This paper will aim to explore the question ‘Is Sociology a science?’ We will explore the definitions of Science and Sociology and then go onto examine various perspectives and theories surrounding the subject heading. Sociologists such as Durkheim, Comte and Weber will be examined. This paper is intended as an overview of two different schools of thought, those of positivist and anti-positivist approaches I will outline the main principals for each Sociologist covered. I will then give my personal views on the question, and attempt to answer it within my conclusion.
Firstly, in order to examine the essay title it must be laid out exactly what we mean by ‘Science’ and ‘Sociology’ Science definition.
Science is, according to the Oxford dictionary 2002 “The systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiments”.
Sociology on the other hand is described as, according to the Hutchins encyclopaedia , “the systematic study of the origin of human society, in particular of social order and social change, social conflict and social problems. It studies institutions such as the family, law and the church, as well as concepts such as the norm, role, and culture. Sociology attempts to study people in their social environment according to underlying moral, philosophical and political codes of behaviour.” There are various ‘schools of thought’ when it comes to answering the question we are debating. This paper will take a brief look at approaches such as positivist and anti-positivist approaches. It is often debated that thee are two separate schools of thought when discussing Sociology. There is the first notion that Sociology is based on fact and figures using quantitive data and analysis. The second suggestion is that Sociology is based on qualitative data...