Is sociology a science?

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  • Is sociology a science?
    • yes
      • comte and durkiem (positivists)
      • society is a reality that exists externally from individuals and reality is patterned
      • aim to establish cause and effect, create general laws, explain large scale patterns
      • social facts- values gender, social norms which exsist and shape us
      • preffer: official statistics and experiments
      • inductive logic- study first then hypothesis and verificationism- assumptions based on evidence that supports
      • durkhiems suicide study- statistics show due to level of intergration and social control
    • no, never will be
      • interpretivists- weber
      • study  of internal meaning not external causes. social action not social facts
      • prefer: documents, unstructured interviews
      • subjectivity vs objectivity
      • studying people (consciousness and meaning) vs studying objects (no consciousness, external forces)
      • phenomenologists and ethnomethodologists
        • society isn't real
    • could be in principle
      • karl popper
        • disagrees with verificatonism
        • deductive logic- hypothesis first, they want to prove it correct
        • falsificationism- proving something right by not being able to prove it wrong
        • can never accept science as the absolute truth- always be proved wrong
        • could be a science if used deductive logic and falsifictionism
      • Thomas kuhn
        • sicence operates within a paradigm- educated and socialised to accept current paradigm as true and uncritical of it
        • sociology has different compteting theoris and doesn't have a community
          • sociology is pre- paradigmatic
        • kuhns model- normal sicence, anomalies, crisis, paradigm shifts
        • could be a sicence if it adopted a unfired community and disagreements were resolved
    • realist view
      • social and natural science are similar apart from the systems they operate in
      • keat and urry
      • natural- closed whilst social- open but both are partly open as they study unobserved phenomenon


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