Is Sociology a Science? Essay

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By the definition, science is the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment (Oxford dictionary). This crude definition is elaborated further by a world-famous sociologist Anthony Giddens as ‘the scientific study of human social life, groups, and societies. It is dazzling and compelling enterprise, as its subject matter is our own behavior as social beings. The scope of sociological study is extremely wide, ranging from the analysis of passing encounters between individuals on the street to the investigation of global social processes such as the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.’ (Giddens: 2006)
Before the rise in modern science, majority of people believed that gods or spirits were the cause of natural events such as earthquakes. That is why, we, human beings, always have been curious about the sources of our own behavior, but for centuries our attempts to understand ourselves relied on ways of thinking passed down from generation to generation, often expressed in religious terms. Despite that, writers from earlier periods provided insights towards human behavior and society, the systematic study of society is a relatively new elaboration, beginning back to the late 1700s and early 1800s. A key development was the use of science instead of religion to understand the world. (Giddens: 2006)
Although writers from earlier periods provided insights into human behavior and society, the systematic study of society is a relatively recent development, whole beginnings date back to the late 1700s and early 1800s. A key development was the use of science instead of religion to understand the world. (Giddens: 2006)...

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...epts compose the very subject matter of the study of sociology. As the result, one must agree that we are limited by the impossibility of experiment, which signifies that the scientific methods are not applicable to the entire study of sociology.

Works Cited
Giddens, A. (2006) Sociology 5th ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Giddens, A. (2001) Sociology 4th ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Comte, A. (1855) The positive philosophy of Auguste Comte. New York: Calvin Blanchard.
Dumbliauskas, V. (1999) Sociologija: Mokymo priemone. Vilnius: Vilniaus pedagoginis universitetas.
Sharma, K. R. (2008) Sociological Methods And Techniques. India: Nice Printing Press.
Kuhn. T (1962) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Heywood, A. (2007) Politics 3rd ed. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan
Oxford Dictionary (2008) USA: Oxford University Press

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