Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Social "Pseudo Science"

Among Weber’s arguments as to why it would be quite an impossibility for the existence of a true social “science” was the idea that in order for the researcher to even perceive a problem in which a study could be conducted the very labeling of the issue at hand as a “problem” would require a cultural (subjective) interpretation of it as such (Allan, 2008). This in effect goes contrary to the beliefs of science in which objectivity is a required basis thus “disqualifying” a discipline (eg sociology) that needs culture (a value-laden concept) for its existence. Every situation must be interpreted in its own unique context and to try and generalize across society would rationalize every thing that makes us uniquely human. We cannot escape what made us who we are. Our upbringing, the way we have been oriented influences (whether we perceive or not) everything we do especially our perception of society. Is it possible to disassociate ourselves from ourselves, from our very being, so as to be able to be objective in our study of humanity? Is it possible for social science to come up with knowledge (nonevaluative) that can be generalized across society and across time?

Allan,K. 2007. The Social Lens: An Invitation to Social and Sociological Theory.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

1 comment:

  1. What does "objective" mean anyway? What would "objective science" look like?