LT10- Theory- Value Freedom (Objectivity/ Subjectivity) Debate

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 18-05-16 21:52
For key assumptions, when does value freedom occur?
When sociologists ensure that their own personal views/ ideologies don't affect the way their research is conducted and research outcomes,
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Who is the key debate between the what do each side believe about value freedom?
-Positivists- Believe value free sociology is possible, -Interpretivists- Believe it is not possible,
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For perspectives and methods, what do different sociological perspective have?
Different values about how society is and should be.
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How do Feminists see society and promote what?
They see society as based on gender or inequalities, -Promote the rights of women,
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How do Functionalists see soceity?
See society as harmonious and promotes conservative values that favour status quo,
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How do Marxists see society?
As conflict ridden and strives for a classless society,
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What three things can these values influences?
1) The Topics researchers choose to research, 2) The concepts they develop 3) The conclusions they reach,
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Give an example of what Functionalists concluded about inequality versus Marxists?
For example, Functionalists have concluded that inequality is beneficial for society whereas Marxists believe it produces exploitation of the poor,
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For theorists and values, what does Durkheim place value on?
Scientifically discovering the truth about how society works,
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What does he argue the 'job' of sociology is?
To discover truth about how society works,
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What does Durkheim argue about researchers remaining objective?
Durkheim argues that no matter the sociologist's subjective values, they should discover the truth about how society works- They should be able to say objectively and with scientific certainty what is best for society,
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For Marx, what does he place value on?
An ideal communist society,
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What approach does he argue will show us how to reach this ideal society?
A scientific approach- He sees science as helping to deliver a good society,
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For Weber, what does he argue about values in choosing a topic to research?
He argues sociologists should choose on the basis of what we regard as important based on our own values,
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Give an example with feminists and what they value?
Due to feminists valuing gender equality, they study topics linked to women's oppression,
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What does Weber believe about the researcher and objectivity when collecting data?
He believes sociologists should be objective and unbiased when collecting facts,
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What are Weber's views on values interpreting findings?
The choice of the theoretical framework of the research is influenced by the sociologist's values,
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WHo argues that sociolgy can and should be value free?
Positivists,
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For the argument that value free sociology is possible, what does it allow sociologists to follow?
It allows them to follow the logic of natural science research,
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What do Positivists argue their job is?
To simply to establish the truth about behaviour
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For another reason, why is experimental research never used?
Due to the practical and ethical issues,
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Although experimental research is rarely used, the logic of natural science can be what?
It can be followed through the hypothetico deductive model,
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For example, what do sociologists only look at based on no feelings or emotions?
They look at what is directly obersvable,
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For another reason, sociologists can be what in their research?
Objective,
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How can they be objective based on personal ideologies and detachment?
-They can ensure their own personal ideologies don't enter into their research- They remain detached and netural,
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How can sociologists remain objective based on what type of method used?
By using quantitative data, there is little room for researcher bias,
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For example. offical statistics such as death rates are what?
'Hard data' so there is little room for subjectivity,
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Give an example of a sociologist who used suicide statistics to establish what?
-Durkheim -Established objective and scientific theories of suicide,
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For another example, how can structured interviews allow for sociologists to be objective?
As questions are standardised and allow little room for interviewer involvement,
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Give an example of what data collected structured interviews based on victimisation and how could the sociologists remain objective?
-BCS, -Interviwer's role was limited to asking questions and recording data on a laptop,
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For another reason why sociologists can be objective, what do Positivists look for when analysing data?
They look for patterns and deal with facts in an objective way- Their values don't come into play,
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FOr the argument that sociology should be value free, what do Positivists argue sociologists should remain?
Morally neutral
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What do they argue their job is?
To establish the truth about behaviour,
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For another reason, how do sociologists see sociology so what is it concerned with?
-As a science, -Concerned with matters of fact,
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Research from scientific methods means it produces knowledge that is what?
Certain,
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What three things can scientific data allow sociologists to make?
-Generalisations, -Establish laws of cause and effect, -Predictions,
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What can quantitative scientific methods be?
Replicated,
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What is the data like from quantiative methods?
It is high in reliability,
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For example, what do positivist researchers claim at the Home Office about crime trends? What methods did they use?
They claims they can make predictions and generalisations about patterns of victimisation because of their use of large scale social surveys not because of their values in the area,
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Who argues that sociology cannot and should no be value free?
Interpretivists,
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For the argument that value free sociology is possible. what does what sociologist argue about keeping values from research?
-Gouldner, -It is impossible and undesireable to keep values from research,
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For example, why is it no possible for sociologists to follow the logic of science?
As the subject matter of the natural and social sciences is fundamentally different,
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Why does Gouldner argue value free sociology is impossible?
As either the sociologist's or paymaster's values will be reflected in the work,
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Why does Gouldner argue value free sociology isn't desirable?
Without values, sociologists are simply putting up their services to the highest bidder,
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What is the other reason why value free sociology isn't possible?
As sociologists can't be objective,
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What sociologist argue that values are always present in sociology and why?
-Becker, -Sociologists cannot ensure their own personal ideologies don't enter into their resarch,
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For example, where are their values present?
In the choice of topic and which the BSA ethical guidelines to observe involve the personal ideologies of sociologists,
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Give an example of opposing values of sociologists about CPO?
Some sociologists are happy to carry out CPO studies on crime whereas other see it as deceptive and exploitative,
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What do they argue quantitiative data involves?
Values and bias,
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For example, how do they view offical statistics?
As a social construction which reflects the values of a range of social actors,
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For example, suicide statistics are not social facts but data is what?
it is influenced by family members and coroners,
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For another example, what do structued interviews invovled choosing and how can this lead to the researcher not being objective?
-THey involve choosing a set of pre-determined questions and bias can be instilled in terms of tone of voice,
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For another reason why value free sociology isn't possible, who are sociologists likely to embody values from based on funding?
To secure funding for research and enhance career prospects, sociologists are likely to embody the values anf interests of their paymasters,
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What power do the funding organisation have?
They can stop research if they want,
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Give an example with the Black Report and the Conservative party to show interests of the paymasters?
The Black report was released by the Conservatives on a bank holiday weekend- possibly to reduce publicity as its findings opposed government views,
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In addition, the sociologist's own values from where will always be present?
From their own background and upbringing,
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For the argument sociology shouldn't be value free, why do they argue it isn't desireable to be value free?
Intepretivists favour qualtiative methods to find out meanings and feelings. Furthermore, a non-scientific approach generates data that is highly valid, insightful and achieves verstehen
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Give an example with what feminist sociologists who used what method to gain understanding of women's experiences of domestic violence?
-Dobash and Dobash, -Gained a true and detailed understanding from informal interviews which could last up to 12 hours,
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FOr another reason why sociology shouldn't be value free, what feminst argues that only be taking an active part in the research prcess can the sociologist gain what?
-Oakley, -They gain the trust of those they research,
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What does she argue about researchers and bias like her research on what?
She argues sociologists should be open about their bias as shown through her research on motherhood,
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What is another example with whose CPO study on football hooliganism and what did he manage to gain?
-McIntyres, -He managed to build rapport and consequently achieved verstehen,
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For the last reason, what sociologist provides the term 'commited sociology' and what does it mean?
-Mydral, -Argues sociologists should openly 'take sides' and support in interests of a particular group,
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What does Mydral argue sociologists values should lie with and what stance should they take?
-Lie with the 'underdog' ,-They should take a compassionate stance and take the side of less powerful groups,
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Therefore, why should sociologists make their values known?
To use them to help certain groups in society,
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To conclude, before we discuss vaue freedom, we need to establish what?
Whether is it possible in the natural sciences E.g. Funding influence research and Lynch argues scientists disregard evidence that goes against theories,
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What do Postmodernists argue about the values and assumptions of sociologists?
They argue they will find their way into research and thus no perspective has any special claim to be true and objective,
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Increasingly, what method have sociologists been using to achieve research outcomes, and why?
-Triangulation, -As both objective and subjective methods are used, and so they believe this is the best way to ascertain an understanding of society
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Card 2

Front

Who is the key debate between the what do each side believe about value freedom?

Back

-Positivists- Believe value free sociology is possible, -Interpretivists- Believe it is not possible,

Card 3

Front

For perspectives and methods, what do different sociological perspective have?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

How do Feminists see society and promote what?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How do Functionalists see soceity?

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Preview of the front of card 5
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