LT9 Theories- The Science Debate

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 18-05-16 19:41
For the ideal type of science, science is defined in terms of what?
Its methodology,
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For characterisitics of the scientific method, what model do they follow based on what?
-The hypothetico-deductive model, -Based on hypothesis or testable statements,
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What must be able to be proven wrong?
There must be a falsifyable hypothesis
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What must scientific methods only look at and not feelings of emotions?
-Only look at what is observable and empirical
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For the scientific method, how must researchers apporoach topics?
With objectivitiy and value free- They must keep an open mind, avoid bias, prejudices and beiefs,
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For characteristics of the scientific method, data must be high in what?
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Who argues that sociology can and should be a science?
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For the argument that sociology can be a science, the subject matter of society is similar to what?
Natural science,
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Why is society an objective factual reality?
AS it is a 'real' thing made up of social facts that exist 'out there', just like the physical world,
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Therefore, they believe humans like what react to what?
Humans like rocks, gases etc react to external forces,
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Human behaviour like natural matter is therefore see to be what? Give and example with Functionalist ideas?
-It is seen to be caused and predictable, -For example, Functionalists claim that kinship and cultural institutions such as religion and education constrain human behaviour through socialisation,
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For another reason why sociology can be a science, sociologists can follow what?
The logic of natural science research
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However, why is experimental research never used?
Due to practical and ethical issues,
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For examples of how positivists follow logic of science research, what do Positivists only look at to research?
They look at what is directly observable (no feelings, emotions etc)
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Positivists use what method and test what in a controlled way?
-Experimental methods, -Test hyptheses in a controlled way,
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What do Positivists seek to discover?
The laws of cause and effect that determines behaviour,
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Posivist researchers remain what in research through methods. Give some examples of these methods?
They remain detached and objective, -Using quantitiative methods such as experiments, questionnaires etc.
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Give an example of sociology being studied as a science from Durkheim?
He made use of official suicide rates to establish a scientific and causal theory of suicide,
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For sociology should be a science, through observation, what can develop?
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What two things can be made about the world through studying sociology as a science?
Generalisations, -Predictions about future events,
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What can sociology develop for oberved patterns?
They can develop causes,
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Findings and research can be what?
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Lastly for why sociology should be studied as a science, what is a positive about the data?
The data gained by positivists is high in reliability,
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For an example, Positivist researchers at Home Office claim what about crime through what methods?
They claim to be able to generalise about crime trends and make predictions about patterns of victimisation because of their use of large scale social surveys
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Who argues sociology cannot be and should not be a science?
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For Sociology cannot be a science, what is there a fundamental difference between?
The subject matter of the natural sciences and that of sociology,
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What does natural science study?
Mattter which has no consciousness,
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What does sociology study?
Peopl who have consciousness,
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For another reason, humans act in terms of what?
Feelings, meanings, motives and emotions,
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Individual social actors interpret what and what does this give?
They intepret events during social interaction and this gives meaning to actions,
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For example, Phenomenologists such as who claim crime is not structurally caused but guided by what?
-Katz, -Claims crime is guided by individual meanins such as the search for excitement and extablishing a reputation,
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For another reason, what are the ethical issues and problems involved with scientific methods?
There are ethical issues- Humans are not likely to agree to being tested, experimented on, interrogated or observed in laboratories like rats in a cage,
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For another reason, why do they argue it is not possible to follow scientific methodology?
As all research is subjective and value laden,
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Give three examples of how research is subjective?
-The topic that is chosen for research by sociologists, -Questions asked in interviews, -The way data is analysed,
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What effect also may occur in research and what does this mean?
The Hawthorne effect may occur where people's behaviour changes when they know they are being studied,
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For the last reason why sociology can't be studied as a science, what do they argue social life and facts are?
Socially constructed,
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For example, what is it difficult to get reliable figures on and why?
-Health and crime, -As the data is dependent on members of public reporting their illnesses of crimes they observe,
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For sociology should not be a science, why do they argue it isn't desireable to be scientific?
As in sociology, Interpretivists study 'meaningful social action' which we can only understand by interpreting meanings and motives of individuals,
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For another reason, why must sociologists put themselves in the place of who?
-In place of the actor, -To understand their meanings and motives- Not detach ourselves and act objectively like Positivists argue,
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For another reason, what data therefore do interpretivists use?
Qualitiative methods such as paritipant observation, unstructured interviews,
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For another reason, a non-scientific approach generates data that is high in what?
Validity, insight and achieves Verstehen
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Give an example of what intepretivist feminists who gained tru and detailed understanding into what? What methods did they use?
-Dobash and Dobash, -Gained understanding of women's experiences of domestic violence, -Carried out informal interviews which lasted up to 12 hours,
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What is another example of an Interpretivist study who studied football hooliganism?
-McIntyre's journalistic CPO study. -He built up rapport and achieved verstehen with the Chelsea head hunters,
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However, for a critique of the ideal type view of science, why aren't scientists always objective and value free?
As all scientists have ideologies which affect their research. Scientific theories shape the way their interpret evidence,
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What external factor can affect results based on funding?
Funding institutiosn affect both the way the research is done and and outcomes,
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Give an example of the influece of what firms?
Tobacco firms only fund research which concludes there is a limited impact on health by smoking,
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What is another reason why sicence isn't always objective based on status and career?
Concerns with academic status and career prospects leads scientisrs to be biased and even fraudulent,
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Give an example scientists who was biased and fraudulent?
-Cyril Burt, -Made up results from 'phantom identical twins' to support his genetic explanation of intelligence,
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For another critique of the ideal view of science, what sociologists argues scientists are less objective than they claim and why?
-Lynch, -As they disregard ecidence that goes against their theories and little attempt to hypothesis ever occurs- They use evidene to confirm theories.
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What does Lynch claim is driven by their ideologies and theories?
They way they interpret evidence,
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However, what two sociolgists provide other views on what a science is?
Karl Popper, -Thomas Khun,
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For Popper, what does he argue sociology consists of?
Theories which cannot be falsified,
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Give an example of Popper's idea with Marxism?
Marx's preidiction that a revolution would lead to a classless society cannot be falsified as it is yet to happen, and is therefore not a science,
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However, why does he argue sociology could be scientific?
As it is capable of producing hyptheses that can be falsified,
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Give an example of what sociologist testing their hypothesis?
-Ford, -Tested her hypotheses about comprehensive schooling and mixing of pupils from diffferent social classes through empirical research,
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For Kuhn, what does he argue is a paradigm?
It is a set of norms which defines what science is and is shared by members of a scientific communtiy,
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However can paradigms change?
YEs- Sometimes scientific findings go against the ideas set out in a paradigm and a new one is created,
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What two things does Kuhn claim sociology is pre-what?
-Pre-Paradigmatic and pre-scientific,
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What does he argue sociology is currently divided into?
Competing schools of thought with no shared paradigm,
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Give an example with Functionalists and Marxists?
Functionalists disagree with Marxists about whether society is based on consensus or conflict,
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When does Khun argue sociology can only become a science?
If these disagreements can be resolved.
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However, what theorists don't want this for sociology and why?
-Postmodernists, -It sounds liek a dominant meta-narrative,
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To conclude, what do critical philosopical points question?
Is there such thing as scientific thought?
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What do Postmodernists believe about scientific thought and why?
-They don't believe it exists, -As all knowledge is uncertain and no scientific theory can claim truth as all knowledge is open to doubt,
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Thus, Postmodernists reject what and instead argue what should be recognised?
-They reject meta-narratives, -THey instead argue we should recognise and tolerate competing explanations of natural and social events,
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Also, why do they argue science has lost support recently?
Due to problems such as nuclear disasters and war- Rational thinking has failed,
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Therefore,how do they view the contributions of science to sociology?
They argue sociology has nothing to learn from the natural sciences,
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For Realism, how do they redefine science?
Science can incorporate more subjective analysis, doesn't have to make firm predictions, and it is legitimate to study social processes which are not immediately observable,
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In this way, what can be seen as scientfic?
Both Positivist and Interpretivist explanation,
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What do they argue the job of scientists is to do?
Explain the causes of events in a 'more or less scientific' way,
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


For characterisitics of the scientific method, what model do they follow based on what?


-The hypothetico-deductive model, -Based on hypothesis or testable statements,

Card 3


What must be able to be proven wrong?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What must scientific methods only look at and not feelings of emotions?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


For the scientific method, how must researchers apporoach topics?


Preview of the front of card 5
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