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4. Alvin Gouldner and Objective Partisanship
About this Lecture
In this module we think about Alvin Gouldner’s critique of Weber’s notion of objectivity and his idea of objective partisanship. In particular, we focus on: (i) Gouldner’s argument that objectivity does not mean value freedom, but rather making evaluations on the basis of universal principles; (ii) his view on partisanship as siding with universal principles; (iii) Gouldner’s place in the tradition of critical research within sociology which argues that sociology should aim to achieve social and political change.
In this course, Professor Martyn Hammersley (The Open University) explores the concept of objectivity within sociology and social research. In the first module, we think about the development of the concept from the early twentieth century and some key questions associated with it. In the second, we examine Max Weber’s notion of value freedom, before looking in the third at the objectivist version of objectivity as the adoption of standardised, replicable research methods. In the fourth and fifth modules, we consider Alvin Gouldner’s critique of value freedom and his idea of objective partisanship, and standpoint epistemology through Sandra Harding’s work on strong objectivity. In the final two modules, we explore arguments that reject objectivity in its entirety, before concluding with a summary of key debates.
Professor Martyn Hammersley is Emeritus Professor of Educational and Social Research at the Open University. His work focuses on issues in sociological research methods, particularly relating to objectivity and bias. His recent publications include The Concept of Culture: A History and Reappraisal (2019), The Radicalism of Ethnomethodology: An Assessment of Sources and Principles (2018) and The Limits of Social Science: Causal Explanation and Value Relevance (2014).
Cite this Lecture
Hammersley, M. (2021, August 24). Objectivity in Social Research - Alvin Gouldner and Objective Partisanship [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/objectivity-in-social-research/alvin-gouldner-and-objective-partisanship
Hammersley, Martyn. "Objectivity in Social Research – Alvin Gouldner and Objective Partisanship ." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 24 Aug 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/objectivity-in-social-research/alvin-gouldner-and-objective-partisanship