• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


Assess the view that sociology can and should be seen as a science (33) Sociology is seen by some as a science, where facts can be obtained by collecting date etc. Sociology is actually referred to as a social science, along with other subjects like politics and economics. Sociologists in the 19th century believed that by using the rules and logic of the 'scientific method' it could be applied to sociology the same way as it is applied in the natural sciences. The subjects that are known as sciences are, subjects like chemistry and biology, which involves explanations and reasons. However, before anyone can begin to consider if sociology can be described as a science, it has to be made clear what is meant by a science. The general explanation of science is, a way of understanding and explaining the world. When studying something in science, a scientific method is used. ...read more.


Also, more people look into science now instead because religion has lost its significance. However sociologists can contradict this argument with rationalisation. As explained above, people want proof within their belief system, but science cannot explain miracles. Some scientists disagree that science should be given a special status and all other forms of knowledge disregarded. Gould (1999) proposes that science and religion are two separate realms. Science provides certain knowledge about the world, whereas moral guidance is the responsibility of religion. This is a relativist view, which sees science as just one of many beliefs, all of which are equally valid. They agree to a certain extent that sociology is and should be seen as a science. Realists claim that positivists and popper have failed to define science accurately. They believe that science can have a lack of precision, for example, doctors cannot predict with a certainty who will become ill, and sociology has similar problems. ...read more.


It follows that if we want to understand peoples' actions we have first to understand them in the way that the participants do. Some sociologists believe that science has no more claims on the truth than any other belief system. Scientists are human beings at the end of the day, and no human being can be 100% correct. Also, all scientists will be subjective in their research, even if they say they are not. Anti-Positivist, Kuhn says that sociology should not be seen as a science because sociologists do not agree on one accepted paradigm. Postmodernists believe that science is just a Meta narrative claiming to provide comprehensive explanations of the world, and also claim a monopoly of truth. They believe that science has lost its authority in society, as it has failed to provide cures for many of the killer degenerative diseases in western society, such as cancer and heart disease. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Assess the view that sociology can and should be seen as a science (33)

    Social facts are the values, cultural norms, and social structures external to the individual. Social facts can be directly observed and measured. Positivists look for correlations in Data, and cause and effect relationships. To do this, they use quantitative data and methods such as questionnaires in order to gain trends, patterns and correlation.

  2. Marxism is a structural theory, as people's actions are shaped by society and in ...

    While also, feminist sociologists have argued that Marxist theories emphasise to much on class inequality. They point out that Marxist theories ignore the role of patriarchy in influencing the way the criminal justice system operates. While Marxists have also rejected the importance of racism in the enforcement of laws.

  1. The Application Of Forensic Science In the Detection of Crime

    * Density measurements. The density of glass can be measured by flotation measurements, though this technique is rarely used these days. * In a bank robbery case4, where the cashier was shot and killed through a glass divide, forensic experts had stated that there would some broken glass fragments that would have been embedded into the suspect's clothes.

  2. how woman are seen to be oppressed controlled by men

    Housewives find their job boring and feel isolated within the home. The amount of physical work is greater than manual workers. The difference is that, women don't receive any wages/rewards for their work, workers do. This study shows how woman aren't benefiting and are being controlled.

  1. what can social science tell us about the formation of identities

    According to Woodward (2004, p 13) George Herbert Mead, social philosopher, argued that, "identity formation is a combination of how I see my self and how others see me". He places emphasis on symbolic representation. Whereas, Erving Goffman, sociologist, argued that individuals have multiple roles as opposed to multiple identities which are acted out in everyday situations.

  2. Describe law and order in London in the late 19th century

    The graffiti caused much controversy between the two forces. The City Police officers considered it necessary to wait until dawn and photograph the message as it was a valuable sample of handwriting evidence and as photos could only be taken in light but the Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police Force,

  1. Sociology is not, cannot be, and should not be a science

    They believe that sociology deals with peoples thoughts and opinions and that they seek to uncover these using qualitative methods. Some interpretivists say that some laws cannot be applied to humans as we are all individuals, with individual thoughts, motives and experiences.

  2. Criminology can be considered a hybrid of various other sciences.

    The positive school sees criminal behaviour not as self-determined, but as due to mental deficiency, emotional disorder, or other biological or cultural factors. The critical school is more concerned with who defines crime, and how; scholars taking this approach study the processes by which sets of people (those in power)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work