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45 Pages

Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2120
Scott Schau

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SOAN 2120 Introductory Methods Prof Scott Schau notes provided for every lecture any day missing was a cancelled class Sidenote writing in italics is information the professor said nonitalics writing is what was provided on the lecture slides WEEK 1 Sept 8 Thurs Assertion Authority and Evidence Claims about causationEx Lead exposure causes reduced intelligenceAccept Reject o Need support EvidenceAuthority expertise or rant of source Taking Something on FaithChurch of Galileos Day o Geocentric Model sun around earth at first then realized that the earth moved around the sun Copernican model of solar systemGalileo Publishes o Dialogues on the two principal world systemsSupported heliocentric model1633 trial o Forced to recant and imprisoned later commuted to house arrest book was banned1757 o Church removed book from index of the prohibited books1979 Pope John Paul II o Called for a reexamination of the Galileo casePublishes secret archives admitted judges were wrong Philosophy of ScienceScepticism about social research goes beyond rare cases of data fraud or common disputes about methodsCan we know about our world o Implies facts exist o Pursue these facts by empirical methods PositivismAuguste Comte social scientistRejects speculationEmphasizes positive factsScientific knowledge is only true knowledge1Test theories o Fit the facts observedNote many critics and is not the only way to look at research no common consensus around an alternative view other ways of looking but most ways social science sits in a positivism approachParadigm lens through which we see the worldObserved via thinking sun moved had to explain how planets moved later 3 Main Activities in Social Research 1 Tentative Explanation Theory 2 Observing Experiment Data Collection 3 Testing Rival Views Against Data Examination of Datawill be discussing over course of semestercan be in diff orders depending on the approachWEEK 2 Sept 13 Tues Cholera London 18481854John Snow 1813 London doctor discussed causal mode of infection for cholera o Huge issue no cure yet London had many epidemics thought was caught via air people would leave o Didnt believe it was air bc never got sick from being in close contact1848 published a pamphlet On the Mode of Communication of Cholera o Suggested it was transmitted via food or water o Opposition it was thought to be caused by vapours bad air would scare if ppl knew was from waterfood o 2 places for water downward higher rates of water upriver less cholera o Outbreak in Soho London The Scientific Method The scientific Method requires three attitudes 1 Curiosity motivating force behind scientific inquiry 2 Skepticism not taking things for granted 3 Critical Thinking productive and creative Where do Research Ideas Come FromTheory Life experienceOther Sources o Personal interests and curiosity o Casual observation o Practical problems or questions o Vague and fleeting thoughts 2 o Reading reports of others observations Primary Source first hand observations of info read John Snowprimary learn in lecturesecondary conducted secondary reported Finding and Using Background LiteraturePrimary Sources first hand report observations of observations or research results that are written by the individuals who actually conducted the research and made the observationsSecondary Sourcesdescription or summary of others work written by someone who didnt participate in the research or observations discussed Social ScientistsQualitative e Social Scientist o Lengthy field study o Intensive case analysis o Indepth caseinterviewsQuantitative Social Scientist o Identify various hypothesesTest hypotheses o Generalizations What is Science Science IsSet of logical and empirical methods ex Drawing inferences or deductions from hypothesesSystematic observations experimentation rigorous methodology ReplicationImpersonalobjectiveEpistemology the science of knowing Pseudoscience IsSet of ideas based on theories put forth as scientific when they are notBased on authority or sacred text myths legendsCant be tested illogical reasoningOften supported by selective use of anecdotes and intuitionThe Foundations of Social Science The Two Pillars of science are 1 Logic 2 Observation Three major aspects of social science are 3
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