Positivists

1395 words 6 pages
Positivists believe that we can gain true and objective knowledge of reality by applying methods of natural sciences in sociology . For them, reality exists independently of the human mind and nature is made up of objective, observable, physical facts that are external to our minds. They believe that like matter, humans are directed by an external stimuli-the society-and they act accordingly (example: functionalism, Marxism). By analyzing quantitative data, positivists simply seek to discover laws of cause and effect that determine human behavior. One of the first positivists, August Comte was confident that scientific knowledge about society could be accumulated and used to improve human existence. Adding to Comte, Durkheim argued that …show more content…
As peoples actions are not governed by external causes there’s no possibility of cause and effect explanation of the kind sought by positivists.
Interactionist Jack Douglas (1967) rejects the positivist idea of external social facts determining our behaviour. Individuals have free will and choose to act on basis of meanings.
Ethno methodologists argue members of society have a stock of taken for granted assumptions with which they make sense of situations, including deaths. The sociologist’s role is to uncover what this knowledge is and how coroners use it to arrive at a verdict.

Similarly, postmodernists argue against the idea of a scientific sociology. They regard natural science as a meta-narrative. Despite the claim to have special action to the truth, science is another big story; its account of the world is no more valid than any other. Thus there’s no particular reason why we should adopt science as a model for sociology. Given the postmodernist view that there are as many different truths as there are points of view, a scientific approach is dangerous as it can claim a monopoly of truth and exclude other points of view. Thus scientific sociology not only makes false claims about the truth it’s also a form of domination. Feminists, such as post structural feminists share this view of

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