Dr Jana Martiskova
“The natural sciences talk about their results. The social sciences talk about their methods.”
Social sciences are related to the study of society. It tries to study how people act in certain communities and surroundings and what makes them act that way. Fields of anthropology, criminology, political sciences, social work, and developmental studies are all branches of the social sciences.
Even though this field of research is as old as time, there are still a lot of active arguments that this research field attracts.
One of the central questions that the researchers often ask themselves is that what the appropriate sociological methodology for research processed is? There are many concerns that observed by researchers in social sciences methodology that has led to this question. Some of the concerns regarding the sociology methodology are as follows:
It is hard to produce constant and consistent results every time an observation is made in this field of research which results in the lack of reliability of the analysis. Researchers are trying to find research methodology through which the results produced are consistent and reliable.
Many times, researchers take a small sample and make analysis about the observations to get empirical results and then interpret the result over the entire population. Now, this process may be appropriate for other fields of science that follow universal laws and theories but can be a subject for concern and argument as far as the sociological research field is concerned.
Values, whether they are personal or research-based, is considered to be an important component in the sociology field of research. Many researchers believe that this very element makes the sociological studies biased and subjective which produces a false research picture. On the other hand, there are also researchers who believe that such values are an important component of the investigation.
These issues have given way to a long-standing debate of the research methodology in social sciences. The two common notions that are observed are as follows:
Research methodology in sociology follows a systematic approach with proper processes for observations, knowledge and social phenomena that closely affiliate with science. The research is based on testing of variables that link the studies to statistics and mathematics. It is also necessary to collect the data in order to have research questions for the methodology.
Another argument that the social science research methodology enjoys is that the interpretations that are gained through the testing are subjective to the researchers’ views which takes it far away from the field of science.
In conclusion, as the field of research is developing and gaining strength, researchers are trying to find ways through which the analysis produced is more reliable, specific and constant so that there is no room for any kind of argument of debate.