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SOAN_2120 - Week 1 LEC 3.docx

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Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2120
Scott Schau

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SOAN*2120 – Week 1 LEC 3 Asia Barclay Thursday, January 11, 2013 WHAT IS SCIENCE? Science IS: - A set of logical and empirical methods (e.g. drawing inferences or deductions from hypotheses) - Systematic observation, experimentation, rigorous methodology - Replication - Impersonal/objective - Epistemology: the science of knowing Drawing from last class: therefore, a scientist is (obviously...) not determined by how they look, but rather how they behave We may feel like we’re doing something scientific, but in reality we may just be making assumptions Sound logic system in place + proper observations This way, we can categorize/measure things properly to arrive at proper conclusions Three major aspects to social sciences: 1. Theory We begin with a theory to be tested 2. Data Collection We go out and take a measurement 3. Data Analysis We analyze the data we’ve collected Pseudoscience IS: - A set of ideas based on theories put forth as scientific when they are not - Based on authority or sacred text, myths, legends - Can’t be tested; illogical reasoning - Often supported by selective use of anecdotes and intuition SOME DIALECTICS OF SOCIAL RESEARCH Quantitative Approaches - Objective verifiable, controlled observations and precise communications - Deductive process beginning with a general theory + a theoretical expected pattern - We conduct a study that will test whether the expected pattern occurs - We come up with a conclusion then test if it is correct (i.e. observe the sun comes up every morning for a month, then conclude that it will come up every day) Qualitative Approaches - Explanations and descriptions - Inductive process - From particular to a general statement - Painstaking analysis of documents - Lengthy participation in a group - We observe, then come up with a conclusion Nomothetic Explanations - Explains a case of situations rather than a single one - Causal variables - Probabilistic in nature - Naming a few considerations seldom provides a complete explanation - Specific aspect of behaviour - Aggregate data (a lot of information being brought into a case; i.e. compiling the median, the mode, the mean) - Idiographic Explanations - Meaning ―unique‖ - Inductive (more qualitative) and Deductive (more quantitative) Theory - Tries to fully understand the cause of what happens in a particular case INDUCTION AND DEDUCTION: LINKING THEORY AND RESEARCH Deduction: testing theories or testing hypothesis - Theory is used to generate ideas about behaviour  research produces evidence for testing theories Induction: generating hypothesis - Observations/empirical data used to construct theory  derive theories from data The scientific process involves an alternation of deduction and induction Induction and Deduction graph: All rosebushes have thorns Deduction Induction Predicted observations Actual Observations i.e. If I check my neighbour’s rosebushes, i.e. I notice that the five rosebushes I should find that they all have thorns in my backyard; all have thorns THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD The scientific method requires three attitudes: 1. Curiosity the motivating force behind scientific inquiry 2. Skepticism means not taking t
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