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The social in social science
The social in social science

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2.5 Summary

In a rapidly changing world, the objects of analysis with which the social sciences are familiar (such as the state and the national economy) no longer seem to operate in the same way and are possibly becoming redundant. New problems and issues are emerging which demand innovation and flexibility.

The jargon of the disciplines in the social sciences can become a barrier to understanding. As a starting-point, you should simply treat terms as labels for sets of assumptions and ideas and compare different uses of the concepts.

The last challenge, or rather a set of choices, relates to theory and method in the social sciences. Should we continue to assume that it is desirable to study social objects in the manner of the natural sciences (traditionally defined), or reject scientific procedures in the study of social life, or redefine what we mean by science?