It is entering into the shoes of the other, and adopting this research stance requires treating the actor as a subject, rather than an object of your alfred schutz phenomenology of the social world pdf. It also implies that unlike objects in the natural world human actors are not simply the product of the pulls and pushes of external forces. Individuals are seen to create the world by organizing their own understanding of it and giving it meaning. To do research on actors without taking into account the meanings they attribute to their actions or environment is to treat them like objects.
Interpretative sociology strives to show that reality is constructed by people themselves in their daily lives. Interpretive sociology deals with the meaning attached to behavior, unlike positivist sociology which focuses on action. Interpretive sociology sees reality as being constructed by people, unlike positivist sociology which sees an objective reality “out there”. Interpretive sociology relies on qualitative data, unlike positivist sociology which tends to make use of quantitative data. He first made a distinction between nature and history in terms of the categories of space and time. This concept has been both expanded and criticized by later social scientists.
Proponents laud this concept as the only means by which researchers from one culture can examine and explain behaviors in another. Weber had more specific beliefs than Marx where he put value to understanding and meaning of key elements—not just with intuition or sympathy with the individual but also the product of “systematic and rigorous research”. The goal is to identify human actions and interpreting them as observable events leading us to believe that it not only provides for a good explanation for individual actions but also for group interactions. The meaning attached needs to include constraints and limitations and analyze the motivation for action. Weber, Economy and Society, p. Just as in physical science all knowledge is asymptotic to the full explanation, a high degree of cross-cultural understanding is very valuable. A certain level of interpretive understanding is necessary for our own cultural setting, however, and it can easily be argued that even the full participant in a culture does not fully understand it in every regard.
Critics also believe that it is the sociologist’s job to not just observe people and what people do but also share in their world of meaning and come to appreciate why they act as they do. Subjective thoughts and feelings regarded as bias in the sciences is an important aspect to be controlled for while doing sociological research. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991. Cornell University Press, 1995, p. Munich: Verlag von Dunker und Humboldt, 1920.