Do you Think that Sociologists have a Responsibility to Take Sides on their Research Topics?

Do you think that sociologists have a responsibility to take sides on their research topics?


            Society is full of social problems and this has compelled sociologists to assist individuals within the society to understand the social changes taking place in institutions, individuals, and groups. Through research studies conducted at family and societal level, sociologists are able to predict and interpret certain changes in order to help the society understand and cope with them. However, it has been argued that sociologists take sides when conducting these studies by appearing to favour a particular side. The big question therefore is, whether sociologists have the responsibility to do so. In my opinion, sociologists should not take sides, but ought to state facts as they are, regardless of their opinion.

Social Responsibility

            The major responsibility given to sociologists is to help solve social problems through sharing their knowledge to the public for the greater good of the society. Therefore, I feel that sociologists should provide possible solutions through their research studies, rather than providing solutions that suit their own individual lives. For instance, the family unit has undergone transition over the years. The composition has changed, with countries legalizing same sex marriages. Moreover, spousal responsibilities have changed and wives are now taking up jobs to support their families due to economic challenges. Divorce rates are also at their highest, with couples separating and divorcing due to various reasons.

            Some changes were a bit difficult to cope with at the family and the societal level such as same sex marriages, since most countries begun legalizing them a few years back. In this case, a sociologists may tend to be in favour of one side due to their family background, culture, values and beliefs. However, I am of the opinion that every conclusion made by a sociologist should be made with an aim of enhancing social cohesion. I agree that some societal predictions given by sociologists may cause confusion among people, but I feel that sociologists have a responsibility of sharing this knowledge as it is, rather than attempting to conceal some information.

            Secondly, I feel that taking sides is not the responsibility of sociologists but of activists. While sociologist collect data, interpret their findings and share them publicly, they ought to retain their objectivity. This is achieved through stating facts as they are and should therefore undertake their research studies with much control of their feelings and emotions.  Moreover, sociologists are not expected to force their beliefs unto others but rather they are expected to respect the beliefs, values, rights and diversity of others. This is geared towards eliminating any form of bias against groups of people and should therefore acknowledge that others people may have different principles and beliefs from their own.


            My opinion may sound somewhat unrealistic since sociologists are human beings too and as such, they have the right to uphold their own morals and values. I must however, admit that conducting a research without taking sides is rather challenging, especially when the topic of study is completely against one’s moral principles. However, in spite of such circumstances, sociologists have the responsibility of being impassive when presenting their work and findings to the general public and should not appear as favoring a particular side. This is all towards improving the society through helping solve societal problems and assisting the society manage certain changes, for the good of the public.