Sociology A2 Beliefs in Society - Topic 7: Ideology and science

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Topic 7: Ideology and Science
Science as a belief system
The impact of science
The success of science has led to widespread faith in it
Most recently this faith has dimmed
Both the god and bad effects of science demonstrate the key feature distinguishing it from
other belief systems or knowledge claims ­ its cognitive power
Open belief systems
Open belief system: Open to scrutiny, criticism and testing by others.
Falsification: Scientists actively disprove theories by looking for evidence against it
Discarding falsified knowledge claims enables scientific understanding and knowledge to
develop and improve over time. Old and inaccurate theories are replaced
There is no absolute truth
No knowledge is sacred as it can all be tested and questioned
The CUDOS norms
Science can only thrive as an institution if it receives support from other institutions and values
This first occurred in England due to the values and attitudes of the protestant reformation and
the belief that the study of nature led to appreciate of god's work
Science, as an institution, needed an ethos that makes scientists serve the goal of increasing
Communism: Scientists must share knowledge with the community
Universalism: The truth or falsity of scientific knowledge is judged by universal, objective criteria
Disinterestedness: Committed to discovering knowledge for its own sake
Organised Scepticism: No knowledge claim is regarded sacred
Closed belief systems
Distinguishes between open and closed belief systems
Closed belief system: Knowledge is sacred and is not open to testing or questioning

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Topic 7: Ideology and Science
Witchcraft among the Azande
Example of closed belief system:
Can't and won't be overturned with evidence E.g. If a person and the chicken died it was simply
evidence that the potion was bad.…read more

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Topic 7: Ideology and Science
Lyotard: Science falsely claims to offer the truth about how the world works as a way of
working towards bettering society.…read more

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Topic 7: Ideology and Science
Some argue that it isn't the existence of ideology that prevents revolution
Karl Mannheim
All belief systems have a one sided world view as they see the world as one group or social class
Distinguishes between two types of world view:
Ideological thought: Conservative ideology that justifies keeping things the way they are,
benefits privileged groups
Utopian thought: Seeks social change, it reflects the interests of the underprivileged and shows
different ways of organising society
Argues that all world views…read more



Do you have any for Unit 4- crime and deviance? These were really helpful :) 

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