Spracklen sets out the problems social sciences have in comparison with the natural sciences in the modern world. The natural sciences (reduced to the acronym STEM) are seen as proper sciences by journalists and policy-makers because they find out true things about the world, make money and help governments solve problems. Spracklen establishes critical sociology as the theoretical framework through which he will analyse the relationship between the natural sciences and the social sciences, and through which he will make the moral case for social sciences in the rest of the book.
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