Sociology: Value Conflict

Topics: Sociology, Criminology, Deviance Pages: 5 (1331 words) Published: July 20, 2010
Sociology � PAGE * MERGEFORMAT �1�

Running Head: SOCIOLOGY

Sociology



Sociology

Value Conflict

Objectivity means that the conclusions arrived at as the result of inquiry and investigation are independent of the race, color, creed, occupation, nationality, religion, moral preference and political predisposition of the investigator. If hi research is truly objective, it is independent of any subjective elements; any personal desires that he may have. Having said that, one can argue whether it is impossible for sociology to be value free because in order for it to become objective it has to confine itself to so many criteria and conditions. It seems as if it is impossible for sociology to be value free since it is the study of humanity and society which of course cannot be freed from making value judgment.

This proves that even science itself is not value free, what are the changes for sociology to be fully objective? Observers have their own interpretation and interest, so they will take actions in accordance with their interest. They will alter evidence, add variables and ignore other possibilities to prove their theories. Values enter the study of sociology even before any experiments or hypothesis being made. Researchers will find areas that they find suitable and significantly what they think plays a greater role and has deeper impacts on sociology. Weber himself chose to study bureaucracy and the advent of capitalism since he believed that these two areas are more important in the Western societies.

Another condition for sociology to be free from values is its ability to separate social facts from values. Since sociology is the study of human nature, some sociologists believed that it cannot be obtained. According to Max Weber, individuals view the world from a value laden perspective. It is impossible to exclude feelings, personal views and judgments, since human beings the subject matter for sociology has feelings, emotions and consciousness.

Deviant Behavior

The concept of a deviant Behavior refers to a sequence of stages through which the rule-breaker may evolve into a full-fledged deviant or outsider (Becker, 2005). According to Becker, after the individual has been labeled as deviant, they progress down the path of a deviant Behavior and it becomes hard to shake off the deviant label as others see it as a master status of the individual. He points out that when studying deviant people one should not take their deviance for granted, as one cannot assume that these people have actually committed a deviant act or broken some rule, because the process of labeling theory may not be infallible. In other words, to be deviant behavior deviant does not necessarily mean that the individual is, or has been deviant in the past. In addition, Kai T. Erikson (2005) also highlights the way social reaction affects the deviant individual.

He reinforces what Becker had previously suggested saying that deviance is not a property inherent in certain forms of behaviour, it is a property conferred upon these forms by the audiences which directly or indirectly witness them (Erikson,2005). He suggests that deviance is necessary to society's stability, rather than being responsible for its breakdown, as the deviant individual serves as a marker of the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, and as Erikson writes, in doing so, he shows us the difference between the inside of the group and the outside. He goes on to bring forward the question of whether or not the Labeling of deviant individuals is necessary in holding society together.

In conclusion, deviant behavior has now spread outside the confines of the sociology of deviance. For example, the imputation of the label `insane` to a person may represent an important stage in the process of becoming mentally ill. Furthermore, after thorough analysis it is evident that deviant behavior has proven to be very significant in establishing a...

References: Becker, H. S. (2005). Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance. New York, NY: The Free Press Becker, H. S. (2006).
Blumer, H. (2005). Symbolic Interactionism. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
Blumer, H. (2006). Sociological Implications of the Thoughts of George Herbert Mead. Englewood Cliff, New Jersey.
Cicourel, V. A. (2007). The Social Organization of Juvenile Justice. New York, NY: The Free Press
Elsevier, New York. Heckert, D. (2007). Ugly Duckling to Swan: Labelling Theory and the Stigmatization of Red Hair. Symbolic Interaction, 20(4):365-385
Erikson, K. T. (2005). Wayward Puritans. Wiley, NY. Gibb, J. (2005). Conceptions of Deviant Behaviour: The Old and the New.
Liazos, A. (2005). The Poverty of the Sociology of Deviance: Nuts, Sluts and Perverts. Mead, H. G. (2006). Mind, Self, and Society: From the Standpoint of a Social Behaviourist. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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