What are some of the reasons for ‘objectivity’ being more complicated in social sciences, particularly disciplines like sociology?


-Anushree Ojha, Subject Matter Expert at Edmarz

Solution : Objectivity is defined as being unbiased, neutral, or based solely on facts.

(i)  In the case of social science, particularly sociology, objectivity becomes more challenging since sociologists, like all humans, have some preconceived assumptions that make it difficult for them to analyse the culture and norms of a foreign society objectively. This could lead to erroneous research.

(ii) A sociologist conducting research may become prejudiced if the issues are relevant to his or her culture, and may bring his or her own personal beliefs into the study. As a result, despite being reflexive, there is a risk of unconscious prejudice.

(iii) In the social world, there are many different versions of the truth. A young boy and an elderly person would have opposing viewpoints on a given topic. A shopkeeper and a consumer may have opposing views on what constitutes a “good price” for a product. As a result, there is no general truth in social sciences, making conclusions problematic.

(iv) Sociology is a science that is “multi-paradigmatic.” Different schools of thought exist, and they sometimes contradict one another. As a result, ‘objectivity’ in social sciences, particularly sociology, becomes complex.

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