Identify and explain three elements of science in sociological research.

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readerofbooks's profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Your question is bit vague, but I think you are asking how science figures into sociological research. If you are asking about this, then this is a great question. Sociologist and historians of science have been studying science for a generation now from many new perspectives. They have come to many incredible conclusions. For example, Thomas Kuhn has shown that science is not as objective as it claims to be. Kuhn argues that since there are many paradigm sifts in scientific communities, science is subjective in many ways. Also Stanley Tambiah shows that science and religion were not separated in the past. In fact, he shows that religion actually helped to develop science. Other scholars look at various topics of science from a sociological point of view with great benefit.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This question isn't very clear, but I'll do my best to answer what I think you are asking.

I think you're asking how sociological research is similar to scientific research.  Here are three ways:

  1. Both are supposed to use the scientific method.  A researcher is supposed to form a hypothesis, choose a research design and then collect and analyze data to prove or disprove the hypothesis.
  2. Sociologists sometimes use statistical analysis.  They will use things like regressions to try to determine how much of an effect various variables have on something.
  3. They often try to use control groups to determine whether the variable they are studying truly has any effect on their dependent variable.
krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Sociology is as much of a science as any other branch of science. Though the question refers to specifically three elements of science, sociology has all the elements of science that any other branch of science.

It is possible to classify basic elements of science in many different ways, yielding three or thirty different elements. Perhaps the question is referring to a particular scheme of classifying features of science which has just three elements. As this specific scheme has not been described in the question, I will just describe some major elements of science classified in five basic elements as follows:

  1. Observing nature
  2. classifying data
  3. Using logic
  4. Conducting experiments
  5. Formulating hypothesis
  6. Expressing findings as theories.

Sociology has all these elements of science present in it. Sociologist collect factual data about people, groups, society and behavior of individual in a social context through various means like observation, survey, and observation. Then classify and analyse such data to understand the nature of such the subjects studied and the underlying causes of people and groups behaving as they do. Then they use the insights so gained to draw generalized conclusion about nature of sociological realities., which may be initially proposed as hypothesis and tested further to establish their validity or otherwise. Finally sociologists, formulate theories to capture the essence of their findings. In this way we see that sociology has all the elements of a science.

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