CCJ 355 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Pseudoscience, Postpositivism, Participant Observation

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Document Summary

The social world: reasoning about the social world, questions and answers, empirical social research starts with posing questions, answers are shaped by individual contexts and perspectives. Social science: everyday errors in reasoning, overgeneralization, selective/inaccurate observation, resistance to change. Errors in reasoning: everyday errors in reasoning, overgeneralization, unjustifiably conclude that what is true for some cases is true for all cases, selective/inaccurate observation, adopting an observation approach that aligns with our beliefs. Jump to conclusions based on false or unsubstantiated assumptions: resistance to change, reluctance to change ideas in light of new information. Criminological research: why do we do criminological research, policy motivations, academic motivations, purpose of research, exploration, explores new/understudied research problem, descriptive, describes a social situation, explanatory. The goal of social scientists is to understand the meanings people give to reality not to determine how reality works apart from the interpretations: constructivism, extends interpretivist philosophy by emphasizing importance of exploring how different stakeholders construct beliefs.

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