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

Assess the values on sociological research of value free sociology, value laden and committed sociology.

Extracts from this document...


Assess the values on sociological research of value free sociology, value laden and committed sociology. Sociologists vary in their opinions on the effect of values on research. Value free sociology is an opinion in sociology, started by Emile Durkheim, that states that sociology should be seeking to use methodology similar to that used in the physical sciences. One of the key elements in their methodology to make it similar to the physical sciences is objectivity. These positivists state that their values have no effect on their research and that this should apply throughout sociology. They argue that if a study is well planned it is possible for the researchers personal beliefs to have no effect on the findings. They argue that the nature of sociological research is no different to that of any of the physical sciences, they are studying and measuring a set of totally independent phenomena and constructing and testing hypothesis as to the cause of this phenomenon. Positivists also refer to social facts. ...read more.


They also point out that it is impossible for sociology to be considered value free when we look at the matter of funding. Sociologists working for various government departments will not find their work published if the findings do not reflect well on the department they are working for. This means they benefit from some outcomes of their research and loose out if it is a different outcome, so they have a vested financial interest in the outcome of their study. Philo and Miller have also argued that scientists allow their work to be manipulated and misinterpreted by public relations companies that are working on behalf of the funders. Value laden sociologists argue that sociologists have person career ambitions and goals and these will affect their work whether they realise it or not. Postmodernist's sociologists such as Lyotard argue that the process of sociological and scientific thinking is based upon a series of values about the nature of society. ...read more.


He claimed sociology should attempt to study the real powerful people, those who create the rules of society. Marxists argue that the purpose of sociology is to expose the ways in which to ruling class exploit the working masses. They hope to breakdown the ways in which capitalism operates only operates to benefit a few. Marxist criminology writers Walton, Taylor and young argued that radical criminological strategy is too expose the law as the biggest instrument of the ruling class. Feminist writers are also big supporters of the committed sociology stance in this argument. Writers such as spender would agree with the Marxists on the principal of exposing the workings of an oppressive society, but they suggest they key is to explore how males dominate and oppress in society. The aim is to expose the truth about men, thus freeing women from the oppression of patriarchy. Feminist writers obviously place enormous importance on values influencing work, as their values mean they must fight against the oppression of patriarchy and they try to expose its effect and encourage enlightenment through their research. Hayley Swift Column 2 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Response to the question

Although this essay is somewhat well structured, crucial elements of a good construction are absent. It lacks an introduction – simply a sentence or two defining the what the three concepts mentioned in the question actually are would show that ...

Read full review

Response to the question

Although this essay is somewhat well structured, crucial elements of a good construction are absent. It lacks an introduction – simply a sentence or two defining the what the three concepts mentioned in the question actually are would show that that the candidate is methodical, and that they can effectively introduce their essay’s main points to be discussed before proceeding to the main bulk of the essay itself. It also lacks a conclusion, which would show that the candidate can successfully weigh up aforementioned arguments. For these reasons I feel the grade should be average - so it is not actually that the candidate lacks the sociological knowledge to do better. They do answer the question set, as they do refer to the three concepts and explain them at some stage. Overall I just feel that parts of the essay are missing, which makes it seem as if it lacks academic professionalism.

Level of analysis

The main sociologists/sociological groups are sufficiently referred to in this essay: Weber, feminists, Marxists and Positivists. Specific sociologists are mentioned, such as Gouldner, which suggest the candidate has a detailed understanding in the field. Generic sociological terminology, “oppressive” is used as well as scientific terminology, “hypothesis” which shows that the candidate can successfully weave broad sociological ideas with their scientific approaches to studying society. Some candidates struggle to do this, so the fact that the writer does consistently does this is notable. But I feel that actual studies could be explained to provide empirical evidence, as the writer could be accused of simply “name-dropping”. For example I would give details of Durkheim’s Postivist approach/findings to the study of suicide in terms of social facts, rather than just stating: “Postivists refer to social facts”. This would show and crystallise the candidate’s academic knowledge.

Quality of writing

Spelling is accurate; however there are some grammatical mistakes. Names of sociologists require capitalisation, for example “spender” and “young”, and “Postmodernist’s sociologists” should be “Postmodernist sociologists” so the quality of written Standard English could be significantly improved. The wrong word is used occasionally, for example it should be “whether” in the following sentence: “A second group of sociologists believe that weather objectivity is desirable or not…” By improving the essay grammatically I feel this would increase the essay’s overall professionalism, sophistication and coherence.

Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by cwhite 22/03/2012

Read less
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 GCSE Sociology essays

  1. What did Rousseau mean by 'liberty'?

    This exchange seems to happen on two different levels. Firstly natural liberty is the freedom to obtain and keep what one can, whereas civil liberty is the right of ownership. And secondly natural liberty is, as mentioned at the start, the freedom to pursue one's own desires whereas civil liberty is freedom to pursue the general will.

  2. In what ways does education effect social changes between one generation and the next?

    reflect that social group's values more than those of the other groups. The ideals common to all the groups, however, will most strongly be reflected because, Durkheim believes, "society can survive only if there exists among its members a sufficient degree of homogeneity; education perpetuates and reinforces this homogeneity by

  1. Comparison between 'Woman Work' and 'Overheard in County Sligo'

    The woman in Woman work is not well off. We know this as she says 'Star shine, Moon glow, you're all that I can call my own.' This implies that she does not own materialistic possessions. It could also imply that she does not even own her own time, as it is always taken up by doing the household chores.

  2. sociology research hypothesis - Attitudes towards Arranged and Love marriages In ...

    For this hypothesis I will need people's views as the data to prove this hypothesis correct. The samples that I have chosen to question are random people from my community within my temple. I will be asking both male and female who are over 18 to answer a few questions on arranged marriages.

  1. Evaluate the Significance of Socilogy To Understand Social Work Practice.

    Marxism is based on the ideas of Karl Marx. It is a perspective that is based on a class system, split into two categories, the worker, which he called the proletariat, and the bosses, or employers as the bourgeoisie. He called the bourgeoisie the ruling class.

  2. In what ways does Eliza Doolittle change in Pygmalion?

    (Page 102) and is no longer prepared to be suppressed by his haughty egotism. There is no doubt that Eliza's transformation is a successful one, however, I think something very important to realise about Eliza is that despite the radical changes that take place in the play with her appearance,

  1. To what extent do sociologists argue that the family is beneficial to society?

    Russell and Rebecca Dobash found in a study on violence in the family that for many women and children the threat of violence from the male is real. Radical feminists differ from Marxist-feminists as they feel that women should come together and build up an alternative society challenging patriarchy.

  2. Examine the tragic elements in the characterization of Hedda Gabler

    Tessman naivety and ignorance frustrates Hedda, a woman who is very observant and educated. She takes full advantage of him when it comes to money and shows no concern when they find out they have little left and the threat of Lovborg taking Tessmans place as a professor she sees as a 'sporting event'.

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