• 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

    Science is about getting the right answers every time an experiment is done, however if scientists get the wrong answer then they have done the experiment wrong, or if you have the right answer but it will be dismissed as scientists have proven the correct answer is different to yours.

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

    surface of the fired bullet, the firing pin and breech face markings. Furthermore, examination of the fired bullet will contain markings, which will be coherent to the markings inside the barrel of the gun; this is often compared to identify the weapon, which was used to fire the bullet.

  1. Crime Data

    The Association of Chief Police Officers then, with assistance from the Home Office, developed the National Crime Recording Standard. In April 2002 all police forces across England and Wales adopted the National Crime Recording Standard, though few had adopted it before this.

  2. Criminal Investigation Procedures

    This is where I found the prime suspect. I matched the suspect with the modus operandi, I then prepared a plan of questions in order to interview the suspect. Modus Operandi of the Suspect * Class word- The class of person that may have committed this crime may have been involved in drugs.

  1. Forensic Science

    What it does produce is a detailed personality profile of the convicted serial killer, serial rapist, or mass murderer that investigators can use to focus on a crime and gather the list of suspects. It can also provide them with strategies on how to approach the person during the

  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