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What are the problems a sociologist may face in seeking to interpret objectively the...

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mando | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 13, 2009 at 8:02 AM via web

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What are the problems a sociologist may face in seeking to interpret objectively the actions of other people?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 13, 2009 at 8:16 AM (Answer #1)

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The problems a sociologist would face in this attempt are the same that would be faced by any social scientist.  All social scientists are faced with the difficulty of seeing past their own cultural preconceptions or prejudices.

Sociologists who look at other people look at those people through the lens their own experiences.  They have a hard time adopting the ways of thought of the people they are observing.  Because of this, sociologists, and social scientists in general, are prone to misinterpreting or prejudging the behaviors of people they observe when those behaviors wouldn't "make sense" in the observer's own culture.

In the link below, scroll down to "Observer Bias."

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parama9000 | Student , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted February 28, 2014 at 2:25 PM (Answer #2)

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They would have to reduce the effects of their stereotypes, preconceptions or prejudices on the people they look at and not attempt to rationalize or make a judgement with a comparison with the sociologist's own culture and his own cultural perception.

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