Theory: Objectivity and Values

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  • Objectivity and Values
    • Sociologists should remain morally neutral. Gouldner: Own values are irrelevant as sociologist's hire themselves out to organisations. Weber Sociologists should take responsibility for the effect of their work.
    • Four stages of the research process: Values as a guide to research, Data collecting and hypothesis testing, Values in the interpretation of data and Values and the sociologist as a citizen
    • Gouldner:  we should take the side of those fighting back to end oppression.
    • Sociologist's work is likely to reflect the views of paymasters. Gouldner: all research is inevitably influenced by values such as Feminism
  • Comte and Durkheim: Social problems can be solved and human life, improved. Marx: science 'delivers' to society. Weber: cannot derive facts from values; they belong to different realms.
    • Objectivity and Values
      • Sociologists should remain morally neutral. Gouldner: Own values are irrelevant as sociologist's hire themselves out to organisations. Weber Sociologists should take responsibility for the effect of their work.
      • Four stages of the research process: Values as a guide to research, Data collecting and hypothesis testing, Values in the interpretation of data and Values and the sociologist as a citizen
      • Gouldner:  we should take the side of those fighting back to end oppression.
      • Sociologist's work is likely to reflect the views of paymasters. Gouldner: all research is inevitably influenced by values such as Feminism
  • Myrdal: sociologists should take sides because it is impossible to keep values out of research. Becker: sociologists shoudl take the side of the underdog. Goffman: to describe the position of a mental patient, we must be biased in favour of the patient.
    • Relativism: There is no absolute truth. Postmodernism: no one account is true.Relativism is self defeating

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