Is sociology a science- Positivism

  • Created by: ecotts
  • Created on: 21-03-18 09:55
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  • Is sociology a science ?
    • Science is...
      • Empirical
        • Knowledge/ information that has to of happened, to be seen
      • Controlled experiments
        • Research and experiments must take place
      • Objective
        • Conclusion have to be based on evidence rather than own opinions
      • Cumulative Progression
        • The accumulation of knowledge/ info
    • Positivism
      • Comte
        • During the enlightenment Era he believed that 'Philosophingis not enough
          • He said we must seek out cause & effects
        • Nature is made up of observable, objective, physical facts which exist regardless of the individual
          • Rocks, plants, cells
          • Society is also made up of objective facts regardless of the individual
            • Its made up of observable, measurable 'things'
              • Like divorce rates
        • Sociology helps to discover laws that control and shape societies behaviour
          • Through the INDUCTIVE METHOD
            • Positivist accumilate societies data enabling them to move from facts to conclusions
            • They can then test the conclusions to discover laws of human behaviour leading to policies
      • Durkheim
        • he agrees that Society is made up of 'Social Facts'
          • Like Social Class and religion
          • These social facts are then able to be observed and measured
            • which they then have been found to have causes and effects on society and individuals
        • He used Mayhew and Rowtree idea of  casual relationships between social facts like income and education
          • in order to understand society
          • With his study of suiside rates he found they were higher among protestants compared to catholics
            • It showed that it was not the impact of individual motives but social facts
            • Catholics integrate individuals better
        • We can DEDUCT logic to theories to establish patterns of behaviour
    • Popper
      • If sociology is to be considered a 'science' it must subject it itself to the falsification method
        • It must test itself by coming up with testable hypotheses
        • If there is no falsification that the truer it is
      • He rejects Marxism as it generates ideas like false consciousness
        • He says this can not be falsified as it is too abstract
    • HOWEVER...
      • Sociology can not be a science as it studies different societies and people who are unpredictable
      • Sociological research is built on biased and full of values


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