Ideology and Science

Revision summary based on AQA sociology a2 textbook.

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  • Created on: 19-03-13 21:56
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Some sociologists e.g. secularisation theorists, argue that science has undermined religion by changing the
way we think and how we see the world.
Science has had a massive impact on society over the past few centuries ­ e.g. medicine, transport,
communications, technological development, work and leisure.
Raised our standards of living & led to a widespread `faith in science'.
More recently, science seen as creating problems e.g. pollution, global warming & weapons.
Science holds cognitive power as it explains, predicts and controls the world in a way that religion

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The CUDOS norms:
Functionalist Merton (1973) argues that science can only thrive with support from other institutions and
values. He argues:
Science first occurred in England as a result of values & attitudes created by the Protestant
Reformation, especially Puritanism (a form of capitalism).
Believed in the study of nature to appreciate God's work & encouraged to experiment.
Identifies 4 norms that serve to increase scientific knowledge.
Communism Knowledge is shared with the scientific community,
otherwise knowledge can't grow.…read more

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Criticisms of Marxist views
The working class might accept the current economic system because they see it as the best deal they can
Karl Popper is also a strong critic of Marxist thought as he sees it as an ideology in itself. In particular he
argues it cannot be tested to see if it is true or false.
It is also the case that traditional Marxism assumes people are passive and not able to resist ruling class
ideas and beliefs.…read more


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