Theoretical Approaches of the Social Sciences

Topics: Sociology, Science, Scientific method Pages: 10 (3483 words) Published: August 7, 2010

Theoretical approaches in the social sciences – for example, behaviorism, functionalism, hermeneutics – have a perspectival nature. Perspectives have their own way of describing social sciences and may be dangerous for any social institution (Blinov, 2010:21). Philosophy’s aim is to question beliefs and opinions in the social science disciplines but also these disciplines can be politically innocent and neutral institutions by not favouring any particular practices or results in group or individual perspectives (Blinov, 2010:6). In sociology, many different points of view/theories exist (Sargent, 1996:xiv). Theories begin with efforts to resolve unresolved experiences by leading towards a commitment of self awareness to achieve change. All ideas and structures are subject to examination by the social sciences by being critical or sceptical of what is put in front us by praxis on the strengths or weakness of the event. Theoretical approaches are foundational in the sense that initial harmless perspectives can lead to reckless applications by a social scientist towards relativism in their search for the truth. “A social science perspective is a system of descriptive terms which highlights some features which are especially likely to be useful in accomplishing the purposes of the social sciences”(Blinov, 2010:29). It is this general view on theoretical approaches that gives innumerable features to relationships people create with the world. A social science perspective classifies and can identify differences by categorising theoretical approaches or types sociologically. Perspectives in the social sciences are about the search for knowledge. Perspectives in the social sciences outline the potential harm that knowledge can carry and how knowledge can lead to destruction by discovering their own needs and interests by rational thought processes that are trying to justify beliefs in social science perspectivism claims and the struggle to do so. Perspectivism is the view that all knowledge is essentially perspectival in character. By this, knowledge claims and assessment take place within a framework (Fay, 1996). Social science is an objective phenomena because of internal and subjective opinions.In some areas of social science, the description and explanation of theoretical approaches with perspective nature cannot be detached as they are influenced by set beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions, moral and political judgements. Approaches to different aspects do not necessarily become agreed upon because there is a never one valid point of view due to alternative topics presented. Theoretical frameworks help interpret society providing a basis for building fields in law, education, health and welfare for example. In order to prevent social scientists from imposing their perspectives on the participant the use of flexibility and discretion must be maintained by setting limits on the perspectives actions. An ideology can be based on truth or fiction so it is essential that the favours of certain groups are perspectives involving the interests of that particular group in cognitive ways because of the persuasion of the validity of the truth (Sargent, 1996:28). Examples of perspectivism in the social sciences are behaviourism, functionalism, Marxism, Rational Choice Theory and hermeneutics. Their purpose focuses attention on some features which can be very complicated psychically and/or socially. Each of the social sciences can be inexhaustible due to the numerous amounts of descriptions whether true or not because the principle does not end (Blinov, 2010:22). Selectivity gives a social science phenomena a noticeable difference to other features in order to be deceptive in appearance. The goal/purpose is reachable and adequate when items are grouped or classified (Blinov, 2010:23). Choices or conventional elements that help us decide the purpose when seeing what is or isn’t significant requiring discipline...

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