Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Ethical Problems of the Sociologists Profession. Polish Perspective

Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Ethical Problems of the Sociologists Profession. Polish Perspective

Article excerpt


Contemporary sociological studies are utilitarian, as a matter of fact, because many people and institutions use information collected by the sociologists during empirical research. The ways this knowledge is used are of dual character. Some results serve the public welfare, especially solving difficult social problems, while other serve particular purposes by methods of social engineering. Gaining knowledge about a society becomes a very important and responsible task, so social research should be based on specific ethical standards.

The range of a sociologist interests is wide and diverse. It includes various social processes, groups and communities, organizations, society institutions etc. A sociologist tries to decipher relations and connections between people, and is also interested in the activities of social instititutions. Studying a social sciences makes student able to determine their status and the dynamics of change as well as propose effective methods of obviating irregularities which may hamper the society's functioning. In a way, a sociologist becomes a society's physician, examining the society and social phenomena, and diagnosing social problems that have to be solved.

Obviously, a sociologist interest in a society and direct contact with another participants of society requires observing high professional standards. Both the professional prestige and scientific value of their research depend on it. The broad range of research problems investigated by the sociologists affects the complexity and intricacy of ethical dilemmas stemming from the profession's specificity.

The fundamental aim of this paper is to present selected ethical problems of the sociologists profession. Hitherto, the professional literature has not noted a comprehensive monograph on the axiology of a sociologist work. However, in various publications, there are references to ethical issues which apply to sociological research conducting.

Contemporary sociological discussion develops toward the analysis of ethical issues with the interface of new media and social engineering. The development of new technology also allows the researcher to explore previously unknown issues. Interesting from the point of view of the researcher is to understand the principles of social science understood as the relationship between IT in the communication process and social world. In the process of investigation of this phenomenon on the one hand research interest is the impact of IT in communication for social and psychological changes among the people that use them. On the other hand, the effects of social phenomena in information and communication systems. The first definition of the phenomenon created by Rob Kling recognizing that "the social IT refers to the study of social aspects of computing, including the role of information technology in social and organizational changes, use of information technology in a social context and the ways in which power and social practices impact on social organization of work with information technologies" (Kling, 2000).

Today, social IT can be understood as an interdisciplinary research area at the intersection of computer science and the social sciences. In this second context, mention should be noted that social IT is the field of modern social sciences, such as sociology and psychology of the Internet. In this aspect, the social sciences, providing a large number of behavioural data on social behaviour can be described as the methodological revolution Computational Social Science (Cioffi-Revilla, 2010). For a systematic description of the research conducted by social IT is useful to introduce the term information system understood as the digitally stored information and this information processing processes (Mackay, 2013), and the social system, understood as the human community and the occurring in the social processes (Sztompka, 1999). Relations between the social system and the information system (including the Internet) are complex and extensive. …

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