Realism, Science and Sociology

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 08-05-15 09:30
How do realists see sociology and science as being similar?
In terms of the degree of control the researcher has over the variables being researched.
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What do realists aim to do?
Find where sociology and natural science are similar
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What two sytems do realists distinguish between?
Open and closed
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What is a Closed System?
Where the researcher can control and measure all the relevant variables, and therefore can make precise predictions. The typical research method is Lab. experiment
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What is an Open System?
those where the researcher cannot control and measure all the relevant variables and so cannot make precise predictions. Realists argue sociologist study open ststems where the processes are to complex to make accurate predictions. To many variables
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Why do realists reject the positivist view that science is only concerned with observable phenomena?
Science often assumes the existence of unobservable structures e.g. physicists cannot directly observe the interior of a black hole in space
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Why do realists reject the inerpretivist view that sociology cannot be scientific?
Interpretivists believe that because actor's meanings are in their minds, thus not directly observable, they cannot be studied scientifically. However if realists are correct then science can study unobservable phenomena
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According to realists what do natural science and sociology both try to explain?
The causes of events in terms of the underlying structures and processes. Although these strctures are unobservable, we can work out that they exist by observing their effects e.g. social class
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Card 2

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What do realists aim to do?

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Find where sociology and natural science are similar

Card 3

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What two sytems do realists distinguish between?

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Card 4

Front

What is a Closed System?

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Card 5

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What is an Open System?

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