SOCI1513 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Political Economy

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1 Aug 2016
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Lecture 20
Assigning moral values to social phenomena is an
inescapable result of being part of society.
This inevitably renders truly value-free research
inconceivable; however despite this, sociologists should
strive for value neutrality.
According to Max Weber, a German sociologist and
philosopher who profoundly influenced social theory,
value neutralityis the duty of sociologists to strive to be
impartial and overcome their biases as they conduct their
research, analyze their data, and publish their findings.
Weber understood that personal values could distort the
framework for disclosing study results.
While he accepted that some aspects of research design
might be influenced by personal values, he declared that
it was entirely inappropriate to allow them to shape the
interpretation of the responses.
Max Weber was a German sociologist, philosopher, and
political economist who profoundly influenced social
theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology
itself.
Weber stated, must establish value neutrality, a practice
of remaining impartial, without bias or judgment, during
the course of a study and in publishing results.
To do this, they must be conscious of their own personal
values.
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