A2 Sociological Theory: Postmodernism Feminism & Scientific Sociology

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A2 Sociological Theory: Postmodernism Feminism & Scientific Sociology

  1. 1. Lesson 3: A2 Sociological Theory Covering: Postmodernism, Feminism and Scientific Sociology
  2. 2. Postmodernist & Scientific Sociology <ul><li>Postmodernists argue against the notion of a scientific sociology. </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They think of the natural sciences as simply a meta-narrative. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Say science is just one ‘big story’ & its account of the world is no more valid than any other. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>So, Postmodernist don’t see a reason why we should adopt science as a model for sociology. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are as many ‘truths’ as there are points of view, making a scientific approach dangerous as it claims a ‘ monopoly of truth’ excluding other points of view. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Sci-Sology & False Claims <ul><li>So, a scientific sociology not only makes false claims about having the ‘truth’; it also forms a domination. </li></ul><ul><li>Soviet Union, Marxist Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marxism is a theory which claims to have discovered scientifically , the truth about the ideal society. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marxism was used as a tool to justify coercion & oppression. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Post-Structuralist Feminists <ul><li>Argue the quest for a single, scientific feminist theory is an attempt at domination as it would covertly exclude many groups of women. </li></ul><ul><li>Some feminists argue that quantitative scientific methods favoured by positivists are also oppressive & cannot capture the reality of women’s experiences. </li></ul>
  5. 5. A ‘Terrible Model’ <ul><li>Some writers argue science is terrible model for sociology to follow as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In practice, science has not always led to the progress that positivists believed it would. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ulrick Becks’ ‘Risk Society’ (not Giddens) Example : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Risk society… as in hazards and insecurities induced & introduced by modernisation itself. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Scientifically created dangers such as nuclear weapons & global warming have undermined the idea that science inevitably brings benefits to humankind. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Thus it is argued…. <ul><li>That if science bring such negative consequences, it would be wrong for sociology to adopt it as a model. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What is Science? <ul><li>We all know by now that Interpretivists reject the positivist view that sociology is a science… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But they do tend to agree with positivists that the natural sciences are actually as the positivists describe them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember positivists see natural science as inductive reasoning or verificationism applied to the study of observable patterns. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Not Always in Agreement? <ul><li>Not everyone accepts positivists’ version of the natural sciences. </li></ul><ul><li>Scores of sociologists, philosophers & historians have painted their own version of science…. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There are three which we will examine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will consider implications for whether sociology can or should be a science. </li></ul></ul>

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