Whether sociology can ever become a full-fledged "science" (a description of a class of events predictable on the basis of deductions from a constant ra~onale) depends on whether the terms which sociologists employ to describe events can be analyzed into quantifiable observables.
Conventions of generality and mathematical elegance may be just as much barriers to the attainment and diffusion of knowledge as may contentment with particularity and literary vagueness... It may well be that the slovenly and literary borderland between economics and sociology will be the most fruitful building ground during the years to come and that mathematical economics will remain too flawless in its perfection to be very fruitful.kenneth boulding
The application of psychoanalysis to sociology must definitely guard against the mistake of wanting to give psychoanalytic answers where economic, technical, or political facts provide the real and sufficient explanation of sociological questions. On the other hand, the psychoanalyst must emphasize that the subject of sociology, society, in reality consists of individuals, and that it is these human beings, rather than abstract society as such, whose actions, thoughts, and feelings are the object of sociological research.Erich Fromm "Psychoanalyse und Soziologie" (1929); published as "Psychoanalysis and Sociology" as translated by Mark Ritter, in Critical Theory and Society : A Reader (1989) edited by S. E. Bronner and D. M. Kellner
I often say that sociology is a martial art, a means of self-defense. Basically, you use it to defend yourself, without having the right to use it for unfair attacks.Pierre Bourdieu (2000) La Sociologie est un sport de combat; Cited in: John Horne, Wolfram Manzenreiter (2004) Football Goes East. p. xii
I have been accused of being ignorant of economics (although I am the founder and Chairman of the Board of a company which publishes seven professional economic newsletters), of being ignorant of sociology (although I am trained in sociology and was C. Wright Mills' research assistant at Columbia), of being unable to use statistics (although I earned my living as a professional statistician for five years) and of ignoring political factors (although all my graduate training was in political science).lloyd demause
A religious phenomenon will only be recognized as such if it is grasped at its own level, that is to say, if it is studied as something religious. To try to grasp the essence of such phenomenon by means of physiology, psychology , sociology , economics , linguistics , art or any other study is false; it misses the one unique and irreducible element in it the element of the sacred .mircea eliade
The way forward does not lie in amateur and comically timeless linguistic sociology which takes ‘forms of life ’ for granted (and this is what philosophy has been recently), but in the systematic study of forms of life which does not take them for granted at all. It hardly matters whether such an inquiry is called philosophy or sociology.ernest gellner
Many, and I think the determining, constitutive facts remain outside the reach of the operational concept. And by virtue of this limitation this methodological injunction against transitive concepts which might show the facts in their true light and call them by their true name the descriptive analysis of the facts blocks the apprehension of facts and becomes an element of the ideology that sustains the facts. Proclaiming the existing social reality as its own norm, this sociology fortifies in the individuals the “faithless faith” in the reality whose victims they are.herbert marcuse
Ludwig von Bertalanffy, a distinguished biologist, occupies an important position in the intellectual history of the twentieth century. His contributions went beyond biology, and extended to psychology, psychiatry, sociology, cybernetics , history and philosophy. Some of his admirers even believe that von Bertalanffy's general systems theory could provide a conceptual framework for all these disciplines.p. 2 (Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1901-1972) (1989))
The fear that seeing naked people in some way harms children is not supported, however, by academic research. The small handful of studies on this topic in psychology and sociology have shown, instead, that children reared in an atmosphere containing family social nudity may benefit from the practice. If this is true, then proposed laws outlawing either social nudity in the home or children's participation at naturist (or nudist) settings are unjustified.Mark Storey in Children, Social Nudity and Scholarly Study
Ludwig von Bertalanffy, a distinguished biologist, occupies an important position in the intellectual history of the twentieth century. His contributions went beyond biology, and extended to psychology, psychiatry, sociology, cybernetics , history and philosophy. Some of his admirers even believe that von Bertalanffy's general systems theory could provide a conceptual framework for all these disciplines.Thaddus E. Weckowicz (1989). Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1901-1972): A Pioneer of General Systems Theory. Working paper Feb 1989. p.2
The development of information research has increased considerably the interaction of emerging information science with other disciplines. Librarianship has traditionally had links with education and classification and has drawn ideas from logic and philosophy . But during the last fifty years new insights and methods have been derived from sociology and social psychology, from computer science, from operations research and related quantitative approaches, from communications research, from linguistics , and most recently from the new hybrids: cognitive science and artificial intelligence.B.C. Vickery ed. (1994) Fifty years of information progress. p. 7
Up until the publication of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in 1962, the history, philosophy, and sociology of science maintained an internalist approach to scientific knowledge claims. Science was seen as somehow above any social, political, or cultural influences, and therefore, the examinations of scientific knowledge focused on areas such as 'discoveries,' 'famous men,' and 'the scientific revolution in the West.' When Kuhn opened the door to the possibility that external factors were involved in the development of scientific paradigms, science studies assumed a more critical tone.Diane M. Rodgers "Debugging the Link Between Social Theory and Social Insects" (2009)
The modern systems view, which flowered during World War II (though building on principles in the wind much earlier), has already borne its first fruits and is in danger of a superficial acceptance into the corpus of sociology by way of the incorporation of some of its now common vocabulary.Walter F. Buckley (1967) Sociology and modern systems theory p. vii
Since the citation and the reference have different referents and are actually each other's mirror image, it does not seem very wise to blur the distinction between them. This distinction has moreover the advantage that the quest for a citation theory in scientometrics and the sociology of science splits into two different, analytically independent research problems: the patterns in the citing behaviour of scientists, social scientists and scholars in the humanities on the one hand, and the theoretical foundation of citation analysis on the other.Paul Wouters (1999) "Beyond the holy grail: From citation theory to indicator theory." Scientometrics, 44, p. 195; as cited in Annual review of information science and technology. Vol 41. 2007 p. 630
Biology is not physics , because organisms are such complex physical objects, and sociology is not biology because human societies are made by self-conscious organisms. By pretending to a kind of knowledge that it cannot achieve, social science can only engender the scorn of natural scientists and the cynicism of the humanists.Richard Lewontin (1995) "Sex, Lies, and Social Science" in New York Review of Books (4/20/95)
During the 1950s and 1960s most of the work which was called cybernetics tended to focus on control systems in engineering or on applications of the concept of feedback in fields ranging from mathematics to sociology. At the 1970 meeting of the American Society for Cybernetics in Philadelphia Heinz von Foerster sought to redirect attention to the original interests which had led to the founding of the field of cybernetics. In a paper titled "Cybernetics of Cybernetics" he made a distinction between first order cybernetics, the cybernetics of observed systems, and second order cybernetics, the cybernetics of observing systems.Stuart A. Umpleby (1991) "Strategies for Winning Acceptance of Second Order Cybernetics." In George E. Lasker, et al. (eds.) Advances in Human Systems and Information Technologies. Windsor, Canada: International Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics, 1992. pp. 97-196. (paper)
Good sociology is sociological work that produces meaningful descriptions of organizations and events, valid explanations of how they come about and persist, and realistic proposals for their improvement or removal.Howard S. Becker (1972) "'Radical politics and sociological research"
Don't give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy.Ray Bradbury (1953) Fahrenheit 451 p. 61
Myth does not set out to give lessons in natural science any more than in morals or sociology.François-Bernard Mâche (1983, 1992). Music, Myth and Nature, or The Dolphins of Arion (Musique, mythe, nature, ou les Dauphins d'Arion, trans. Susan Delaney). Harwood Academic Publishers. ISBN 3718653214
Anyone who has studied psychology, sociology, anthropology, or any of the other wacko-and-wog disciplines knows the three great rules of the social sciences: Folks do lots of things. We don't know why. Test on Friday.P.J. O'Rourke (2007) Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut. p. 207
sociology is the science which has the most methods and the least results.Henri Poincaré (1908) Science and Method Part I. Ch. 1 : The Selection of Facts, p. 19
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