Because they are scientists, I would argue that the role of a sociologist should be limited as much as possible to studying the way people influence society and the way society influences people. Sociologists formulate hypotheses about how social issues may change based on certain criteria. They gather data about social interactions via observations and interviews. They analyze data, drawing conclusions and then publishing or sharing those findings. Often these conclusions help to shape new policies or thoughts in society.
Once a scientist enters research with a specific reform effort in mind, the scientific method becomes cloudy. Is the sociologist now analyzing the data as it presents itself, or is he interpreting it through a lens that fits his own views?
Although it is impossible to completely remove one's biases, every effort should be given to do so in order to preserve the validity of the research. Thus, the role of a sociologist is that of gathering and analyzing the data of our...
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