Social Science and Normative Analysis

Cathrine Holst contributes a chapter on normative analysis in the social sciences in a book in honour of sociologist Margareta Bertilsson.

About the book

The volume is edited by Anders Blok and Peter Gundelach and assembles 16 essays in honour of Margareta Bertilsson to mark the 20th anniversary of her service as Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen.

Normative analysis

Researchers - whether aware of it or not - are constantly confronted with questions of 'ought', not only of what 'is'. As a result, they make numerous implicit or explicit normative assessments, Cathrine Holst explains in her contribution. 'The question of how social scientists ought to approach 'ought' issues raises heavy debates and meta-debates that cannot all be covered in this essay'. Holst defends the significance of normative analysis as a specialized academic activity and thus questions the integrative approach that is popular, not least among sociologists. Secondly, she argues that discussions of social science and normative questions should take place relatively independently of the grand narrative of the positivism dispute. Finally, she focuses on a specific 'ought' question, namely what it can mean for the social sciences to take cultural diversity into account.

Full info

Cathrine Holst
'Social Science and Normative Analysis'

In: The Elementary Forms of Sociological Knowledge: Essays in Honor of Margareta Bertilsson
Anders Blok and Peter Gundelach (eds)

Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, 2014
ISBN: 978-87-7296-305-1

Published Dec. 1, 2014 11:30 AM - Last modified May 4, 2017 9:32 AM