French philosopher august Comte
(1798-1857) referred to sociology as the scientific study of society .It is a
method of inquiry that required systematic testing and beliefs against evidence
whereas common sense is based upon observation and casual knowledge .Common
sense has been known to be tradition based and in up keeping the status quo ,
is resistant to change. It upholds beliefs and enforced stereotypes, lacks
validity and reliability .Sociology on the other hand is based greatly on
empirical evidence .For example the latent function by R.K Merton is a case in
point. A common sense approach to poverty may indicate that people are
unwilling to work or the sins of the past life may have inflicted poverty in
this current life but the sociological thought states that poverty is due to
structural inequality or unavailability of opportunity or lack of skill.

Common sense
is greatly poised on people’s immediate and limited experience equating to a distorted
view of reality however as previously states sociology is supported by rigorous
research or evidence be it in depth qualitative or quantitative therefore
becoming a product of theory development .An analytical comparison between
common sense and sociology by Nagel states that Sociology cannot be levelled
with common sense. (1974, p.21). In his counter to Nagel’s claim, Elliot aimed
to prove that common sense is a part of science in simple ways such as in
conducting an experiment the level of observation and engagement and
observation of the researcher . (1974, p. 24). To further assert the claim,
Emile Durkheim delved into the positivist methodology in social science with
his theory on suicide. He states that sociology is a science on the same levels
as  biology and psychology (2004, p. 31).
Sociological thinking  views the social
world from an objective standpoint whereas commonsense feeds off  individual’s subjective experiences and
therefore, the latter cannot be considered science.

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Commonsense is culturally diverse and varies
betweens societies and cultureal backgrounds . However, sociological thinking suggests
a greater level of consciousness and objectiveness to the social trends and happenings
in relation to the society as a whole. C. Wright Mills once wrote, “The
sociological imagination enables its possessor to understand the larger
historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external
career of a variety of individuals.”(1959, p. 5)It can be concluded that
sociological thinking is commonsense further evolved and probed to allow a greater
understanding of society and therefore cannot outweigh the value and contribution
of sociological thought.

 

In closing
it would be remiss to ignore that Everything around us exists in close relation
to common sense in one way or another. for example the clothes we wear , why
should be drive a BMW versus a Toyota or why we feel good about having a
degree. What and who determines which body type is a small? These are the
thoughts that sociological thoughts could implicate that common sense cannot.  As
Bergeronce claimed,

“To ask sociological questions, then, presupposes
that one is interested in looking some distance beyond the commonly accepted or
officially defined goals of human actions. It presupposes a certain awareness
that human events have different levels of meaning, some of which are hidden
from the consciousness of everyday life.” (Berger, 1963)

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