Sociologists have embraced what is known as the comparative method as
the most efficient way to expose taken-for-granted 'truths' or laws that people
have adopted. But what is this comparative method and how does it work? Are
there any advantages/disadvantages to exposing these false 'truths'. What forms
or variations of the comparative method exist? In the pages to follow I will
attempt to give you some insight and understanding of what the comparative
method is, and how it works.
The comparative method, simply put, is the process of comparing two
things (in our case societies, or the people that make up society) and seeing if
the result of the comparison shows a difference between the two. The
comparative method attempts to dereify (the process of exposing misinterpreted
norms. Norms that society consider natural and inevitable characteristics of
human existence) reified (the human created norms or 'truths') beliefs.
Obviously there are various ways in which a nomi (a labeled, sometime
constructed, norm or truth) can be exposed. Which form of the comparative
method should one use however? The answer, whichever one applies to the 'truth'
in question. For example, you certainly would not do a cross-gender form of
comparison if you wished to expose whether or not homosexuality has always been
feared and looked down upon by most people throughout history. No, rather you
would perform a historical comparison of two or more different societies to see
if these beliefs always existed, or, whether or not this is a newly constructed
Let's look at little more closely at the above mentioned historical
comparison and see how the comparative method works with a specific example.
There is no question that in today's western society there is a lot of
fear and trepidation towards people who are labeled 'homosexual'. The question
we will attempt to answer however is whether or not it has always been like this
and is this a... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(1999, 10). Sociology: the Comparative Method. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Sociology-Comparative-Method-4248.html
"Sociology: the Comparative Method" StudyMode.com. 10 1999. 10 1999 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Sociology-Comparative-Method-4248.html>.
"Sociology: the Comparative Method." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Sociology-Comparative-Method-4248.html.