Part Three— Sociological Method
DOI link for Part Three— Sociological Method
Part Three— Sociological Method book
We are still so accustomed to solving questions according to commonsense notions that we find it difficult to dispense with them in sociological discussions. When we believe ourselves to be free of commonsense judgements they take us over unawares. Only long and specialized experience can prevent such failings. We would ask the reader not to forget this. He should always bear in mind that his usual ways of thinking are more likely to be adverse rather than favourable to the scientific study of social phenomena, and he must therefore be wary of his first impressions.[…] Our method is in no way revolutionary. It is even, in a sense, essentially conservative, since it considers social facts as things whose nature, however flexible and malleable, is nevertheless not modifiable at will. How much more dangerous is the doctrine which sees these social facts as the mere product of mental combinations which a simple dialectical artifice can, in an instant, utterly overthrow.