Why do A level sociology textbooks include Marxist perspectives. Watch

Macymace
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Marxism is all but dead in the UK, infact it never was really alive. The most notbale Marxist in recent times is Arthur Scargill, who was crushed by Thatcher and very unpopular in his time. Marxism doesn't even get a whiff of mainstream politics in the UK and revolutionary activity is frankly pathetic and negligible,
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ModernScholar
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Why do they include vulgar Marxism you mean?
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by Macymace)
Marxism is all but dead in the UK, infact it never was really alive. The most notbale Marxist in recent times is Arthur Scargill, who was crushed by Thatcher and very unpopular in his time. Marxism doesn't even get a whiff of mainstream politics in the UK and revolutionary activity is frankly pathetic and negligible,
It might have something to do with the idea that people should be educated about more things than just what's around them.

I wouldn't know, however, I don't do sociology.
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Comus
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(Original post by Macymace)
Marxism is all but dead in the UK, infact it never was really alive. The most notbale Marxist in recent times is Arthur Scargill, who was crushed by Thatcher and very unpopular in his time. Marxism doesn't even get a whiff of mainstream politics in the UK and revolutionary activity is frankly pathetic and negligible,
Because Marx is considered to be one of the founders of sociology? :rolleyes:
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username207685
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Maybe if you read it you might find out.
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Observatory
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Sociology is a left wing pseudoscience. If you want to understand why human society is the way it is, rather than be indoctrinated in socialist pamphleteering, study economics.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Observatory)
Sociology is a left wing pseudoscience. If you want to understand why human society is the way it is, rather than be indoctrinated in socialist pamphleteering, study economics.
If you want to actually understand complex system scientifically study physics or maths and specialism in non linear systems.

Economics is a psuedo-science most of the time you ding bat.


+1 Necromancy
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Observatory
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
If you want to actually understand complex system scientifically study physics or maths and specialism in non linear systems.

Economics is a psuedo-science most of the time you ding bat.


+1 Necromancy
Here is how wikipedia defines economics:

"Economics is the social science that studies the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations (called economic actors, players, or agents), when they manage or use scarce resources, which have alternative uses, to achieve desired ends."

and sociology:

"Sociology is the study of human social behavior and its origins, development, organizations, and institutions.[1] It is a social science which uses various methods of empirical investigation[2] and critical analysis[3] to develop a body of knowledge about human social actions, social structure and functions."

These seem to be almost the same discipline - the only difference being that sociology also uses something called "critical theory" in addition to scientific methods. Wikipedia describes "critical theory" in this way:

"In philosophy, the term critical theory describes the neo-Marxist philosophy of the Frankfurt School, which was developed in Germany in the 1930s. Frankfurt theorists drew on the critical methods of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. Critical theory maintains that ideology is the principal obstacle to human liberation.

...

"Critical theory was first defined by Max Horkheimer of the Frankfurt School of sociology in his 1937 essay Traditional and Critical Theory: Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole, in contrast to traditional theory oriented only to understanding or explaining it."

So sociology is a form of pseudoscience, which uses some scientific methods but whose purpose is ultimately to promote one particular set of value judgements in order to change society, not to "only" observe and explain the world as it is.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Observatory)
words
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtMX_0jDsrw
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Classical Liberal
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(Original post by Observatory)
Here is how wikipedia defines economics:

"Economics is the social science that studies the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations (called economic actors, players, or agents), when they manage or use scarce resources, which have alternative uses, to achieve desired ends."

and sociology:

"Sociology is the study of human social behavior and its origins, development, organizations, and institutions.[1] It is a social science which uses various methods of empirical investigation[2] and critical analysis[3] to develop a body of knowledge about human social actions, social structure and functions."

These seem to be almost the same discipline - the only difference being that sociology also uses something called "critical theory" in addition to scientific methods. Wikipedia describes "critical theory" in this way:

"In philosophy, the term critical theory describes the neo-Marxist philosophy of the Frankfurt School, which was developed in Germany in the 1930s. Frankfurt theorists drew on the critical methods of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. Critical theory maintains that ideology is the principal obstacle to human liberation.

...

"Critical theory was first defined by Max Horkheimer of the Frankfurt School of sociology in his 1937 essay Traditional and Critical Theory: Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole, in contrast to traditional theory oriented only to understanding or explaining it."

So sociology is a form of pseudoscience, which uses some scientific methods but whose purpose is ultimately to promote one particular set of value judgements in order to change society, not to "only" observe and explain the world as it is.
Thanks for this. This really makes sense to me. I can remember saying to a friend who studies sociology "It always seems to me that Sociologists always want society to change" to which he said "Yes, sociologists are revolutionists, they think that society needs to be fixed and they should do it".
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MartinCB
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(Original post by Observatory)
Here is how wikipedia defines economics:

"Economics is the social science that studies the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations (called economic actors, players, or agents), when they manage or use scarce resources, which have alternative uses, to achieve desired ends."

and sociology:

"Sociology is the study of human social behavior and its origins, development, organizations, and institutions.[1] It is a social science which uses various methods of empirical investigation[2] and critical analysis[3] to develop a body of knowledge about human social actions, social structure and functions."

These seem to be almost the same discipline - the only difference being that sociology also uses something called "critical theory" in addition to scientific methods. Wikipedia describes "critical theory" in this way:

"In philosophy, the term critical theory describes the neo-Marxist philosophy of the Frankfurt School, which was developed in Germany in the 1930s. Frankfurt theorists drew on the critical methods of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. Critical theory maintains that ideology is the principal obstacle to human liberation.

...

"Critical theory was first defined by Max Horkheimer of the Frankfurt School of sociology in his 1937 essay Traditional and Critical Theory: Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole, in contrast to traditional theory oriented only to understanding or explaining it."

So sociology is a form of pseudoscience, which uses some scientific methods but whose purpose is ultimately to promote one particular set of value judgements in order to change society, not to "only" observe and explain the world as it is.
I study sociology, and psychology, and can say with some confidence that you're entirely wrong. I think the confusion here is the term 'critical theory' in which your definition is concerned with psychology. Not sociology.

Sociology doesn't promote one way of thinking, quite the opposite, it teaches how people learn, how they congregate, and why they congregate in certain ways. It doesn't say things are right or wrong, simply that they exist and then tells you how and why they do.

And as far as Economics is concerned, it may be able to explain society in some ways, but cant go any way to explain things like primary and secondary socialisation in modern society. Don't assume you know everything about a subject you don't study. It's bloody annoying.
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MartinCB
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(Original post by Macymace)
Marxism is all but dead in the UK, infact it never was really alive. The most notbale Marxist in recent times is Arthur Scargill, who was crushed by Thatcher and very unpopular in his time. Marxism doesn't even get a whiff of mainstream politics in the UK and revolutionary activity is frankly pathetic and negligible,
I don't know why it would be taught in terms of UK society. But certainly it still has strong influence throughout the world, particularly Lenin's version of Marxism which is still used in places like Cuba.

Really it was one of the most influential political papers ever written, and, according to the recent BBC Radio 4 segment on Marxism you can find online, it is coming back into fashion in the UK.
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Observatory
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(Original post by MartinCB)
I study sociology, and psychology, and can say with some confidence that you're entirely wrong. I think the confusion here is the term 'critical theory' in which your definition is concerned with psychology. Not sociology.
I don't see how that can be. To refer again to the quote I provided:

"Critical theory was first defined by Max Horkheimer of the Frankfurt School of sociology in his 1937 essay Traditional and Critical Theory: Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole, in contrast to traditional theory oriented only to understanding or explaining it."

Of course some sociologists may avoid this critical theory aspect, and concentrate on an essentially economic analysis, and they may produce entirely useful work. But they do not seem to represent the whole field.

Sociology doesn't promote one way of thinking, quite the opposite, it teaches how people learn, how they congregate, and why they congregate in certain ways. It doesn't say things are right or wrong, simply that they exist and then tells you how and why they do.

And as far as Economics is concerned, it may be able to explain society in some ways, but cant go any way to explain things like primary and secondary socialisation in modern society. Don't assume you know everything about a subject you don't study. It's bloody annoying.[/QUOTE]
This illustrates the issues I have with sociology. For instance this model seems outwardly plausible, but is it science? If it is wrong, how would I falsify it? Has anyone ever tried?
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MartinCB
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(Original post by Observatory)
I don't see how that can be. To refer again to the quote I provided:

"Critical theory was first defined by Max Horkheimer of the Frankfurt School of sociology in his 1937 essay Traditional and Critical Theory: Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole, in contrast to traditional theory oriented only to understanding or explaining it."

Of course some sociologists may avoid this critical theory aspect, and concentrate on an essentially economic analysis, and they may produce entirely useful work. But they do not seem to represent the whole field.

Sociology doesn't promote one way of thinking, quite the opposite, it teaches how people learn, how they congregate, and why they congregate in certain ways. It doesn't say things are right or wrong, simply that they exist and then tells you how and why they do.

And as far as Economics is concerned, it may be able to explain society in some ways, but cant go any way to explain things like primary and secondary socialisation in modern society. Don't assume you know everything about a subject you don't study. It's bloody annoying.
This illustrates the issues I have with sociology. For instance this model seems outwardly plausible, but is it science? If it is wrong, how would I falsify it? Has anyone ever tried?[/QUOTE]

First of all, sorry about the definition thing, I was extremely tired and thinking of another piece of terminology.

Frankly I'm not sure whether sociology is a science, in many ways it is much like psychology. Often what is widely accepted cannot be said to be absolute fact. It can be observed that the children of the Bushmen of the Kalahari learn via secondary socialisation, this is falsifiable.

Similarly, Anne Oakley's Housewife Study is falsifiable, if you went out and produced evidence that she was wrong, it would be accepted. You can prove her wrong.

However, questions such as 'Is Marxism still relevant as a social theory in modern Russia' is subjective, there are many views and perspectives to consider. The subject (to learn, at least) is nothing to do with being indoctrinated into a way of thinking. Similar to religious studies, it's about taking everyone's views into account to be able to form your own opinion about certain topics.

I don't know about whether you are talking about as a subject or as a profession, but as a subject, I have never experienced what you're talking about and found that my own experience is one that is fairly consistent in most schools and colleges.
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Observatory
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(Original post by MartinCB)
First of all, sorry about the definition thing, I was extremely tired and thinking of another piece of terminology.
No problem.

Frankly I'm not sure whether sociology is a science, in many ways it is much like psychology.

Often what is widely accepted cannot be said to be absolute fact. It can be observed that the children of the Bushmen of the Kalahari learn via secondary socialisation, this is falsifiable.

Similarly, Anne Oakley's Housewife Study is falsifiable, if you went out and produced evidence that she was wrong, it would be accepted. You can prove her wrong.

However, questions such as 'Is Marxism still relevant as a social theory in modern Russia' is subjective, there are many views and perspectives to consider. The subject (to learn, at least) is nothing to do with being indoctrinated into a way of thinking. Similar to religious studies, it's about taking everyone's views into account to be able to form your own opinion about certain topics.

I don't know about whether you are talking about as a subject or as a profession, but as a subject, I have never experienced what you're talking about and found that my own experience is one that is fairly consistent in most schools and colleges.
Fair enough, but what concerns me is that the political element seems to be strong in this field. Maybe critical theory (and other political lenses through which to interpret data) is not central to every researcher's work - equally I don't claim all sociology research is worthless - but it seems to be common enough to be included in the definition of the field by a well-known public source.

Now the reason I say sociology is pseudoscience is because the scientific work in sociology would seem to fit neatly into economics; the only aspect of sociology that would not is the political aspect, which is not science. The Housewife Study for instance - which seems to be to be scientific - is very similar to survey studies I've read by economists. So I conclude that the scientific components of sociology are just a subset of economics, and not enough to constitute a unique field in their own right.

And I'm not sure I can agree on the question about Marxism being important in Russia being inherently subjective. The data may be fuzzy, or difficult to collect, but in principle we can measure the level of belief in Marxism in Russia, and objectively compare Russia's policies to those advocated by Marx.
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brap man 420
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(Original post by Observatory)
Here is how wikipedia defines economics:

"Economics is the social science that studies the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations (called economic actors, players, or agents), when they manage or use scarce resources, which have alternative uses, to achieve desired ends."

and sociology:

"Sociology is the study of human social behavior and its origins, development, organizations, and institutions.[1] It is a social science which uses various methods of empirical investigation[2] and critical analysis[3] to develop a body of knowledge about human social actions, social structure and functions."

These seem to be almost the same discipline - the only difference being that sociology also uses something called "critical theory" in addition to scientific methods. Wikipedia describes "critical theory" in this way:

"In philosophy, the term critical theory describes the neo-Marxist philosophy of the Frankfurt School, which was developed in Germany in the 1930s. Frankfurt theorists drew on the critical methods of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. Critical theory maintains that ideology is the principal obstacle to human liberation.

...

"Critical theory was first defined by Max Horkheimer of the Frankfurt School of sociology in his 1937 essay Traditional and Critical Theory: Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole, in contrast to traditional theory oriented only to understanding or explaining it."

So sociology is a form of pseudoscience, which uses some scientific methods but whose purpose is ultimately to promote one particular set of value judgements in order to change society, not to "only" observe and explain the world as it is.
Economics is the biggest pseudoscience going, how many economists predicted the 2008 crisis? oh wait a minute
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the mezzil
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Because it is a bull soft subject.

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Observatory
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(Original post by brap man 420)
Economics is the biggest pseudoscience going, how many economists predicted the 2008 crisis? oh wait a minute
That's like saying engineering is pseudoscience because no one predicted the Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse. Science is a methodology, not a result.

And unlike that, I think I could strictly provide at least a dozen names. The problem is all the crises they predicted that didn't happen.
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