p. 11. The Status of Sociology
- Steve Bruce
Science is about understanding the natural world ‘The Status of Sociology’ asks: can sociology be scientific? The answer is ‘no’. Social scientists can rarely conduct experiments. The ideas of social science cannot be rigorously tested by beings subjected to experiments that isolate the features of human action that interest us from the complexities of life. The subject matter of the social sciences is conscious sentient beings who act out of choice. The sociologist's interest in beliefs, values, motives, and intentions brings with it concerns unknown in natural science. The sociologist's notion of explanation does not stop at identifying regular patterns in social action.