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A2 - Social Perspectives

2) Realist Sociology

Realists say that there are differences between the social and natural worlds, however this doesn’t mean social science is impossible. This is because both the natural and social worlds are produced by structures and mechanisms, and it is the job of sociology as a science to uncover these structures and mechanisms.

Andrew Sayer said that there are two different types of “systems” within science. Closed system such as laboratory experiments and open systems where there are many variables which are difficult to control. Sciences such as physics and chemistry are able to create closed systems fairly easily, making scientific research much simpler. However there are also open systems, such as meteorology, which are considered a science.

Society is an example of an open system, there are many, many variables that make scientific study difficult, however there are still underlying structures and mechanisms in society and this means sociology can be considered a science.


About Sam Cook

A blog set up to help A Level students revise Sociology


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