Sociology as a Science

  • Created by: Maddy
  • Created on: 22-04-17 13:21
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  • Sociology as a science
    • Popper
      • Argues that sociology cannot be a science because it can't be falsified
      • Science is about proving things wrong. Society is far too complex for things to ever be proved wrong
        • E.g. If you see all white swans but one black Swan, the statement 'all swans are white cannot be true'
          • Society doesn't work like this as there are many other factors experiencing relationships
    • Kuhn
      • Argues sociology cannot be a science because it doesn't have one shared paradigm
        • There are conflicting approaches as to how society should be approached
          • Willis shows a crosover between positivist and interpretivist approaches
        • Some critics argue that science isn't scientific as it doesn't have one paradigm across all natural sciences
      • Says Marxism cannot be a science because concepts are too complex to operationalize
      • Has the potential to be a science if it developed a paradigm
    • Positivists
      • Thinks sociology is a science because it uses scientific methods
      • The main aim of sociology should be to explain social facts
        • Science can help make assumptions about the world
          • Sociology should use the scientific method because it uncovers the truth about human nature
    • What is a science?
      • A science is value free and provides objective results that anyone can repeat
        • The experimental method
          • Observability and Repeatability
          • Cause and effect relationships
          • precise measurement
          • controlled variables
          • knowledge evolves through hypothesis testing


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