History, Science And The Dilemma Of Contemporary Sociology: The Paradox For ‘African\' Sociology And Development

  • AO Olutayo Department of Sociology, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria


History and natural sciences are two important fields of study that have informed and influenced sociology as a discipline. Traditionally common to these influences on sociology is the need to generalise. Today, however only the natural sciences can still lay claim to this principle. In generalising, the natural science emphasises empiricism through painstaking steps. Ironically, as these principles are infused into history and by the same token, sociology the irrelevance of generalisation in the latter disciplines continues to manifest. The history of sociology is replete with this contradiction and confusion. As much as generalisation is desired in sociology studies especially with attempts to develop sociological theories, the less the relevance of these generalising attempts in the study of societies. The paper attempts to expose this by showing the contradiction in the African experience.
African Journal for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Vol.7(1) 2004: 1-13

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