In the statement, “The first social wisdom of sociology is that things are not as they seem.”, Berger tells sociologists that what make human beings distinctive from other animals are not certain sets of physical features but rather what they think, do, say, and feel (Grzyb, 2014). Therefore, they should be able to recognize that there are various layers of meanings, which translates that they try to understand things and events in greater depth, rather than relying on what their common senses tell them (Fuller, 2014).
The statement implies that although the discipline of Sociology is a liberal art, it should employ scientific methods of study to explain the social world. Hence, shared patterns of thoughts, behaviors, beliefs, judgments and their constraints on an individual and groups should be examined empirically. It is only by employing the scientific methods, that sociologists will objectively know why certain patterns came to exist and why they are always regular in a given society. For instance, since most societies have divisions such as economic inequalities, genders, ethnicities, classes and races, sociologists should go deeper and empirically determine why they came about. The emergence and regularity of current political, economic and social institutions can be studied in the same way (Grzyb, 2014).
Empirical methods should also be employed in studying why and how social patterns tend to change. In this respect, social scientists will be enabled to find out why certain changes tend to be violent whilst others peaceful. It will also involve studying how people relate during changes in the natural environment such as hurricane. Therefore, scientific methodologies will enable sociologists to ensure consistency in their researches and maximum objectivities in their findings. It is because they will often be critical by not accepting automatically, everything that societies/ people say about themselves (Grzyb, 2014).
Fuller, A. (2014). Sociology. Manchester University. Retrieved on 21 April 2014 from
Grzyb, G. (2014). What is Sociology?. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Retrieved on 21 April
2014 from http://www.uwosh.edu/sociology/about-sociology.