The Importance of Understanding the Ways of Knowing in the Sociological Research Process The ways of knowing are important to the sociological research process because it wants to gather social patterns, not stereotypes, about society and individuals. In the lecture on 30 August 2012, the class discussed C. Wright Mills and his ideas on sociological imagination. Mills differentiated social patterns as something can that can be empirically proven while stereotypes are based on overgeneralizations about people and their groups and societies. Sociology is not interested in finding generalizations, but in analyzing social patterns as they are, and at times, finding how to use these patterns to enhance the quality of human life, or the performance of organizations. The ways of knowing, in addition, impact how knowledge is gathered and understood. On September 13, 2012, the class discussed the concepts of paradigm, context, theory, epistemology, and methodology. These concepts impact how sociologists gather and analyze information about social patterns. A paradigm pertains to a model that interconnects concepts and ideas to guide people’s thinking. Context refers to the set of interrelationships in people’s conditions and societies. A theory is a logical representation of suppositions. Epistemology is the science of knowing. Methodology is a field of epistemology, or the way of finding out knowledge. Some of the paradigms that affected or continue to affect social science are based on different assumptions on what is knowledge and how it should be obtained. In the syllabus, several paradigms are mentioned. Auguste Comte, also called the “Father of Sociology,” proposed that science is based on an...
This paper declares that some of the paradigms that affected or continue to affect social science are based on different assumptions on what is knowledge and how it should be obtained. In the syllabus, several paradigms are mentioned. Auguste Comte, also called the “Father of Sociology,” proposed that science is based on an objective reality that can be observed. This gave way to empiricism, which argues that reality that can be known through observation, as it provides credible knowledge. This is a paradigm shift from its predecessor that relies on religion and traditions to develop knowledge. Positivism gave rise to objective reality and general laws. Positivism argues that the goal of knowledge is simply to portray the phenomena that people experience. The purpose of science is to study only what can be observed and measured, and eventually find patterns that can help predict future social patterns.
As the essay explores science is majorly a mechanistic or mechanical affair. Positivists employ deductive reasoning to hypothesize theories that can be tested; and they can revise or debunk theories based on the results of their studies. This practice indicates that new theories are made that can better predict reality. In addition, the positivist believes in empiricism. Empiricism is the idea that observation and measurement are the centers of scientific endeavors. The key approach of the scientific method is the experiment, the attempt to distinguish natural laws through direct manipulation and observation.