SA 255 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Logical Positivism, Putto, Numerical Analysis

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016
INTRO (1)!
SA255
!
INTRO!
Terms!
- Positionist: scientific study of social world; world exists regardless of human
interpretation; quantitative research method!
- Interpretivist: understanding human motivation in order to understand human actions;
world exists in human experience and meaning; qualitative research method!
- Qualitative: data represented through descriptive qualities (ex. interviews, words,
observations)!
- Quantitative: data represented through numbers (ex. surveys, charts)!
- Ontology: reality and how we know it!
- Paradigm: ways of seeing things; can dictate the type of research done, the method
used, the interpretation of data, etc.!
- Epistemology: theories of knowledge regarding diff. status of knowledge claims and
how to judge them!
- Methodology: a set/system of methods, principles, and rules for regulating a
discipline!
- Falsification: when theory doesn't produce same/similar outcome when applied to
new data!
- Emancipatory goals: wanting to give empowerment for the oppressed!
!
!
What is Social Research?!
- Definition #1: to extend knowledge about some parts of social life!
!i. Tests existing theories!
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Tuesday, January 5, 2016
!ii. Develops new insights and theories!
!iii. Asks why and how?!
- Def. #2: focuses on human (social) behaviour!
!i. Diff. from physical sciences in subject matter but not in method of inquiry!
- Def. #3: concerns ppl!
!i. Establishes facts about social world!
!ii. Labovitz and Hagedorn: "A fact is a reliable and valid item of info..."!
!!a) Reliable: verifiable; repeated = similar/same results!
!!b) Valid: observations measure what they say they are measuring!
!
Facts!
- Used to make decisions!
- (Hopefully) affect policies and laws!
- Found thru following the scientific method!
!i. Observe... a social phenomenon!
!ii. Research Qs... about your observation!
!iii. Method... ex. interviews (qualitative), surveys (quantitative)!
!iv. Results!
!v. Analyze... patterns in your research!
!vi. Conclusion!
Social research could be biased (ex. involuntary social research recruitment - find
benefits of X Y Z)!
!
History of Social Research!
- Two main approaches:!
!i. Positionist: social world studied scientifically !
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