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Human evolution and the dramatic social change accompanying progress and transformation demands a uniform discipline which assesses human interaction and the social world issues that pervade society. Hence it was in the context of extraordinary societal change, the Enlightenment period, that the development of a human science or ‘social science’ emerged, defined as the ‘attempt to explain social phenomena within the limits of available evidence” (Lewins, 1992, p.5).The concept of a social science can be further understood from a philosophical stand point where the work of social scientists can be classified in terms of a positivist or non-positivist position. The particular area of social work has gained significantly from the development of a social science centred upon the positivist philosophy and research strategies. While, non-positivist ideas, particularly that of Immanuel Kant and his legacy, has enabled the development of a sociolinguistic perspective reflecting the importance of values within social scientific practice. This essay will further address the issue of what socia…
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