Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Social Science is STILL Science

According to Horkheimer science can only deal with that which already exists. He also believes that science is geared towards the continued exploitation of certain groups while the few elite continue to prosper. Do you agree with this? At first it sounded reasonable to me, but then I started thinking about all of the things that could be learned through science. A thousand years ago we didn't know that germs existed, but here we are studying them today. Somewhere along the line, someone had to have used science to find out that they even existed. So, in a weird way, we CAN study something that doesn't exist. And what about the oppression part? Do you really believe Horkheimer when he says that science only serves to continually oppress people? Do you really believe EVERY science is like this? And if so, what about Social Science? Are all the people that we are reading about trying to keep us down? Could Horkheimer have been wrong? Could he have just been so critical about the way that some scientists worked in the past that his thoughts were tainted and bias? After all, isn't social science still science?


  1. I believe that science can benefit the elite. But something like social science I think is a little more equal in terms of who it helps. Social science is just looking to answer questions, that would not help one person more than the other.

  2. Well although social science IS still science I think that as everything else in society it too has its status and classes. What I mean is that maybe social sciences have a lower status that those considered "natural sciences" because of its position on things. I do think however that the elite still do benefit from this "other" type of science and those being marginalized end up with the bitter end. I can only think of one example now that could be valid to this. I now am familiar with a few people that are making a lot of money studying the border violence, these same people are looking at factors of poverty and race, these people are of the few elite and through their reports they are not fixing anything but are creating more wealth for themselves because it is what the elite want to hear and see during their daily moccaccino expresso at whatever coffe shop is in at the time. So to answer your question simply, yes! I think the elite benefit from science and they are also generating a broader stratification among classes. Thus we are in school, to become part of the elite and not feel the backlash of our own studies. ;P