Auguste Comte, the father of sociology, called sociology as the “queen of sciences”. Some sociologists have come to view sociology in terms of natural sciences.
According to Emile Durkheirn, the business of the sociologists is to establish causal connections and causal law.
Redcliffe-Brown argues that “a theoretical science of human society is possible” and that “there can only be one such science.”
Sociology is a science. Before going to elaborate this statement, it is necessary to know what science is Science is a method and way of looking at things consisting of systematic steps like observation, collection, classification, hypothesis, testing, theory and conclusion. Science possesses several characteristics. Firstly, Science employs the scientific method. Secondly, it is the study of facts. Thirdly, scientific principles are universal. Fourthly, scientific laws are veridical. Its validity can be examined at any time. It proves true in every case. Fifthly, science discovers the cause-effect relationship in its subject matter and in this connection provides universal and valid laws. Lastly, science can make predictions on the basis of universal and valid laws relating to, the cause effect relationship in any subject. The foundation of science is based upon a faith in causality.
By examining sociology on the basis of the six essential points, it can be proved that sociology possesses all me characteristics of science. Therefore, Sociology can be regarded as a science.
1. Sociology employs the Scientific method:
All the methods of sociology are scientific. These methods are observation, interview, case study, schedule, questionnaire etc. In these methods, the first step is collection of data through observation. Then the data is classified and finally the results are brought out on the basis of accepted data. The validity of these results are verified.
2. Sociology is factual:
Sociology studies social relationships and activities. Its general problem is description of the social process. In this way, sociology makes a scientific study of facts and the general principles involved in them. Auguste Comte describes it as “Social physics”.
3. The Principles of sociology are universal:
The law of sociology proves true at all times and at all places. For example, the principles of family disorganization and social disorganization depend upon each other, is true all times and all places.
4. The Principles of Sociology are veridical:
The law of sociology proves true at every verification and re-verification. Their, validity can he examined by one. For example, one can consider the law that increase in the number of divorces indicates acceleration of family disorganization. This principle can be examined any where by any one.
5. Sociology discovers cause-effect relationships:
On the basis of the above example of divorces and family disorganization, divorce is an effect and family disorganization is one of its causes. Sociology has discovered a cause-effect relation between the phenomena divorce and family disorganization. Similarly, suicide is an effect of the present dowry system in society. Thus Sociology traces cause-effect relationships in social disorganization and other incidents, activities and relationships in society .and then formulates laws concerning them.
6. Sociology can make predictions:
Lastly, on the basis of cause-effect relationships, Sociology can anticipate the future and make predictions concerning social relationships, activities, incidents etc. If disorganization in the families becomes pronounced, it can make predictions concerning the number of divorces and many other things. Knowing the cause-effect relationships, sociology can determine what will be on the basis of what is? Thus, it is evident from the above discussion that sociology is a science. Sociology possesses all the essential characteristics of science.