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SOAN 2120 Midterm Review

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University of Guelph
Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2120
Scott Schau

Midterm Review Human Inquiry and Science basis of knowledge is agreement learn things through tradtion and through experts Direct Knowledgethrough personal experience and observation our own sense dont necessarily project objective reality ie Awareness test cant see everything that is going on bc we are not focusing on everything Indirect Knowledgethrough tradition and authority an agreed upon consensus process of learning what others believe limits inquiry leads to closed mindedness prejudiceTradition culture religion old wives tales ie We know something is poison bc the label tells us it is by having information given to us we dont have to start from scratch can sometime look silly for trying to understand something that has already been explained through traditionAuthorityacceptance of new knowledge depends on status of person giving information ppl of authority can make mistakes Errors in InquirySome Solutions Inaccurate observationtake certain measures to ensure that there are no inaccuracies rewatch redo take a photo Overgeneralizationwhen looking for pattern we assume similar events follow that pattern avoid this by having large representative sample and replication and repeated Selective Observationonce we find a pattern we tend to focus on situations that fit that pattern and ignore those that dontIllogical Reasoningthinking something is the exception to the rule gamblers who sit at a coin slot all day feel they are due to win bc they have been feeding it all day Whats Really Real Premodern Viewguided most of human history believed what they saw was real ie Dont go into the woods the witch will get younothing was real unless you saw it yourself as ppl evolved they realized that not everyone agreed with their ideas Modern Viewppl accepting difference in opinion as legitimate and diverse I dont believe what she believes But she isnt wrong and neither am Ippl have different views and neither are wrong Postmodern Viewall thats real are the images we get through our points of view theres nothing out there its all in here ie When fighting with someone and you see them as the devil and they see you as being a witchseeing things from different viewpoints is what is reality there is no reality or truth just different images of it variety of subjective viewsThe Foundations of Social Science major aspects of social science enterprisetheory logical aspect of science data collection observational aspectdata analysis patterns in observations the 2 pillars of science are LOGICOBSERVATION systematic defined how you will make observations science is logicalempirical methods such as drawing deductions from hypotheses systematic observation experimentation rigorous methodology replication impersonalobjective epistemology the science of knowing pseudoscience is set of ideas based on theories put forth as scientific when they are not based on authority or sacred text myths legends cant be tested illogical reasoning often supported by selective use of intuition and anecdotesTheory Not Philosophy or Belief science cant settle debates about values can only let us know what is and why Social Regularitiesformal norms in society create considerable amount of regularitybut there are always exceptions some women make more money than men where most dont Aggregates Not Individualscollective regularities many reasons for having a baby attempt to answer why patterns of behaviour are consistent even when individuals change over time ie Birth rate in Canada is generally the same every yearVariable Languagewant to find out about the people who share a view ie Ppl who think women should stay in the kitchen to gain insight and understanding attributes are characteristics that describe an object variables are logical groupings of attributes relationship between the 2 is at the heart of description and explanation in scienceSome Dialectics of Social Researchmany ways to go about social research Idiographic and Nomothetic Explanationsexplaining why something happened in a particular event idiographic explaining a class of situations rather than a single one nomotheticsettles for a partial rather than full explanation Inductive and Deductive Reasoningmoving from particular to general thinking about why you did better on a previous exam and applying what you did to all exams inductive moving from general to specific thinking that all police are mean deductive Dialectics of Social Research quantitativequalitative approaches nomotheticdeductionquantitative using probability theory statistics leads to partial nonexhausted explanation nomothetic model is designed to discover those considerations that are most important in explaining general classes of actionsevents nomothetic model involves isolation of those relatively few considerations that will provide explanations for manyallnomothetic model is probabilistic in its approach to causationidiographic explanationsinductionqualitative ie the roses all have thorns then I make an actual observation then you make an induction and then we assume all roses have thorns ideographic model often used in daily life and social research inductive and deductive theory Criteria for Nomothetic Causality look atlogic and observation logic suggests the observed relationships are not casual by nature 3 main criteria for nomothetic casual relationships variables must be correlated cause takes place before effect variables are nonspurious causal relationship exists unless cause proceeds effect in time must be an observed relationship between variables observed empirical correlation between 2 variables cant be explained in terms of a third variable spurious relationships arent genuine ie the relationship between drowning in the summer and ice cream salesFalse Criteria for Nomothetic Causalitycomplete causation nomothetic explanation is usually incomplete exceptional cases exceptions dont disconfirm casual relationships ie women are more religious than mengender may be a cause of religiousness
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