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

Sociology cannot and should not be viewed as a science

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

?Sociology cannot and should not be a science? Science is a central feature of today?s society with science and technology practically revolutionising every part of life. However sociologists have argued that it is not possible or desirable for sociology to model its self as a science, whereas others sought to copy its success by producing a science of society. Positivists such as Comte believe that it is possible to apply the logic and methods of science to the study of society and that this study of society could lead to controlling it and improvement. A key feature of positivism is the belief that reality exists outside and independently from the human mind. Positivists see reality and society as patterned and believe that we can observe these empirical regularities. Durkheim believed that real laws are discoverable, for example, if physicists can discover how gravity works, sociologists can discover how society works. The method for accumulating this is known as inductive reasoning and involves accumulating data about the world through careful observation and measurement. ...read more.

Middle

For example, he found that the rates of suicide for Protestants were higher than the rate for Catholics. According to Durkheim, the social factors responsible for determining the suicide rates were the levels of regulation and integration. Consequently Durkheim claimed to have discovered a real law, showing evidence against the view of ?Sociology cannot and should not be viewed a science?. On the other hand, Interpretivist sociologists do not believe that sociology should model itself on the natural sciences. Interpretivists argue that the subject matter of sociology is meaningful social action, and that it can only be understood by successfully interpreting the meanings and motives of those involved. Interpretivists argue there is a fundamental difference between the subject matter of the natural sciences and that of sociology. G.H. Mead argued that human beings interpret the meaning of a stimulus and then choose how to respond rather than automatically responding. For Interpretivists, individuals are not puppets, manipulated by suppose external social facts, but independent people who construct their own social world. ...read more.

Conclusion

He believed that much sociology is unscientific because it consists of theories that cannot be put to the test with the possibility that they might be falsified. Thomas Kuhn whose ideas, like Poppers, also have important implications for sociology. His central idea is the paradigm, which is shared by members of a given scientific community and defines what their science is. It provides a basic framework for assumptions, methods and techniques. It is a set of norms because it tells scientists how they ought to think and behave. In Kuhn?s view, a science cannot exist without a shared paradigm. Until there is general consensus on a single paradigm, there will only be rivals on thoughts, not a science. Currently sociology is pre-paradigmatic and therefore pre-scientific. There is no agreement on the fundamentals of what to study or how to study it. Kuhn says that sociology could only become a science if basic disagreements were resolves. In conclusion sociologists were divided as to whether sociology can be a science. This division stems largely from disagreements about the nature of sociology and its subject matter. ...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)

    Therefore sociology must be a science. He also uses the term disenchantment to explain why sociology should be seen as a science, religion is losing its mysticism because it cannot prove anything therefore religion is getting replaced by science, because science can bring proof of things what have happened etc.

  2. Teenage Suicide in the United States - comparing suicide rates in Europe and East ...

    28% has seriously considered suicide in the previous year, while 16% had even made specific plans, and 8% had also attempted suicide (Cal. Ass.). There are disputes as to why there was such a dramatic increase in teenage suicide rates between 1950 and 1990.

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

    In sociology it is difficult to get a wrong or right answer, as the experiment cannot often be redone as the variables can not be controlled, were as laboratory experiments can be redone as many times as it's needed. Weber explains, anything that has hierarchy system or some sort of

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

    Firearms Ballistics is the study of firearms and bullets, at a crime scene forensic scientists compare the bullets and cartridge cases, to try and identify the original firearm, they were fired from. The forensic scientist determine the possible manufacture of a bullet by examining the rifling impressions made on the

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

    One interpretivists called Weber had the idea of 'verstehen', which is understanding what people are going through, and this requires subjectivity and understanding what draws on peoples opinions. This form of sociology is not seen as a science because it doesn't follow any of the quantitative methods that science does.

  2. Crime Data

    For example; an important one is availability of evidence. Because there is not sufficient evidence available the case cannot be taken any further, the offender cannot be charged and therefore the case is left 'unsolved'. Such as fraud and forgery cases are now much easier to solve with the use

  1. Forensic Science

    Other helpful things include if he/she has a speech problem or acne or some other type of disability or difficulty in relating to others. This will tell you how the crime was committed. Profiling does not produce a name. (assampolice, par.

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

    only these figures on crime but regularly produces publications on particular types or areas of crime. Two of the most important sets of data produced by the Home Office are; firstly the 'Official Statistics'. These have been produced since the 19th century.

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