Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
3Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
essay_value_free_sociology

essay_value_free_sociology

Ratings: (0)|Views: 541|Likes:
Published by Bob Jiggins

More info:

Published by: Bob Jiggins on Apr 14, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

02/12/2014

pdf

text

original

 
Isavalue-freesociologyeitherpossibleordesirable?
hisessayisaskingtwoquestionsatonce.Thekeywordsinthetitleare'possible'and'desirable'.Inordertoachieveahighgrade,bothquestionsmustbeanswered.Anappropriatebalanceisthekeytosuccess.Thisjustgoestoshowtheimportanceofreadingthequestionthroughafewtimesbeforeyouattempttoanswerit.Manystudentspanicinexaminationsanddon'treadthequestionthroughproperly.Thisoftenresultsingoodstudentsachievinglowergradesthantheyarecapableof.Bewarned.
Valuefreedomisthenotionthatsociologicalresearchcanandshouldbecarriedoutwithouttheresearcher'sownviewsandvaluesintrudingintotheresearchinvestigation.Inotherwords,thesocioiogistmustbeneutral,withoutbiasesandshouldnottakesides.Valuefreedomisoftenassociatedwithobjectivity.AccordingtoBierstedt,researchisonlyobjectiveifitisfreefrom'subjectiveelements'and'personaldesires'.Theviewthatavalue-freesociologyisbothpossibleanddesirableismostcloselyassociatedwiththepositivistperspective.Accordingtopositivists,valuefreedomisachievedbyfollowingthemethodsandproceduresofthenaturalsciences.However,thispositivistviewofanobjectiveandvalue-freenaturalsciencehasbeenchallengedbyKaplanwhohaspointedoutthatresearcherswithinthenaturalsciencesdonotnecessarilyfollowthemethodologicalapproachwhichpositivistsmaintainthatnaturalscientistsuse.Inaddition,valuesmustinevitablycomeintoanyresearchwhetheritiswithinnaturalscienceorsocialscience.Assoonasaresearcherchoosesonesubjecttostudyratherthananothersubject,thatresearcherhasexpressedavalue.Forexample,within
A-LevelSociology:Essays
Thisopeningparagraphsimplyprovidesabriefdefinitionofvaluefreedom.Ifyoucanrememberarelevantquoteorphrase,italwayslooksgoodinanintroduction.However,ifyoucan'trememberaquote,justdowhatI'vedoneandputdownthekeywords.Inthisparagraph,I'veexplainedwheretheideaofvaluefreedomcomesfromandhowitcanbeachieved.Thisisanexampleofsettingthesceneandactsasalaunch-padintothemainbodyoftheessay.
15
 
Question
4
Weberisakeynameinthevaluefreedomdebate,andnoessayonthissubjectwouldbecompletewithouthim.ThisisbecauseWeberpointstotherelativenatureofvalues.Youmustmakesurethatyou'veagoodunderstandingofWeberoryourvalue-freedomessaywillbeweakandincomplete.Thisparagraphusesinformationfromanotherareaofthesyllabus,inthisinstance,health,andappliesittothequestion.Thisisausefultechniquetolearn.Gouldnerisanotheressentialtheoristinthevalue-freedomdebate.YouwillnoticethattheintroductionofGouldnertakestheessayinadifferentdirection.Thecontemporaryissueofhomelessnessisusedtosupport
16
sociologyitisevidentthatclassicalsociologistssuchasDurkheimandMarx,whobothclaimedtobeobjectiveandscientific,wereinfactmotivatedbytheirownpersonalvalues.TheMarxistBaritztakesthisargumentonestagefurtherbysayingthatthevalueswhichformthebasisofanypieceofresearcharelesslikelytobethoseoftheindividualresearcherthanoftheorganisationorpersonfundingtheresearch.ThisargumentissupportedbytheexampleoftheRowntreeTrustwhichfundsresearchintopoverty.Weberwouldagreethatthevaluesoftheresearcherdoinfluencetheareaofstudy.Hepointedoutthatvaluesareinevitablylinkedtothesocietyinwhichtheresearcherworks,sodifferentsocietieswillgiverisetodifferenttypesofknowledge.Theknowledgereflectsthevaluesofthatparticularsociety.Forexample,theBulgercasehasgivenrisetonumerousattemptstolinkthemassmediawithanti-socialbehaviour.Researchofthisnatureisunlikelyinathirdworldcountryasotherissuesorvaluestakepriority.However,Weberbelievedthatoncethetopicofinvestigationhadbeenchosen,objectivitywaspossible,providingtheresearcherdoesnotmakeanyvaluejudgementsupontheresultsoftheresearch.AccordingtoMarxists,theresearchermayconsidertheresultstobevalue-freebutthereisnoguaranteethatotherswilllookattheresultsoftheresearchinthesamemanner.Marxistswouldarguethatsomeresearchfindingscanbeusedtobenefitthedominantsocialclass.Additionally,thepowerfulcancommissionresearchtosuittheirownpurposes;forexample,thelayoutoflargesupermarketchainsisdesignedbysocialscientistsinordertomaximiseprofits.Whereresearchfindingsdonotfitinwiththegoalsofthebodyfundingtheresearch,thefundershavethepowertosuppressthefindings.ThisoccurredinthecaseoftheConservativegovernmentwhichcommissioned
TheBlackReport
and
TheHealthDivide
whichwereresearchinvestigationsintothehealthofthenation.Theresultsshowedthatbadhealthwaslinkedtoinequalitiesbetweenthesocialclasses.ThegovernmentdidnotpublishthesereportsastheymighthaveproveddamagingtoConservativepolicy.AccordingtotheAmericanMarxistGouldnerinhisessay'AntiMinotaur:TheMythofaValueFreeSociology',justasthemythicalcreaturetheMinotaurcannotbeseparatedintomanandbull,neithercanvaluesbeseparatedfromfactsinsociology.Gouldnerarguesthatthewholeideaofavalue-freesociologystemsfromtheself-interestgeneratedbycapitalism.Heclaims
ExamSuccess
 
thatearlyAmericansociologistswhohadbeencriticalofAmericansocietycameunderattackfromthoseinpowerandasaresultbegantolosetheiracademicstatus.Inordertosavethemselves,theycreatedthemythofavalue-freesociologyandwerenolongercriticalofAmericansociety.However,Gouldnerclaimsthat'sittingonthefence'andsayingnothingcriticalaboutsocietyisinitselfavalue,soavalue-freesociologyisnotpossible.Hearguesthatifsomethingiswronginsociety,sociologistshaveamoraldutytospeakoutbecausesilenceconcerningasocialinequalityisasgoodassupportforsocialinequality.Forexample,sociologistsshouldcommentonpeoplelivingandsleepingonthestreets,andiftheystaysilentaboutit,thentheyareasgoodassayingthatpeopleshouldliveandsleeponthestreets.Gouldnerbelievesthatsociologyisnotandshouldnotbevalue-free.Sincethe1960s,manymodernsociologistshaverejectedthenotionthatavalue-freesociologyiseitherpossibleordesirable.TheinteractionistBeckerclaimedthatasthesocialworldwasmainlyseenthroughtheeyesofthepowerful,sociologistsshouldattempttoredressthebalancebyshowingthesocialworldthroughtheeyesoftheunderdog.Hence,manypiecesofresearchfromthesecondhalfofthetwentiethcenturyhavenotbeenvalue-free,norhavetheyattemptedtobe.ThistrendwasencapsulatedinParker'swork
ViewFromtheBoys,
whichshowscrimefromthepointofviewofthosewhocommitit.MarxistsociologistswouldgofurtherthanBeckerbyadvocatingaformofsociologywhichisclearlypoliticalandthereforenotvalue-free.Marxistsociologynotonlylooksatthestructuredinequalitiesofthesocialworld,butitfrequentlygivesaprescriptiontoremovetheseinequalitiesasitperceivesthemtobeimmoral.Thisideathatsociologyispoliticalandthereforenotvalue-freeisnotexclusivetoleft-wingwriters.Forexample,theNewRightapplyright-wingexplanations,ladenwithright-wingvalues,tothecausesofsocialproblems:MarslandcriticisestheWelfareStateforcreatingacultureofdependencyandadvocatesthedestructionoftheWelfareStateasweknowit.ManysociologistsconcurwithGouldnerinbelievingthatsociologyisnotandshouldnotbevalue-free.Inconclusion,itappearsthatcontemporarysociologyhaslostitsinfatuationwithvaluefreedom.Mostcontemporarysociologistsdonotseeavalue-freesociologyaseitherpossibleordesirable.Ithasbeenacceptedthatvalueswhicharepresentineverysocietywillbecomepartofthesocialisationprocessofanyindividual.Thisinitselfwillensurethatavalue-freesociologyisimpossible.ThoselikeMarslandwhoattacksociologyforitsleft-wingbiasarethemselvesguiltyoftheirownright-wingbiasthroughtheirpreoccupationwithmaintainingthepresentcapitalistsocialorder.
A-LevelSociology:Essays
Gouldner'sargument.CanyouthinkofdifferentexampleswhichequallydemonstrateGouldner'spoint?Youneedtodeveloptheconfidencetoapplytheoreticaldebatestocontemporaryissues.Itwillmakeyouressaysmoreenjoyabletoreadandwriteandwillshowthatyoucanmakethelinkbetweentheoryandpractice.Theconclusionrefersto,andanswers,thequestion.Italsomakesfurtherreferencetowhyavalue-freesociologyisn'tpossible.Notethatthequestionhasbeenansweredatvariouspointsintheessayandnotjustintheconclusion.Regularreferenceotthequestionwillkeepyouressaytightandtothepoint.
17

Activity (3)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
bra2bri_10454361 liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->