Posted by Prem Shresh , Sunday, March 7, 2010 7:22 PM
Sociology is the branch of knowledge and it has its own characteristics. Sociology has different nature in society. It is different from other sciences in certain respects. The following are the main characteristics of sociology as enlisted by Robert Bierstedt in his book " The Social Order" and they are as follows:-
- Sociology is an independent science :- It is not treated and studies as a branch of any other science like philosophy or political philosophy or history.
- Sociology is the social science and not a physical science :- As a social science it concentrates its attention on man, his social behaviour, social activities and social life.
- Sociology is the categorical and not a normative discipline :- Sociology "Confines itself to statement about what is, not what should be or ought to be". As a social science sociology is necessarily silent about questions of value and it is ethically neutral.
- Sociology is the pure science and not an applied science :- The main aim of pure science is the acquisition of knowledge and it is not bothered weather the acquired knowledge is useful or can be put to use.
- Sociology is the relatively an abstract science and not a concrete science :- Sociology does not confine itself to the study of this society of that particular society or social organization, or marriage, or religion, or group and so on. It is in this simple sense that sociology is an abstract nor a concrete science.
- Sociology is the generalizing and not a particularizing or individualizing science :- Sociology tries to find out the general laws or principles about human interaction and association, about the nature, from, content and the structure of human groups and societies. It tries to make generalisations on the basis of the study of some selected events.
- Sociology is the general science not a special science :- The area of inquiry of sociology is general not specialised. It is concerned with human interaction and human life in general. It only studies human activities in a general way. Anthropology and social psychology often claim themselves to be general social science.
- Sociology is both rational and an empirical science :- There are two broad ways of approach to scientific knowledge. Empiricism is the approach that emphasis experience and the facts that result from observation and experimentation. Rationalism is stresses reason and the theories that result from logical inference.
Above are the nature of sociology which helps to know about the sociology character on its field. It is clear from the above that sociology is an indepent, a social, a categorical, a pure, an abstract, a generalising, both a rational and a empirical and a general science.