Soc a science?

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  • Created by: lw121x
  • Created on: 28-05-15 21:29
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  • Is Sociology A Science?
    • Comte
      • it is possible to discover laws that control/shape behaviour in society
      • Science isn't there to tell us why something came
      • Science is there to explain why things relate to each other using laws
      • Main Task SOC discover general laws of social development
      • Positivist- social world should resemble the natural physical world they're both made up of objective facts governed my external laws
    • Durkheim- thought that Comte failed to establish sociology as a science.
      • Comte
        • it is possible to discover laws that control/shape behaviour in society
        • Science isn't there to tell us why something came
        • Science is there to explain why things relate to each other using laws
        • Main Task SOC discover general laws of social development
        • Positivist- social world should resemble the natural physical world they're both made up of objective facts governed my external laws
      • Instead you should study social facts things to observe/ measure ie. suicide rate
    • Popper Positivist 'science' must subject themselves to falsification process
      • rejected Marx as pseudo science as concepts ie. false class consciousness
      • build on achievements of other scientists.
      • Soc can be scientific if falsfied
    • Interpretivist is opposite.
      • Weber need to understand from the perspective of other people how + why things happen
      • Verstenhen need subjective understanding of the people
        • to understand you cannot be objective
        • The approach is rich and insightful data reveals experiences / motives of people
      • scientific knowledge socially constructed not objective
        • Society cannot be studied like objects; people engage in interaction
          • Verstenhen need subjective understanding of the people
            • to understand you cannot be objective
            • The approach is rich and insightful data reveals experiences / motives of people
      • CRITIQUE
        • wrong assume not scientific as underlying structures causing events are unobservable but we can see they exist by observing their effects
          • Untitled
    • Kuhn - MIDDLE
      • not simply accumulation of knowledge- a series of paradigm shifts
      • 1. Pre science - period of discovery no central paradigm 2. normal science ie. evolution 3. revolutionary where paradigms are challenge d
        • Paradigm shifts. Take place when theries in normal science ie MMR challenged by rev
        • Sociology then behave in pre science way; no dominating theories lots of competing
        • totally valid to refer to it as a 'young science' needs unifying theory
      • By implying that science is capable of disproving all the time = implying we'll never get the truth
      • Science is based on shared assumptions - paradigms
        • when anomalies build up established p loses credibility = scientific revolution
    • Positivism- Sociology should be value free. Sociology should study observable phenomena ie. correlations
      • Interpretivism- cannot be value free soc will use subjective findings.
      • Critique
        • Critical Theory: fails to explain why correlations exist between variables
        • Universal research methods do  not tailor to unique experiences of women
      • Positivism 'hypotheticodeductive approach'
        • 1. observation problem observed and needs explanation
        • 2. Hypothesis. Possible explanation put forward
        • Experiment: hypothesis rigorously tested
        • Theorising: if confirmed law created
    • Weber- should be value relevant but bit value free. Need to use objective feelings to identify research/ how they carry it out
    • Becker- impossible to study anything ithout using your personal opinion. Ie. sociologists clearly left/ right wing
    • Blumer necessary for soc to immerse themselves in the people they study
  • PROBLEM POSITIVISTS ie. COMTE + POPPER
    • Realist Sayer says positivists mistake the nature of science
      • Many science based on unobservable phenomena ie. evolution
      • Sciences like seismology based on unobservable structuresrather than empirical
    • Much science cannot make precise prediction, seismologists ca't predict exactly when earthquake will happen
      • These types of sciences are 'open sciences' and soc may come under it as it is concerned with underlying structures

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