SCS2150 notes - Introduction to Methodology in the Social Sciences

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University of Ottawa
Social Sciences
Benjamin Zyla

SCS2150 Introduction to Methodology of Social Sciences Prof Benjamin Zyla bzylauottawaca Exams are open book thLecture 1 Sept 5 What is the world debating right nowSyrian Crisis o Civil war with one hundred thousand casualties o Chemical weapons o Should we attack them because of chemical weapons o Causality Who killed who The Govt or the rebels o The UN cannot prove that the Syrian president issued the chemical weapons o Must look for evidence on how to study data quantatively and qualitively There will be 2 exams midterm and final Six assignmentsCan use assignments 1 and 2 in part 1 of the research assignment o Copy paste them and add informationSame principle apply to the last 2 assignments Research proposalChoose own topic to work with for 13 weeksMust develop the topic it being Karl Marx or the Syrian conflictthLecture 3 Sept 12Tuesdays lectureDifferent types of researchActions taken in researchBiasesthe distinction between objectivity vs subjectivity o In the social sciences we aim to do an objective analysis in a topic o Describe Describe the subject of your topic as if no one knows of it o Explore Begin to scratch the of your topic like oil companies looking for oil o Explain Explaining why there is a larger number of Aboriginals committing suicideUnderstanding what is his or her motivation to do a certain thingUnderstanding can only be attained by conversation with the subjectRelation between subjectivity and objectivity o When you try to understand a certain behaviour it is natural to place your subjectivity on the case you are studyingAs social scientists we are interested in o Human beings o Behaviournorms o Motivation o Interactions o Actionsoutcomes o Institutions o Markets o The environment o Social patterns o RulesThe difference between the natural sciences and social sciences is that we social scientists have the capability and the tools to understand behaviourThere is a certain degree of subjectivity when grading examsthLecture 4 Sept 17Read chapter 1 before Tuesday and lecture 1 notesTheory and researchKey wordsEpistemologyOntologyEconomics versus Natural SciencesA battle emerged between the two fieldsResulted in a battle of methodsWhich is more subjective or objective that the other HistoryThe third field that was importantVery good at telling narrativeEven then a bias comes into play Social sciencesA way to study something with modelsExplain the behaviour and motivations of peopleLeads to the battle between subjectivity and objectivity EpistemologyAsks questions about How do we study social realityAsksquestions to Explain and understandHow do we know what we know OntologyTries to understand what our world isthLecture 5 Sept 19What is research SlideshowWhat were are trying to do in the social sciences is understand social phenomena behaviour thinkingMust not reflect your opinion o Can be difficult to differentiate between a political opinion and scientific researchAcademic freedom has no role to play in politics o The scientific world and real would must remain completely seperate
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