should sociology be a science?

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  • Can socio be a sci?
    • YES! (Positivism)
      • reality exists indep of hum mind - nature = obj, observable facts
      • patterns, laws & inductive reasoning
        • reality = patterned - can observe - role of sci = id, measure & rec patterns systematically & expl them
        • Durkheim - 'real laws are discoverable' - can discover laws that determin how soc works (induction) - inv gathering data through careful ob & meas
        • can devel theory that expl ob - after many obs have confirmed theory - claim to disc truth => gen law (verification)
        • pos aim to disc causes of patterns they disc - aim to prod laws about how soc works
          • favour macro approah & how soc shapes our beh
      • Approach to research: obj & quant
        • res can test hyp in systematic & controlled way
        • examine causal factor & observe its effect
        • quant data - meas patt of beh - can prod precise statements about rel bet diff facts
        • res should be detached & obj - val free - can cause bias
      • Popper
        • many sys claim to have true knowl of world e.g. rel sci etc
        • fallacy of induction
          • rej idea that sci lies in inductive reas & verification
          • argues for fall of ind (myth) - assumes we move f/ ob to prod gen laws - always chance that theory can be undermined - e.g. swans = white - only 1 black to disprove
        • falsification
          • what makes sci unique is falsif
            • sci statement can be proved wrong by ev
          • 'good' theory has 2 features:
            • 1) principle of fals & 2) bold - claims to expl a great deal
        • open to crit & open soc
          • theory must be open to crit f/ others - therefore a public activity
            • flaws = readily exposed & better theories devel
          • sci thrives in open soc's - soc's bel in right to chal accep ideas e.g. Galileo - pun - Earth around Sun
      • EVAL
        • hum beh isn't measurable
        • using quant meth/ data - @ best only corr
        • is a sci as it has set of meth, persp etc
    • NO! (Interpretivism)
      • socio doesn't base self on nat sci
      • sci app = unsuitable for studying humans - socio can only be und by interp mean, not external causes
      • rej of sci
        • rej use of methods f/ sci because diff bet socio & sci
          • Socio
          • Nat sci
            • opposite to socio
          • matter = conscious
          • internal stimulus & mean
          • choice over beh
        • Mead - hum interp mean of stimulus & choose how to respond
          • humans aren't puppets manip by external force
          • socio should aim to uncover mean we give to world
      • app to res: verstehen & qual
        • rej logic & methods of sci
          • need to see world through eyes of others (ver)
        • qual data
          • prod rich, perso data, high in val
          • gives subj und
      • fem
        • opposed to adopt sci app
          • see quest for single scientific fem theory as form of dom
            • excludes many groups of women
      • Kuhn
        • sci = like doing a jigsaw puzzle
          • most of time, paradigm goes unquestioned
            • sci just fills in details - doesn't create anything new in sci
              • allows sci to agree basics of subject - contrasts w/ falsif
        • paradigms = shared set of assump - basic framework
          • if something doens't fit paradigm, sci rej it
            • tells sci how to think & beh - sci = rew for conforming to paradigm
              • can find something that goes ag paradigm - anomalies build up - leads to question basic assumptions - can be rev - paradigm shift
        • EVAL
          • assumes all sci research is done by paradigms
    • sci has transformed our lvives
      • sci was central to enlight - offered knowl & cont to improv soc
        • sic = prod obj knowl - used to impro human life


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