Assess the view that sociology can and should be seen as a science (33)
Sociology is seen by some as a science, where facts can be obtained by collecting date etc. Sociology is actually referred to as a social science, along with other subjects like politics and economics. Sociologists in the 19th century believed that by using the rules and logic of the 'scientific method' it could be applied to sociology the same way as it is applied in the natural sciences. The subjects that are known as sciences are, subjects like chemistry and biology, which involves explanations and reasons. However, before anyone can begin to consider if sociology can be described as a science, it has to be made clear what is meant by a science. The general explanation of science is, a way of understanding and explaining the world. When studying something in science, a scientific method is used. The processes involved with scientific methods are, something is observed, an explanation for the event is given (hypothesis), and an experiment/research is conducted. For many this is what sociology does, it tries to explain the understanding of the world and the social groups within it.
Positivist’s theory is based on the belief that explanations and knowledge should be based on empirical scientific method. They think that sociology should be scientific, and analyse social facts. Social facts can be directly observed and measured. Positivists look for correlations in Data, and cause and effect relationships. To do this, they use quantitative data and methods such as questionnaires in order to gain trends, patterns and correlation.
They also use official statistics, which are objective and reliable. Science is about getting the right answers every time an experiment is done, however if scientists get the wrong answer then they have done the experiment wrong, or if you have the right answer but it will be dismissed as scientists have proven the correct answer is different to yours. In...