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Lecture on Methods

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SOCL 2211
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Sociological Methods11 Theory Construction Lecture 1Theory Construction and Hypothesis Testing A Max Webers methodological theory1 SociologySociologyis a science concerning itself with the interpretive understanding of social action and thereby with a causal explanation of its course and consequencesWe shall speak of Aaction insofar as the acting individual attaches a subjective meaning to his behaviorbe it overt or covert omission or acquiescenceAction is Asocial insofar as its subjective meaning takes account of the behavior of others and is thereby oriented in its coursep 4a A science referring to social action intentional meaningful1 NB not every action is social only that oriented to othersb Interpretive understanding1 Entails attribution of motive a chopping woodb Aadequate grounds for action 2 Entails need to understand historical context3 Comparative sociology needed since experimental generally impossible c Causal explanation AA correct causal interpretationis arrived at when the overt action and the motives have both been correctly apprehended and at the same time their relation has become meaningfully comprehensible 2 Ideal Typesa Method for reconciling causal and interpretive knowledgeb Analytical construct a Autopia c Accentuates certain features d Guides imputations of significance e Guides hypotheses of laws f Developmental sequences can also be ideal typesSociological Methods21 Theory Construction1 This creates danger of mixing theory with realityg Ideal types permit successive approximation growth of knowledge AIts result is the perpetual reconstruction of those concepts through which we seek to comprehend reality h Refer mainly to rational action or what would have been rational 1 This gives it causal significance 2 Does not entail belief in universal human rationalityi Sociological Alaws1 Atypical probabilities confirmed by observation 2 Sociology tries to formulate type conceptsa abstracts from realityhelps us understand it 3 History oriented to causal analysisexplanation 3 Types of Social Actiona Instrumental Rational Zweckrational meansends b Value Rational Wertrational c Affectual emotional d Traditional1 A residual type depends on historye Nonrational types on the border of the meaningful4 The issue of a Avaluefree or Avalueneutral social sciencea Means that research is not biased or partisan b But all research is valueoriented inasmuch as we choose research topics according to our values5 Discussion of diagram successive approximationB Durkheims methodological theory1 Investigate social phenomenon by looking at its individual manifestations
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