Sociology Answer Writing Practice - Week 1 - Question 4
90 Days Sociology Answer Writing Practice Question 2 for 06-Dec-2017
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06-Dec-2017 - Question 2
Non Positivist methodology is essential for understanding human behaviour. Discuss (2015)
The methodology is concerned with both the detailed research methods through which data are collected and the more general philosophies upon which the collection and analysis of data are based. The Early school of the sociologist who adopted the method of natural science and advocated the use of quantitative methods (Numerical Statistical Methods) in Sociology are known as Positivists. They claimed that the way natural things are quantified and observed, social realities can also be studied in the same way. In other terms, they advocated that subject matter of natural science and Sociology is essentially same.
However, many sociologists claimed that studying human behavior is fundamentally different from studying the natural world. Since the matter has no consciousness, its behavior can be explained simply as a reaction to external stimuli. It is compelled to react in this way because its behavior is essentially meaningless. Unlike the subject matter of the natural world, human being possess consciousness. The supporters of this epistemological tradition were known as Non-Positivists.
Non Positivists claimed that people do not react automatically to external stimuli, instead they interpret and experience the meanings of stimulus before responding it. They believed that data are social construction than real or objective (Constructivists approach). People actively construct their own social reality. They advocated use of interpretive and qualitative approaches which can supplement scientific quantitative methodology .
However, an anti-Positivists tradition in sociology initiated by Interactionism and followed by Phenomenology and Ethnomethodology rejected the use of scientific approaches as they believed that statistical data does not provide any great insight into human behavior which is largely governed by the internal processes by which people interpret the world around them and give meaning to their own lives.