Nature of Sociology | Is Sociology a science?

There is a great controversy about the nature of Sociology. There are some critics who deny the claim that sociology be regarded as a science. But there are others who assert that sociology is as much a science as other social science like Political Science, History, Economics, etc. Sociology is not a science. Those who claim that Sociology is not a science give the following arguments.

Inability to experiment and measure: In natural sciences we do experiments, measure things and make predictions but in the field of Sociology we are unable to measure and make predictions in the same way as we do in the field of natural sciences. Sociology in this sense is not a science as remarked by Sprott, "If you cannot experiment, if you cannot measure, if you cannot be confident in your social engineering, you cannot be said to be engaged in scientific study at all".

Lack of objectivity (impartiality): The second difficulty of a sociologist in employing the scientific method is that he cannot maintain complete objectivity with the objects of his experiment as does a physicist. Man has his own prejudice and bias". He cannot always remain impartial in the field of social sciences where his conclusions and valuations may be influenced by his own prejudice and like and dislike. But in the field of natural sciences a scientist is bound to accept the natural results of his experiments.

Lack of precision (correctness) of predictions: In natural sciences, the outcome of research will be precise, exact and same everywhere. It will be general and applicable in every part of the world. There will be no may or may not and the outcome of the research will be in the shape of laws. formulas, and facts. But, on the other hand, the conclusions and predictions in the field of sociology cannot be expressed in precise terms. They may be varying from place to place because societies are too complex and constantly changes occur in them.

Inability of physical senses to study social relationships: As the subject-matter of natural sciences is something solid and concrete where five human senses are used during making experiments. but in the case of sociology the subject-matter is social relationships which are abstract and cannot be measured by live human senses. It shows that experimental method cannot be used by Sociology. and hence it cannot he regarded as science