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Everything I needed to know for my AQA A2 Sociology Crime and Deviance (2011) Part 2/3

Updated on November 1, 2011

Is Sociology a Science and the Suicide Studies

My Completed Notes 2011

Is Sociology a Science?

1. Positivism

Induction e.g. Durkheim

Should be done as a science because same objective process used

2. Popper


Should be done as a science but different to Durkheim because don’t believe in predictive laws because it is the future and so is not falsifiable

3. Interpretivists (Weber)

Shouldn’t be done the same because both aktuelles verstehen (understanding from observation) and erklarendes verstehen (understanding meaning and motives) is needed

4. Phenomenology (philosophical view)/Ethnomethodology (method)

Not the same because life has no meaning, we just impose meanings via categorization

Garfinkel made students act in strange ways to disrupt social order, presumed crazy, and gave random yes/no answers at counselling and it helped

5. Paradigms (Kuhn)

Not the same because they are different types of knowledge

6. Scientific Realism

The same because no research is value-free and they should be aware of limitations

Triangulation (objectivity and subjectivity) is the worst of both worlds

Can only compare theories e.g. Taylor and eating disorders

The Suicide Studies

1. Durkheim

Regulation is control of the culture’s norms and values, integration is how well socialized people are and so the extent to which they share the same norms and values

Too much integration-altruistic suicide because society’s rules more important than own life e.g. Suti-Hindu widows commit suicide

Too little intergration-egiostic suicide because too individualistic e.g. married men have less suicides

Too much regulation-fatalistic suicide e.g. slaves commit suicide

Too little regulation-anomic suicide because of a lack of anomie/lack of norms e.g. the economic depression because of the Paris exchange collapse

2. Other Positivists

Theory right, method wrong e.g. didn’t differentiate between variable so extraneous

3. Popper-followers Gibbs and Martin

Concepts too vague to test and account for all possibilities

4. Interactionists

Statistics actually due to the meanings and motives of the coroner e.g. may not want to harm family

5. Phenomenology (Atkinson)

Rates created by coroners e.g. 5 Danish and 4 English coroners saw same 40 case studies and Danes-29 suicides, UK-19

6. Scientific Realism (Taylor)

Coroners created due to history of mental illness, social failure and court representation

Could have been inner directed e.g. submissive (give-up) or thanitation (leave it to chance to decide) or alternatively directed e.g. an appeal for attention (parasuicide-didn’t mean to kill self) or a sacrifice, for revenge


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