Not problem solvers

May 27, 2005

Norman Bonney gives a misleading picture of sociology (Soapbox, May 20). Sociology is no more about revolution and protest movements than it is about Conservatism. Other scientists are also usually on surer ground talking about the past than when dealing with the present and future. It is only the political programme of Marx that has "failed". The sociological element in Marx remains. And that only one in five women continues in full-time employment when she has a child is simply a fact. It is not part of sociology to see this as either good or bad Sociology consists of theory, method and analysis, and is objective. It is not about solving social problems. It is more useful for understanding how and why "social problems" become defined as such.

And as for Thatcher's "no such thing as society", she had to use the concept herself on numerous occasions. Any sociologist knows that society is not a "thing", but it does "exist" as a process (second order datum) just like "family" or "marriage", both of which Thatcher admired so much.

Ken Regelous. Kilgetty

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