Document Detail


Epidemiology and the scientific method.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7141777     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
This article refutes the claim that the field of epidemiology and community health would benefit from the application of the scientific method. It is argued that the methods of physics are not appropriate for other disciplines. When applied to the social sciences, positivism is a conservatizing force, causing theory to become based on a mere description of social phenomenon. Since it cannot lead to a deep understanding of social phenomena, positivism is incapable of revealing ways in which society could be radically changed. Moreover, such theory is far from neutral. Rather, it is formed and influenced by the forms of life experienced and practiced in the society. This is illustrated by an analysis of the origin of modern physics at the time when society was changing from a feudal to capitalist form of organization. It is concluded that advances will be made in epidemiology and community health when this field breaks from its focus on the individual and incorporates class into its analysis. However, given the interconnection between social structure and social theory, resistance to such a radical change can be expected.
Authors:
A F Chalmers
Related Documents :
18368047 - Game theory and neural basis of social decision making.
19082727 - The next frontier: prevention as an instrument of social justice.
16770887 - Making the morally relevant features explicit: a response to carson strong.
8147837 - Philosophical aspects of defining efficiency for biological systems--an introductory ov...
21980557 - Sex and the public: social eavesdropping, sperm competition risk and male mate choice.
21683037 - Drinking style and dating violence in a sample of urban, alcohol-using youth.
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of health services : planning, administration, evaluation     Volume:  12     ISSN:  0020-7314     ISO Abbreviation:  Int J Health Serv     Publication Date:  1982  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1983-01-19     Completed Date:  1983-01-19     Revised Date:  2000-12-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  1305035     Medline TA:  Int J Health Serv     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  659-66     Citation Subset:  IM    
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Epidemiologic Methods*
Public Health*
Science*
Social Sciences

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


Previous Document:  Inequalities in health and disease: the case of mortality rates for the city of Johannesburg, South ...
Next Document:  Effect on nephrotic syndrome on absorption and disposition of prednisolone in children.