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Changing Society What Is The Role Of The Sociologist?

804 words - 4 pages

Sociology is commonly understood to be the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society [1]. Since the dawn of this social science, grand theorists such as Durkheim, Engels, Marx, Comte and Weber have aimed to organise and discover knowledge about the social realm. Nevertheless the Weberian distinction between the role of the sociologist as a positivist scientist and an interpretivist citizen has been increasingly called into question, predominantly in a modern (and arguably post-modern) context. Rather, Gamson (1968) highlights "a significant number of younger sociologists conceive a different image of the professional role". Sociologists are employed by ...view middle of the document...

The role clinical sociologist has recently been applied to describe the work of the sociologist as Nurses of society. To a degree, this is a new label for what sociologists have been doing for a long time, although it also includes a considerable broadening of the range of sociologists' efforts to be useful in society. In conducting such work, the sociologist is working as an applied practitioner. He or she has promised to use scientific knowledge in pursuing certain values - be it promoting a harmonious and efficient human capital, an effective community action programme or to bring to light the exploitation of subject groups. Pursuing the medical analogy, a sociologist's role influences many social policies (a new treatment). Every policy is based upon educated assumptions about the present and future state of the society. Most of these consist not of predicting specific developments, rather of forecasting the overall pattern of trends and changes which seem most likely. All such estimations should be offered with a certain humility as no objectivity accompanies them. Instead, social scientists offer them as informed aims available upon which to resolve a social. Sociological speculation may also help to estimate the probable effects of a social policy. They feel that not only do they have a duty to say what society might do about problems of racial conflict, population growth, divorce, drug addiction, birth control and a myriad of others. However the sociologist should play a core role about what society should do about such problems.
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