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A peep into division of labour between natural sciences and social sciences

By Prasun Sadhukhan 

Nature and society are two integral parts and parcel of the human civilization and while exploring the civilization, the parallel wheels of natural sciences and social sciences simultaneously carry the cart of knowledge discovery. Nowadays, the adjective ‘social’ codes, neither as a substance, nor a domain of reality but a way of tying together heterogeneous bundles of decoding some sort of entities into another and the single-most voice in the assemblies that make up things in this new post-modern political forum: the progressive composition of the common world.
This is not indicative that science and technology can sidestep the sociological interpretation, but that is redefining the social explanation. While naturalists deal with the basic qualities of the natural world, social scientists deal with the people of the scientific society. At their heart, social scientists are very skeptical of the quality of their own disclosures, so they do not want to be submitted for treatment that is considered harmful to any other subject. We can sociologize everything including social sciences, but not until we give sociology to the natural sciences. Because for many sociologists, to give a social explanation of something means to destroy this substance, to dispel the misconceptions that ordinary people entertain about them, and then to replace idols with the true entity of science; or to show that such a change is impossible because a certain degree of false consciousness that is quintessential for the social system to function. It seems that by prolonging the social science project for a reason, Science and Technology studies has moved beyond for a reason.
As per the traditional legacy, the horizon of sociologists is limited to socially relevant topics only. For example, if a cyclist falls off his bicycle after hitting a rock, it usually does not come under the social science. But if that same person is either a policeman or a wealthy businessman, then scientists find a possibility for social science research as the situation not only dealing with a causal sequence of occurrences, but also with a strong of socially sensitive events. On a contrasting picture, the STS professionals take the engineering of that bicycle, the paving of roads, the geology of rocks, the physiology of wounds into account which are empirically analysable and sociologically stimulating without taking the boundary between matter and society as a division of labour between the natural and the social sciences. Although this ‘symmetry’ is fiercely disputed in the social sciences sub-field, but there’s a wide agreement on the importance of extending the research programmes of the social sciences beyond the former realm of what was considered until now as the ‘social’.
Prasun Sadhukhan is a development enthusiast and presently working as Senior Project Officer at BAIF Development Research Foundation, MP. He is a recent MSW graduate in Rural Development from TISS. His extensive fieldwork and immersion experiences across villages of Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal have equipped him with ground level development experiences and he’s fond of researching and writing pieces on agriculture, education, environment, social policy, Indian society and comprehensive rural development issues. LinkedIn Profile:



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