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Is sociology a science?

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  • Essay length: 1132 words
  • Submitted: 11/07/2002
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AS and A Level Social Psychology

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Is sociology a science?

To answer the question of whether or not sociology is a science is entirely dependent upon the individual's definition of science. If the conventional definition of science is being referred to, that is, that science is knowledge ascertained by observation and experiment, critically tested, systematised and brought under general principles, then arguably to a certain extent sociology is scientific. However if science is socially instead of objectively defined, then although some sociology may have similar characteristics to natural science there is a significant difference in the method model used in each case.

Medawar claimed science should be defined in terms of its method, stating that if a particular logic and procedure was followed then the subject could be considered a science regardless the subject matter. This would thus allow certain branches of sociology to be defined as a science, mainly those that are of a positivist approach and utilise quantitative research.

Popper redefined and developed this view of science. He viewed science as being logical, useful and refutable. He believed scientific knowledge is built up using a continuing process of conjecture and disproval and there is no final truth but the most likely

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