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Value Free Sociology

What value free sociology meant earlier and what it means today.

Value-free sociology refers to the fact that many concepts are supposed to be free of any bias. In actuality sociologists like researchers are not all perfect and there are those who looked for some monetary gain rather than by being honest with their data. Such was the case on twin studies that turned out to be fraudulent, after the author had been knighted and received great credit for his research. Through the study, people were led to believe that heredity factors are equally passed on to identical twins.

The fact that sociology requires some sort of investigation if one is to back up ones findings means that a statement like twins inheriting the same traits has to be backed up with sufficient evidence. Beyond presenting scientific proof, the difficulty is in being totally objective in ones values, which are open to interpretation. A value free society, free of norms and morals doesn’t exist in the real world where there are tenets; people come up with preconceived notions of a truth or are busy placating economic growth without respecting values inherent in large chunks of the general population.

Social research itself requires a behavior that on the one hand can present itself as being unbiased and yet on the other hand is guided by profit making plans, by emotive plans that hold little reasoning or through plans to benefit one part of the population at the cost of another. In the book “Selling Out” research was done to show how academia has been selling out to big business in order to maintain and fund educational programs, which would in effect further line the pockets of wealthy organizations. Academia could then be considered as biased in its assumption that corporate market is not hindering its respect for academic freedom and a liberal choice of subject matter that ought to be available to students even though making money in a corporate environment is a popular option to solidify a remunerative future, when it comes to graduating.

In Weber’s analysis a value free society meant a philological, ethical and rational interpretation between phenomena that are casually related. His point was that the sociologist should remain neutral in his analysis by obeying that precept. Instead we see research can be biased, based on an analysis done for monetary gain, as researchers have been influenced by money making organizations which back certain governing bodies, be they a hospital that has received a grant for a mode of cancer cell growth, when tests have already been found to be inconclusive or another institution.

By keeping sociology uneventful in terms of media popularity, unheeded to either the rebellious or ultra-conservative lot, it is thought that sociologists could better concentrate on that neutral or value-free role. 

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