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UNCERTAINTY OF SOCIAL REALITY. THEORY AND METHODS OF SOCIAL PRACTICE

Uncertainty in sociology is a speculation subject for sociologists and the reason for criticism of sociological studies. The reason for this is what is sometimes called «science wars» debates (Sokal, 1996 [7]; Ashman and Barringer, 2000 [1]; Flyvbjerg, 2001 [2]). The problem of uncertainty is often reduced to imperfection of measurement procedures. For example, from the point of view of Mlodinov, 2008 [5] the randomized choice is imperfect, it is pseudorandom in its essence. In the article, the authors keep to a position of “methodological optimism”: sociology – is a measurement above all. Judgment that is not based on the measurement is doubtful from the point of view of sociological reality. We consider irrelevant the existing point of view towards the division of measurement procedures in sociology into qualitative and quantitative, Shankar Chandramowli [3] is writing about that. In sociology nowadays they use nominal scales, comparative analysis techniques, probability methods. Mathematics and statistics give very good instruments to sociologists. They can always determine the borders of inaccuracy of measurements. From the point of view of the authors, uncertainty in sociology appears from imperfection of conceptualization procedures of empiric material into a social fact, which is being considered in every sociological research. Uncertainty is hiding in interpretation procedures, not in operationalization procedures. Uncertainty of sociological terms is the reason for nuances and polysemy of senses. Each term like a lantern beam catches a small spot of light from the darkness of empiricism. But something always remains in the shadow. “Skillful use of uncertainty which is in the basis of terms’ interpretation has a certain advantage over the corresponding precise technical terms” [6].
DOI: 10.18413/2408-932X-2016-2-2-74-77
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