Complete Logic of Social Enquiry Notes

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Alexandra Marin

Logic of Social EnquiryIntroductionSept 12thTheoretical theorySubstantive topics research methodsMethodological this coursemethods for research and evaluating the social worldOverlaptheoreticalmethodological assumptions and questions affect methodsSubstantivemethodological How methods affect answers and findingsSociological questions have broader and theoretical implicationsThey concern a big group of people and the social world rather than the individualSociological questions need to be answerable empirically and be nonnormativeNormative what is right versus wrong It is not sociological because it cannot be answered empiricallyBased on opinion Characteristics of a sociological question1About the social world2Empirically testable3Theoretically relevantAnswering questionsComing up with an answer to just about any question is easyDetermining if your answer is true requires evidenceEvidence is the reason for which we believe something to be trueEpistemology Study of truth or knowingMethodology The science of finding outKnowledge by AuthorityBelieve the information given to you by someone based on their knowledgespecialityProblem with authoritysometimes two people say the same thing yet we may only believe one of them Eg Random person vs David SuzukiOther problem sometimes we believe people who have authority but no specialityHalo effect a cognitive bias that causes prestige or status in one area to create positive evaluation in another areaAuthority saves time and allows us to benefit from the time invested by others in learning thingsBut authority can be ascribed sloppily deliberately misused and even sincere and wellmeaning experts can be wrong Knowledge by TraditionThe way it has always beenInformation passed through socializationCommon knowledge and folk knowledge Learning by tradition saves time and allows us to learn from the experience of othersBut can limit enquiry lead to closedmindedness and can be contradictoryno means of adjudicatingKnowledge by Experience and observationInformation gathered from observation experiences and the sensesIt does not require relying on information from othersOur observations dont necessarily reflect object reality accuratelyInaccurate and Selective observationGoing from observation to conclusion requires analysis Mistakes can creep in here Overgeneralization and Illogical reasoning Gamblers fallacynot based on odds but on feelingSolution ScienceNatural and social scientist specialized techniques to collect and analyze data and use their analysis to support or reject theoriesData Empirical evidence or information gathered according to specific rules or proceduresAnalysis Specialized procedures for drawing logical conclusions from dataTheories System of interrelated propositions about causal connections between conceptsGathered another way of saying observed with your own eyesWhat makes Empirical observations different Designed to be rigorousNo causalsemiconscious observationsDeliberate proceduresImplicit vague or common sense understanding of classifying and recording observations arent good enough Define concept explicitly and precise in theoretically informed ways Making observations without any plan for who and when to observe isnt good enoughPlan for who and when to observe must make it possible to support our theory and disprove itOverspecialization Observing something a few times in a particular group of people or in a particular setting doesnt necessarily mean you will observe it elsewhereObserve in ways that make it possible to observe something differently if something different is happeningObserve people and settings that can speak to the people and context you to which you want to generalizeDo multiple studies looking for replication
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