involves the ability to think imaginatively and to detach oneself from any preconceived ideas about social life. The second is Thomas Kuhn and Scientific Paradigms.
Therefore sociology can be a science because the unobservable meanings and motivations can be studied in a scientific way, however in exactly what way maths, testing, physics etc is undecided. Problems like degrading environment and getting MRSA or other super drug resistant bugs in us were not concerns years ago, the risks created in society are greater now because of science.
For instance positivists favour structured methods and in this way can control for word differentiation on answers, different questions meaning different things to different people and can be quantified. For instance positivists favour structured methods and in this way can control for word differentiation on answers, different questions meaning different things to different people and can be quantified.Sociology as a Science Essay - Sociology emerged in the eighteenth century after a period of intense cultural, social and economic changes.
As people began to try to understand these changes, there came a period called the Enlightenment. Sociology cannot and should not be a science”.
To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view?
To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view? This statement, stating that sociology is not a science, is debated throughout sociology by two theoretical positions; positivism and interpretivism.
Positivists think sociology should be a science because essentially their whole method aims to be scientific, whilst interpretivists believe sociology should not be a science because society cannot be studied like one, the subject matters are fundamentally different. Sociology is the attempt to understand how society works.
It studies the relationship between people, how those relationships form part of broader sets of relationships between social groupings, and how such groupings and institutions are.
· Science is displaced by rational scientific explanations based on empirical evidence derived from observation and experimentation, logical thought and reasoning. · Positivist and interpretivism are the two main theoretical arguments with regard to this issue.
“The study of sociology cannot and should not be seen as scientific” To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view?
(33 marks) The debate about whether sociology can be represented as a science has existed for many years.Download