Feb 29. 2012
Ideas and Knowledge: Research, Analysis and Deconstruction
In observing the growing centrality of media to new and varied dimensions of contemporary life
we have seen a renewed focus on research develop
For example, we are currently examining ―where we are‖ in regards to what we call reality or
As a result: we are amidst new developments and directions in research methodology
Reality: as technology has continues to develop we’ve witnessed a distancing principle take
effect wherein we are less and less governed by a core real but rather by a fluid system of
mediated realities such as facebook, skype, online identities, video games ect.
(for example online dating vs. dating in reality. Idea of courtship shifting (less personal). Able to
develop different online personas)
How does Sociology examine reality?
Some sociologists, in particular those couched in traditional research methods stress that
research needs to be rigorous and disciplined rather than impressionistic and haphazard—and
this suggests to us a type of objectivity or neutrality.
Developed in 19 century as practitioners of the emerging social sciences worked to disconnect
themselves from speculation and community
This was in efforts (for social scientists) to establish themselves as ―scientists‖ on par with those
in the natural sciences
*as a result of these realities objectivity is being pushed further and further away*
Quantity or Quality, or Objectivity or Subjectivity
Positivist’s favour recording facts in terms of quantity-this is to bolster objectivity and precision
This preference draws its strength from the long standing assertion that a science of anything,
including social and cultural life, must be based on empirical (solid, concrete) data produced by
How does this work?
Making sense: interpretation Another term we can use to describe interpretations is polysemy
Polysemy: the theory allows that the meaning of a text – film, editorial, advertisement et al- is
fluid wherein the viewer (or reader, listener) interprets a text with a personal association at work
It maintains that while a text is open, there are limitations: we cannot simply read into a text
whatever we like. Evidence needs to exist to justify your interpretation
Example?: teen mom, 16 and pregnant (glamourizing teen pregnancy, (financial incentive,
celebrity, American economy) or making it look horrible)
Why do we demand