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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 104
Professor
Graeme Metcalf
Semester
Winter

Description
Feb 29. 2012 Ideas and Knowledge: Research, Analysis and Deconstruction Research 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 realities. 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. Positivism th Developed in 19 century as practitioners of the emerging social sciences worked to disconnect themselves from speculation and community Why? 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 direct observation 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
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