Sociology Daily Answer Writing (26-07-2022)


Model Solutions

1. Differentiate between objectivity and value neutrality in sociological research. 10

2. Critically examine Positivistic approach in sociological studies. 20

Model Structure 1.


● Define objectivity and value neutrality

Main Body

● Objectivity means striving as far as possible to reduce or eliminate bias in the conduct of research.

● Value neutrality, as described by Max Weber, is the duty of sociologists to identify and acknowledge their own values and overcome their personal biases when conducting sociological research.

● Objectivity is an imperative of value-free sociology or positivism

● A positivist research has goals such as quantification, containment of social reality as facts, data analysis etc.,

● Invariably there must be objectivity in such research.

● Moreover, quantification in itself is a way to achieve objectivity

● Value neutrality is an imperative of non-positivists

● When using techniques such as observation or interview, there are some preconditions like ideology of the researcher, topic of the research, distance between researcher and researched exist


● Hence, objectivity is not possible. Value contamination is bound to happen

● In order to be value-neutral, sociologists must be aware of their own moral judgments and values, and avoid incorporating them into their research, their conclusions, and their teaching.

Model Structure 2.

(Note: Provide features of Positivist perspective in sociology. Also engage critically with these arguments as the directive in this question is ‘Critically Examine’)


● Definition of Positivistic Approach OR Emergence of Positivistic Approach

Model Framework

● Features of Positivistic Approach -

○ Empiricism and identification of surface reality

○ Cause and Effect analysis

○ Objectivity

○ Use of Scientific Methodology - Direct Observation, Data collection, etc.

○ Uncovering the laws that governs human behaviour

○ Grand theories explaining every phenomenon

● Proponents of Positivistic Approach -

○ Comte (social physics)

○ Durkheim’s Social facts

○ Spencer Organismic Analogy - Social Darwinism

● Criticism with EXAMPLES -

○ Neo-Kantians - Problems of Objectivity, Generalisation, Quantification

○ Phenomenologists - Alfred Schutz

○ Ethnomethodologists - Garfinkel

○ Symbolic Interactionism - G H Mead

○ Weber's Interpretativism

  1. Method of verstehen, causal pluralist method and Ideal types as an alternatives to positivist methods in sociology

○ Post-modernist like Foucault rejected grand theories in Sociology


○ Multiple Meanings for Social action like marriage

○ Values may seep in - Marxists, Functionalists.

Previous Post

Next Post