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The impossibility of sociology as a science: arguments from within the discipline

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    0508708 - FLÚ 2020 RIV GB eng J - Journal Article
    Balon, Jan - Holmwood, John
    The impossibility of sociology as a science: arguments from within the discipline.
    Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour. Roč. 49, č. 3 (2019), s. 334-347. ISSN 0021-8308
    Institutional support: RVO:67985955
    Keywords : ideology * interpretive understanding * positivism * scientific sociology * social criticism
    Subject RIV: AA - Philosophy ; Religion
    OBOR OECD: Philosophy, History and Philosophy of science and technology
    Impact factor: 1.467, year: 2019

    This paper addresses a key moment in the development of sociology when its status as a science was criticised from within by ethnomethodologists (Harvey Sacks and Harold Garfinkel), post-Althusserian Marxists (Barry Hindess) and Michel Foucault. These criticisms seemed to come from different sides, but they converged in arguing their positions from the point of view of a proper conception of science through which mainstream sociology was found wanting. Neither secured its own position and each had a similar legacy of a form of interpretivism hostile both to scientific sociology and its critical project. The paper situates this moment and its legacy where both correspondence and coherence criteria for sociological knowledge claims come to be undermined.
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