Evaluation of Sociological Methods
Sociology is simply the study of society. It is a science that studies the social lives of the people who form groups/societies and interact with each other in some meaningful way. Sociology itself is a relatively new academic discipline and came into acceptance as a science only in the early part of the nineteenth century. As with any science, there are certain accepted methods for experiments as well as the testing of hypotheses and there is some debate over which sociological method is most applicable to the science. In fact, it can be said that no single method is the best since a combination of methods is often needed in many cases for a successful result.
Many fundamental discoveries in sociology have been made, reviewed, established, evaluated and adjusted according to new data in the past decades. However, the current position in sociological research is looking at tools and techniques which could not have been imagined a few decades ago (Platt, 1996). The application of the scientific method of study to sociology created the first revolution and the information age can be said to bring about the second revolution for all fields of study. This is especially true in sociology since the ability to crunch numbers at light speed is only possible with the use of new and powerful computers.
While the modern methods of research and analysis have had an important effect on the field, scientists are also concerned about their overuse and a lack of focus on actually performing the study and too much attention on the analysis and twisting of the results. Indiscriminate application of technology and statistical tools can only result in situations where the application of sociology is more or less meaningless (Chatterjee, 2004). Some human conditions can not be described in percentages or in terms of numbers and require more than simply pushing buttons.
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