AQA A2 Sociology Unit 4 - Crime and Deviance - Values Debate

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 11-05-14 18:54

Values Debate One

Values are beliefs, opinions and prejudices

  • Sociology, like science, should be value free
  • Sociology cannot be value free as human nature isn't like that
  • Sociologists should draw on their values in the aim of improving society
  • Committed Sociology

Classical Sociology (Value Freedom)

  • Comte and Durkhiem see sociology as a science, uncovers the truth about society
  • Debate whether Marx was a positivist = scientist with the aim of improving society

Weber 4 stages of research

  • Selecting what to research - Values in
  • Data collection and testing - Values out
  • Interpretation of data - Values in ( Theoretical framework)
  • Responsibility of the effects of the research -Values in 
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Values Debate Two

Committed Sociology

  • Gouldner - Spiritless technicians, hiring themselves for research (No moral responsiblity) 
  • Myrdal - Openly take sides due to values 

Cannot be value free due to;

  • Impossible - research and who they work for is determined by values
  • Undersirable to work value free - Services at the disposal of the highest bidder

Becker - Underdog

  • Openly sides with the powerless of society
  • Traditionalist views side with the powerful
  • AO2 - Gouldner - Marxist approach to ending oppression

Funding and Careers - These influence values = government or voluntary groups as funders

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Values Debate Three


  • Feminist see society as male dominated 
  • Functionalists see inequality as good for society 
  • Marxists see inequality as bad 
  • Postmodernists take a relativist view on society

Relativistic view

  • No single objective truth
  • Everyone has different values and beliefs that influence

Early Sociologists = Objective

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