Social Work Practice and Sociology
In concluding a book which has covered a variety of approaches in sociology I should like to underline the dynamic nature of the subject. Recently, natural and social scientists have questioned many mainstream ideas and assumptions about their disciplines, including taken-for-granted notions about the character of knowledge. Brittan (1973) writes that ‘an adequate and relevant sociology respects the social world — the empirical reality with which it is engaged.’ This empirical reality does not consist of the beautifully elegant constructions of contemporary research methodology but of the actual living life of men in the course of their everyday interaction. This everyday life cannot be reduced to the level of pointer readings on measuring instruments, nor can it be described in terms of pushes, urges, stimuli, responses and the inevitability of historical forces. It can only be understood in its own terms. And this understanding involves the ability to recognise the human world for what it is!’ primarily as the world in which men act towards each other in meaningful terms.’
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