Sociology and Science. www.educationforum.co.uk. What is Science?. Many scientists claim there is a clear distinction between science and the supernatural. A good recent example is Richard Dawkins who in ‘The God Delusion’ 2006 makes the following observations about science and religion;
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1. Objectivity – the scientist is neutral
2. Scientific enquiry is evidence based – conclusions are based on evidence not preconceived ideas
3. Scientific enquiry is ‘open’ – ideas which are tested and ‘falsified’ are rejected and more accurate ones replace them.
The early positivists used an inductive approach. This means data was first collected, studied, analysed and then a theory or hypothesis composed. The hypothesis is then tested and conclusions drawn. If it was repeatable (reliable), the hypothesis became a social fact.
Prefer methods similar to those used in the natural sciences
Surveys, cross-sectional surveys, longitudinal studies, experiments, field experiments, case studies
Using your A2 books and last years notes make sure you are able to describe and evaluate each of these methods