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

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

Extracts from this document...


'Sociology is not, cannot be, and should not be a science.' The oxford dictionary's definition of a science is 'The systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment'. Positivists and interpretivists have very different views on this. Positivists believe that sociology is a science and interpretivists believe that sociology is not a science. One of the reasons as to why positivists believe sociology is a science is because they use quantitative data so they come out with specific outcomes with an objective view, unlike the interpretivists which use qualitative data which can then be interpreted in a subjective way. ...read more.


Durkheim believed that the levels of integration and regulation affect the chances if an individual committing suicide. This is because the more a person is integrated into society the more society has an influence over them and then the norms and beliefs that suicide is 'wrong' is imprinted onto them. By conducting this experiment the way he did, sociology can be seen as a science. As it is a study of behaviour of the natural world through observation and experiment. Which fits with the description of science from the oxford dictionary. But on the other hand interpretivists believe that science deals with chemicals and atoms and that science does a totally different thing to what sociologists do. ...read more.


There are many other ways of looking at sociology as a science such as realism and postmodernism. Realism believes that it is possible that sociology is a science. Sociologists such as Popper believe that science can and cannot be a science. Popper rejected many sociological theories a being unscientific because their hypotheses could be falsified. This means that they could be proved wrong. But Popper then discovered that is was possible for 'social sciences' in general and sociology in particular to become scientific by following a set of methodological procedures. In conclusion sociology can be a science when using positivist methods but when using interpretivists methods there is no way that it can be scientific. So all in all sociology cannot be a science until sociologists agree on using either method. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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)

    EXAMPLE They also use official statistics, which are objective and reliable. Weber explains, anything that has hierarchy system or some sort of rules/ regulations to follow is going to be scientific, and sociology has these. Therefore sociology must be a science.

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

    In 2000, the rate for the United States was at 10.2 while Ukraine was twice as much with 22.2. By 2002, the teenage suicide rates in Russia had actually increased to an astounding 33.4 and Lithuania to 33.1. During 2001 to 2002, Norway was at 15, Sweden with a slight change of 7.5, and Finland with 18.4.

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

    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. They also use official statistics, which are objective and reliable.

  2. Crime Data

    For example; people who visit pubs and bars regularly are at more risk of violence. The risk of single people becoming victims of violent crime was also higher than most average. Sources: Crime in England and Wales 2006/2007, Home Office Statistical Bulletin, www.homeoffice.gov.uk 8.

  1. Criminal Investigation Procedures

    In the earlier booklets released to the police regarding interview techniques, these booklets contained two techniques which the police used, these being the 'cognitive approach' and the 'conversation management'. The cognitive approach was to be used when interviewing witnesses and victims as the cognitive approach would be easier on the interviewee.

  2. 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.

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

    * Finger marks * Tyre & Footwear marks * Soil * Paint * Glass * Firearms Fibres Since the perpetrator of a crime may transfer fibres from his/her clothing to a victim, or vice versa, the subsequent identification of fibre type(s)

  2. Sociology cannot and should not be viewed as a science

    Interpretivists then reject the logic and methods of science and argue that to discover the meanings people give to their actions we need to evaluate their viewpoint. This means subjectively becoming involved using what Weber coined as verstehen to understand meanings. Interpretivists therefore choose to use qualitative data when researching.

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