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Assess the view that sociology can and should be seen as a science

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Introduction

Assess the view that sociology can and should be seen as a science. Now sociology is know as a social science, along with subjects like politics and economics. The subjects which are known as sciences are, subjects like chemistry and biology, which involves explanations and reason. Positivists use quantitative data and methods such as questionnaires in order to gain trends, patterns and correlation. Science is about getting the right answers every time the experiment is done. In science if you get the wrong answer then you have done the experiment wrong, or you have the right answer but it will be dismissed as scientists have proven the correct answer is different to yours. ...read more.

Middle

The deductive approach is the opposite where the theory is made up first and then data is used to test that theory. Falsification is the process where scientists do their best to disprove theories. But he also says that in some cases they might try to disprove them rather than prove them. Realists argue that events in both the social and natural worlds are produced by underlying structures and mechanisms. Sayer (1992) found out open and closed systems, were in open systems like society all variables cannot be controlled and in closed systems the variables can be controlled. Sayer also says that human behaviour operates within structures. ...read more.

Conclusion

Human behaviour cannot be predicted like the behaviour of chemicals. EG Everybody faced with the same circumstances are going to do the same thing. Giddens (1974) mainly agrees with this but mainly the fact that humans have there own thoughts and feelings unlike chemicals which will always do the same thing. He says sociology is not a science as people are reflexive human beings. The Postmodernist approach refers to a belief that we have moved into a period in which the dominance of rational, scientific thought and the significance of experts is being challenged. Lyotard (1984) say that all knowledge is relative and that absolute truth is not attainable. Also that science and sociology are simply metanarritives and the only basis on which to choose between them is a personal preference. ...read more.

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