Sociology and science

  • Created by: 11pyoung
  • Created on: 16-05-18 16:56
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  • Sociology and science
    • What is a science?
      • The positivist approach
        • There are objective social facts about the social world
          • Not influenced by the researcher's personal opinion
        • Positivism and sociology
          • Durkheim's view is still influential as it gives simple answers to the question: whether sociology can or should be studied as a science
      • Karl Popper
        • Agrees with Durkheim that sociology can be scientific and that it is a good thing for it to be considered as a scientific subject
        • Rejects an induction approach
          • Whatever you are studying will have to be informed by some sort of initial theory
    • Questioning sociology as scientific: interpretivist sociology
      • Sociological criticisms of sociology as a science
        • Differences between the nature of society and the physical world
          • Sociology is not comparable to the natural world and to attempt to transfer the methods and ideas of the natural sciences is a mistake
            • Less about methods and more about the reality of the world around us
          • Lyotard
            • The external world can only be known, understood, and categorised through language
        • Problems of prediction
          • The natural and social worlds consist of  different types of phenomenon
    • Modernity, postmodernity and science
      • Rorty
        • Rationality, truth and science are all bound together, and all other ways of knowing the world are inferior
      • Lyotard
        • The nature of language limits and channels science, because it provides a framework to approach an understanding the world
      • Is science objective?
        • Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar
          • Scientific knowledge is produced through social processes that sociologists can research, analyse and try to understand
    • Thomas Kuhn
      • Science was usually seen as progressing through the use of the hypothetico-deductive model
      • There is no reason to believe that the current paradigms will be accepted forever and therefore, be taken to be true
      • Evaluation
        • Lakatos
          • Kuhn's idea of paradigms is too simplistic and only applies to the past
    • Realist views of sociology and open and closed systems
      • Andrew Sayer
        • The models of the physical sciences based on positivism and/or pooper are misleading
          • The models fail to distinguish between the open and closed systems in which scientists operate
      • Realism and sociology
        • Restores the possibility that sociology can be seen as scietific

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