Lecture Notes - Sociology as a Science abbreviated (see...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Sociology as a Science – abbreviated (see also the longer handout posted on Blackboard if this is a topic of interest to you) Sociology is more than just the social commentary that bombards us everyday. Sociologists seek to understand social behavior and society by using systematic, scientific methods of empirical investigation and developing theories on human social life and societies. Sociologists must rely upon careful theory construction techniques and well-tested research methods to effectively describe, explain, and predict social behavior. Scientifically oriented sociologists believe we must go beyond common sense and guesswork when it comes to understanding social life. We believe that it is necessary to devise scientific theories and to conduct careful scientific research to test those theories about the social world. Scientific knowledge differs from other ways of knowing in that it requires empirical confirmation. Empirical evidence means concrete, measurable, unbiased evidence that is gained through direct and systematic observation and can be confirmed through repeated study. As discussed in class, we cannot simply rely upon anecdotal evidence. Science is both a dynamic knowledge base, supported by evidence, and a systematic process of acquiring that knowledge. Like scientists in other fields, sociologists strive to create theories (abstract propositions or statements developed to explain behavior) , derive concrete hypotheses from those theories, and empirically test those hypotheses. Abstract concepts in theories have to be operationalized into something measurable (“the operational definition”). For instance, the abstract concept of intelligence is frequently operationalized as IQ score on an IQ test. When operationalizing a concept, it is important that the variable have
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/17/2011 for the course SOCY 305 taught by Professor Saucier during the Spring '09 term at South Carolina.

Page1 / 3

Lecture Notes - Sociology as a Science abbreviated (see...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online