Going into the discussion of sociology as a science, first we will discuss that what science, what are its characteristics is then we will find out those characteristics in the discipline of sociology if those were present in this discipline. We will call it a science otherwise not. Science is discussed with its characteristics as below:
Science is the systematic body of knowledge, covering both theory and fact, derived from the application of well-disciplined tools. Science has its characteristics, which are discussed as under:
Science as knowledge
Science is a body of organized verified knowledge, which has been secured through scientific investigation as knowledge it includes concepts, Inter relationship of these-concepts explanation of the concepts and its relationship, prediction on the basis of explanation etc. It means that scientific knowledge can be passed through the stages of concepts, its relationship, explanation and prediction.
Science as methods
Science is a method of study whereby a body of organized verified knowledge is discovered Scientific methods can be having the characteristics of observation, hypothesis, and verification and re verification and measurement. These are the stages through which we can pass a scientific method From the discussion it is assumed that an event is to be examined, it may be empirically tested to accept or reject it, then passing through verification and re verification through induction and deduction methods and at last stage the data is to be measured for getting the quantity of validity.
Science as tools
Techniques or tools are different in physical science than the social sciences. These tools are more exact and precise in physical sciences. These tools are microscope telescope etc.
Sociology as a scientific discipline
Science has been discussed in detail with its characteristics The disciplines, which qualify the above-discussed characteristics, will be called science, otherwise not. In the heading science as knowledge, we have concepts; sociology has its concepts like role, status, society, personality, group etc. All these concepts are interrelated with one another there is rational and reasonable explanation for these concepts and its interrelationship. Keeping the explanation a base the sociologists predict human behavior. In science as methods we have disused that the events are not accepted true or cannot be rejected unless they are observed Then the contributing factors can be recorded which affect the event and forwarded to verification and re verification for validity and in validity The invalid factors are dropped and the valid ones are accepted and are statistically measured Sociologists do the same practice as the scientists are doing.
In science as tools, the tools applied in science are discussed in sociology the tools are interview schedule, Questionnaire, sampling etc. for the data collection. From the above discussion it can be concluded that sociological knowledge qualifies the stages that science qualifies, So we can say that sociology is a science.
Moreover sociology is a science because it follows the following scientific methods or procedures.
The scientific method consists upon the following steps:
1. Identification and statement of the problem.
2. Scope and universe of the study.
3. Purpose of the study.
4. Objectives of the study.
5. Hypothesis of the study
a. Sampling / Case Study /Survey
b. Tools of data collection
7. Construction of Questionnaire/Interview Schedule/FGD Guide
8. Data Collection/Analysis
9. Data Presentation
10. Time Budgeting
11. Cost Budgeting
12. Report Writing
The above steps are followed in scientific procedure of study, which are also utilizing by sociology. Therefore we can say that sociology is a scientific discipline.