Thursday, 25 June 2015

Sociology: A Discipline Part 3/3


The relationship between sociology and common sense is that of relationship between positivist and non-positivist or anti positivists. The relationship between sociology and common sense was marked by three phases

  • Convergence (When scientific methods were not developed)
  • Divergence (Period of glorification of science and its method which are objective)
  • Convergence (The period when there is development of non-positivists and anti-positivists who consider than society and human mind is dynamic and study there action which cannot be quantified)

Now, discussing about common sense, any speculative knowledge, cultural prescription or other presumption is said to be common sense. This means that any knowledge that does not require logic as a proof is common sense.
Therefore common sense is not person specific rather it is culture specific. It is transmitted to individual through the process of socialization through which people internalize and use this knowledge in different social situations.
Early philosophers were explaining material and social world based on common sense knowledge which was questioned by scholars evolving during renaissance. Galileo rejected to common sense knowledge about the interface between earth and sun, common sense understanding about the origin of earth was questioned by scientists of time.
Therefore post renaissance scholars believed that theological presumptions, assumptions and cultural explanation need to be replaced by scientific explanation of truth. They went for use of scientific methods. Thus completely rejecting common sense, they indicated that human behaviour can be quantified and brought into pieces. Further it is static and thus can be studied for everyone with proper procedures.
However, Common sense is not authentic. It is not subject to verifiability. It is a product of faith. Therefore science must be replacing to common sense knowledge. Common sense offers a guide to human behavior and at the same time it explains the social world surrounding man.

Therefore, the main focus should be on a common pattern to understand common sense which is: 
  • Introduction
  • Positivists (August Comte, Durkheim)- Rejection of Common sense
  • Non positivists (Weber)- Every action is making of history and culture for which a human is part and thus it creates a base of ideas which we call common sense
  • Interactional (C.H. Cooley and G.H. Mead) -  In an action situation, how two actors interact. Concept of ‘I and me’ can be included as well
  • Reflexive (Husserl and Schultz) which talk abut full flexibity and freedom to the researcher
  • Phenomenology – Every phenomenon is interpreted by every person separately ( A common example is that of a fruit like tomato- some consider it as salad, others as vegetable, still others use it as a tool to throw on people they don’t like and many others use it for fun like tomatina festival in spain.)
  • Conclusion.

Therefore a researcher must have to liberate himself from the bondage of mechanical theories and models while explaining human behavior. Therefore social researcher must give importance on knowledge procured through culture and that knowledge is used to define relationship and understand truth surrounding man. It is to be remembered that animal behavior starts and ends with common sense but human behavior starts with common sense, question to common sense, replaces to common sense, brings forward new common sense by rationality. Hence human behavior and life is dynamic in character that cannot ignore the role of common sense which is a strong guide to everyday life of an individual.


  1. hi sahil
    i want to ask how to begin with answer writing for sociology.though I have read once all but still not able to frame answers.therefore please guide.

    1. you can start with chapter wise solution of last year papers

  2. Thanks a lot for all ur initiative...
    Will u pls suggest a good book/ Notes where Model answers are given...which will help us in recollecting facts which we have understood through regular book reading...