On the Role of Values in Social Research: Weber Vindicated?

Hammersley, Martyn (2017). On the Role of Values in Social Research: Weber Vindicated? Sociological Research Online, 22(1) pp. 130–141.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5153/sro.4197

Abstract

Weber's proposal that social science should aim to be value neutral is now widely rejected. However, I argue that his position was more sophisticated than is generally recognised, and that it is for the most part sound. Clarification of his position is provided, along with an outline of the reasons why it came to be rejected. I suggest that these are, for the most part, based upon misconceptions. I also demonstrate that there are fundamental problems with any notion of normative sociology, ones that are rarely addressed and have not been resolved.

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