Politics manifests itself in a number of different ways in social research:
1) Sometimes it is the belief and value system of the researcher that impedes total objectivity. For example, feminists highlight the deprived conditions of females in order to create more sympathy for their cause.
2) Funding for research. Government and other organisations have an interest in the outcome of the research and thus only fund research projects in which they have a vested interest; they will only fund projects that uphold their opinions and world-views. For example, it is very unlikely that government will fund a project concerning government malpractice.
The projects that they do fund is usually conducted uncritically; it is only concerned with the effectiveness of implementing the policy and not the actual validity of the policy itself.
3) At times, gaining access to an organisation is difficult becuase the organisation is more concernend about its public image. This may result in making a deal or what is called a ‘research bargain’ that delineates what is and what is not permissible. Even after negotiation and gaining access the participants maybe at odds with the researcher because they fear a hidden agenda.
It is, I believe, impossible to achieve a complete impartial and objective research study. It is my contention that to ask complete objectivity from sociology is to place a burden on it more than it can bear. Sociology is unlike mathematics. Mathematics is the only discipline where complete objectivity can be achieved. It is exact; it is precise; Its propositions are axiomatic and self evident. Sociology on the other hand is not so exact; it is testable; subject to criticism; rectifiable and falsifiable. Its sphere is concerned with society and the way it is organised. Research studies as evidence proper have still to prove themselves worthy of the authority they claim to possess.