Sociology The Comparative Method

1937 words - 8 pages

Intro Sample...

Sociologists have embraced what is known as the comparative method as the
most efficient way to expose taken-for-granted 'truths' or laws that people
have adopted. But what is this comparative method and how does it work?
Are there any advantages/disadvantages to exposing these false 'truths'.
What forms or variations of the comparative method exist? In the pages to
follow I will attempt to give you some insight and understanding of what the
comparative method is, and how it works.

The comparative method, simply put, is the process of comparing two things
(in our case societies, or the people that make up society) and seeing if
the result of the comparison shows a difference between the two. The
comparative... View More »

Body Sample...

Therefore, we can conclude from this comparison
that homophobia, as we know it, is not a natural truth, nor is it a
universal belief. Rather it is a socially constructed belief that many
people have taken for granted as an inevitable part of human existence.
It is important at this point to clarify something however. It is said
that the role of the sociologist is a descriptive one as opposed to a
prescriptive one. That is to say that the sociologist should describe the
various practices, customs and structures that exist in various societies
rather than suggest to people which one is actually the correct belief or
the 'real' truth.

Cross-gender comparisons is another commonly used comparison used to reveal
socially constructed truths. In Carol Gilligan's book 'In a different
voice' we find a fine example of a cross-gender comparison. She states that
most people believe that the majority of people, both men and women, view
morale issues in the same way. However, through empirical data collection,
Carol Gilligan concludes that this is not most often the case. Rather, she
states that men tend to approach moral issues quite differently than women.
Where as men view morale issues with a "don't interfere with my rights"
view, women focus more on the "responsibility" end of the morale involved.
Thus we can conclude, thanks to the comparative method, that the constructed
truth that all people view morale issues the same is not a correct one.
Another quick example of a cross-gender comparison would be that of the

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