SOSC-3993 Lecture Notes May 9 , 2013
o Who’s right is based on opinions
o Easy to settle simple debates
Ex, crimes, statistics are not clear.
o Complex issues; who do you know is right , you rely on knowledge
Is not always accurate
Product of social processes
Created by us, the social norms, but is not always correct
o Social processes
1. Ex: earth revolves around the sun
No one wanted to believe Galileo, because of the Catholic tradition
Ex: Race is a category; skin colour
Or skull size, hair, eye, nose, height, sexual organs, intelligence
Accepted as common sense
o Product of social processes
o How is knowledge produced
o Knowledge is not separate from power
It is used in the system of power
Used in the system of authority
Ex: Canadian History starts only when Europeans arrive not before
o Knowledge is always imbedded in a system of politics
Ex: educational system, medical system, media, relion etc, are gatekeepers tell what is
important and what is not
o How do we know any particular knowledge is adequate?
o Find out by asking the authorities or searching.
o Based on position; based on knowledge
o How to know , review there research, must review the research process
o Ask yourself 5 questions when reviewing
Did the researcher choose the appropriate research method?
Have they conducted the research stages properly?
Ex: sampling, and how they did it
Have they done a good job addressing the question?
Have they made a valid interpretation of their finding?
What are the limitations of their research?
o Or you can conduct the research yourself
The link Between Theory and Research
Theory and Data
o 2 types of Data
Quantitative based on Numbers
Qualitative based on word
o When doing research your Observing, measuring, recording patterns
o Patterns are coincidence
o Patterns themselves are meaningless
o Patterns require meanings when you relate them to theory o Theory helps to explain data with a logical explanation
o Never sure, but there is a strong relationship