The nature of sociology
Sociology as a branch of knowledge delves in the study of diversity and commonality in traits among people. Similarly, sociology also deals with factors in a person’s life and how these factors culminate responses. As a branch of science, sociology has unique characteristics. It is entirely different and unique from other branches of knowledge in certain respects. An in-depth analysis of the internal logical characteristics is used to highlight the nature of sociology. Precisely, this paper intends to explore the primary characteristics of sociology to understand the nature of sociology as a branch of knowledge.
Sociology is rational and an empirical science
Empiricism approach of knowledge emphasized on experience and evidenced based results from research and experiments. Meanwhile, rationalism approach explores reasons and theories arising from logical inferences. Sociologists collect facts through research and experiments. This culminates to empiricist approach of gathering information. Furthermore, sociologists may coordinate and arrange facts and pieces of evidence gathered. It is the rationalist approach to information and knowledge. Both empiricism and rationalism approach to information is significant to construct knowledge. According to the sociologist, any theory unsubstantiated by hard facts and pieces of evidence is nothing other than opinion.
Sociology is an independent science
Unlike political philosophy or history, sociology is studied as an independent science. It is neither treated as a branch or an affiliation of any other science. Interestingly, sociology has a clear and concise field of study and boundaries. Its methodological approach to research is definite for research and experimental purposes.
Pure science rather than applied science
Sociologists are concerned with the acquisition of knowledge and not the relevant application of acquired knowledge. Sociologists are less concerned with the application of acquired knowledge in the practical sense. Moreover, as a pure science, the immediate aim of sociological studies is the acquisition of knowledge concerning human society. However, the utilization of such knowledge is neither a priority nor a concern. Besides, they never pursue public policy or recommend to the legislators on the perfect laws to govern the society. Finally, the information acquired by the sociologists is significant to diplomats though sociologists never apply them in practical life.
Sociology as a general science oppose to special science
The field of inquiry of sociology is concerned with human interaction and life on a general basis. Meanwhile, other social sciences like economics or political science specialize on certain human intention and special activities. For instance, economics focuses mainly on economic activities while political activities. However, sociological studies do not specialize on any special phenomena about daily human activities. Sociology deals with human activities in a general perspective.
Sociology is an abstract science as opposed to concrete science
The sociological studies are not interested in concrete manifestations of nature. However, the study is more focused on the form of human events as well as their manifestation. Most importantly, the study does not confine to a particular society or organization. For instance, sociology is not concerned with a specific aspect of wars and evolution, but the general aspect of wars and revolution as social phenomena in nature.
Sociology is a social science as opposed to physical science
Sociological is often regarded as social science and not otherwise. Primarily, sociological studies examine man alongside his social behavior and social activities. The study mainly explores the social universe which distinguishes the field from other physical sciences like physics and astronomy.
In conclusion, it is evidently clear that sociology is an independent branch of knowledge which seeks to explore the social universe. It is a rational and an empirical science concerned with the construction of knowledge. Moreover, the study has been confirmed to be a pure science and an abstract knowledge of information. These are the primary characteristics which explain the nature of sociology.