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Lecture 2

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Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2120
Scott Schau

SOAN*2120 – Week 2 LEC 2 Asia Barclay Wednesday, January 16, 2013 SYMBOLIC FUNCTIONALISM - Microtheoretical - Didactic or tridactic - Focuses on the nature of interactions between individuals - How we form our identity through daily interactions and by looking into the reactions of others (looking-glass self) - Interest in the role of communications in human affairs - Interpretivist approach to social science ETHNOMETHODOLOGY - Microtheoretical - Focus on how people create reality and social structure through their actions and interactions - Interested in social norms; people’s expectations and how they make sense of their world/of the life they experience FEMINIST PARADIGM - Predominant beliefs, values, and social norms have been constructed by people representing only a portion of society: men - Looks into how much in society depends on gender - Scientific knowledge and methodology is gendered and biased by men - Anti-essentialist - I.e. astronomers would give their data to women, who would then compute and calculate the data and form the theories that were credited solely to men; Marie Curie; etc. WHY CARE ABOUT PARADIGMS? - Inform underlying assumptions of theories - Influence the explanations we create to understand observed social phenomena - Influence Research interests Research design Subjects, units of analysis Methodology - Understanding the underlying paradigm of a study can be crucial to assess its merits/failures - We must not get so absorbed in our research that we cannot criticise it and/or cannot prove it wrong ELEMENTS OF THEORY - Observation: sensorial understanding of the world around us some positivism coming into play - Fact: observed phenomenon - Concept: abstract element representing classes of phenomena - Variable: special kind of concept with some special relation to observed phenomena terms such as “occupation” - Attribute: describes the intensity, magnitude, quality, nature of a variable aspects that the variable can take on, i.e. “farmer, instructor, researcher, etc.” - Axiom (or postulate): fundamental assertion, taken to be true, on which theory is grounded i.e. 2 + 2 = 4 i.e. economic theory: people are rational - Proposition: conclusion about the relationships between concepts derived from the axiomatic framework i.e. men hesitate more about asking for driving directions than women - Hypothesis: testable expectation about empirical reality derived from propositions ELEMENTS OF THEORY EXEMPLIFIED: GENDER AND VIOLENCE IN CHILDREN’S PLAY Two
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