Sociology Cannot Be a Science Essay

I strongly support with the moot which states that “Sociology cannot be a science because its subject matter is too varied, abstract and difficult to measure. The term science may be defined as the body of knowledge obtained by methods based on systematic observation. Science is made up of four components which are empirical, theoretical, cumulative and objective.The empirical aspect deals with measurable phenomena, the theoretical aspect seeks to uncover casual relationships between phenomena, the cumulative aspect builds up knowledge, moving towards greater understanding of the world and the objective aspect concerns itself with the objective discovery of the truth.

Personal attitudes and bias have no place in science as there in sociology. According to Sociology may be defined as the study of society and the way in which society influences people’s behaviour, beliefs and identity. It is the study of human social life by any means that are effective.In sociology, statistics are collected and analysed and human behaviour is observed. However, Sociology is not considered a science because it lacks experimentation, lacks empirical, theoretical and cumulative grounds; in addition it alsolacksObjectivity andTerminological Inefficiency. The physical scientists base their beliefs on empirical and theoretical grounds. On empirical grounds, they believe that sociologists have not developed sufficient sophisticated and compelling ways of measuring phenomena as the physical scientists have done.

It is not possible to gather facts the same way that physical scientists do since social facts like statistics are really social constructs and do not reflect an objective reality. They believe that an objective reality does not exist in sociology and that sociologists deal more with subjective perceptions of reality. However from the theoretical perspective; they believe that the heart of theory is prediction but people unlike objects are unpredictable.They believe that people have free will unlike objects and that useful theory and true prediction in sociology are impossible they also believe that sociological theories are based on assumptions concerning the nature of reality that are themselves really based on theories or ideologies. Cumulatively, they believe that society is dynamic and therefore sociology is dynamic. Society is always changing and therefore sociological theories of one hundred years ago may not apply in the same way today.

New research would have to be considered, in order for theories to be more accurate and applicable today.Phenomenologists also believe that sociology is not a science. They reject the view that natural science methodology is appropriate to sociology.

To phenomenologists, objective observation of the social world is not possible. They believe that it is not possible to collect meaningful statistical data and establish correlations, casual connections and laws. However sociology also lacks experimentation. Experimentation and prediction is not possible in social sciences as in physical or natural sciences. Human relationship cannot be seen, neither weighed nor can be analysed in a test-tube of the laboratory.Neither microscope nor any thermometer measure human behaviour. Human relationships and human behaviour are peculiar and uncertain.

So, prediction and experimentation as found in physical sciences is just not possible in sociology. Furthermore, social units and institutions are not divisible. It is not possible to separate them and analyses just like analysing water as the parts of Hydrogen and are part of oxygen through experiments. Such experiment in the laboratory sense in sociology is just impossible and difficult In addition it lacksobjectivity.

Objectivity means ability to examine various evidence without any biasness and prejudices.But biases and prejudices are absorbed by a man from childhood days. Man form assumptions regarding any object or event since infancy. It is therefore, not possible for him to observe his subject with complete detachment. Social relationships cannot be studied like physical objects. What we see in social relationship is only an outward expression of our inner life. A sociologist has to concern himself with the working of the inner mind of his subject in order to understand his external actions properly Sociology as a social science suffers from inexact and clear terminology.

Same words convey different meaning to different people. The term “caste” and “class” for example, has not yet acquired exact meaning. The concept of class cannot be separated from caste in some cases. But caste is not class.

Confusion has not yet been removed. Words, concepts and terminologies are essential tools of thought in scientific investigation or otherwise. Sociology has not yet developed an adequate set of scientific terms. Many of the terms in sociology like religion, caste, class, and groups are words found in everyday use.The terms with vague and unclear meanings create terminological inefficiency, thus passing an obstacle in the way of sociology developing into a science. In light of the above obstacles confronting social science in general, it is often said that there can be merely social studies but not social science. Others believe that dispassionate study of social phenomenon is not possible.

The investigator cannot be neutral. He mostly takes sides. But without neutral analysis, science is not possible.


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