Diamond Milton July 19, 2016 SOC100: Intro. To Sociology Unit 1 Assignment: Comparing Sociology 1. Compare and contrast scientific sociology, interpretive sociology, and critical sociology. Scientific (positivist) sociology can be defined as the study of society based on the systematic observation of social behavior. Scientific sociology focuses on the actions and there are claims that an objective reality does exist. This idea is supported by evidence based information, meaning we can actually use one or more of our senses to verify that the objective reality actually exists. There are three elements that are key factors in order to help the science aspect of positivist sociology work, these elements are concepts, variables, and measurement. Concepts is a mental structure that will represent some aspect of the world in a simplified form, a variable is the concept that will change over time, and measurement is the procedure for determining the value of a variable in a specific case (Sociology page 35). Key ingredients for a measurement in scientific sociology is reliability and validity. If a measurement is not consistent it cannot be considered reliable. If the measurement that was taken was not meant to be measured than that would be considered invalid. The downfall of using this method is the fact that the human behavior is too complex for sociologists to accurately predict how one is going to behave. Also, social patterns change from generation to generation and/or from year to year. With that being said people’s behaviors will change also so that would make the predictions unreliable and invalid (Sociology page 40). The work of both Durkheim and Comte are exemplified in scientific sociology (Sociology page 16). With that being said the best theoretical approach to take in this type of sociology would be the functional approach because it is also a system based observation of behavior (Sociology page 16-17). Interpretive sociology can be defined as a study of society that focuses on the meanings that people attach to their social world. With interpretive sociology the main focus basically implies that reality is subjective instead of objective like in scientific sociology. Interpretive sociology allows one to use their personal interviews and field research in order to establish the data need to supply (Sociology page 40). With this method we are allowed to dig deeper into why people act the way they do and not just group everyone into a classification. Interpretive sociology allows us to learn more
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