2Z03 January 13 Lecture:
*Tutorials every other week.
The Foundations of Social Science
The foundations of social science are logic and observation
Theory provides the logic part of social science research
THEORY: A systematic explanation for the observations that relate to a
particular aspect of life
Example: CRIME we need theory to understand why crime rates increase/
decrease.. why some people commit crimes etc.
CONTROL THEORY: Individuals not constrained by normal social ties are
more likely to commit (minor) crimes. Examines person who commits the crime
Routine Activities Theory: Opportunities to commit crime explain why certain
types of crimes occur. Sometimes two theory conflicts with each other. More
focused on who are the victims of crimes.
Theory Not philosophy or belief
Social theory has to do with what is, not with what should be (although we all
have some ideas of what should be)
Social Science research cannot be used to settle value debates (eg. Smoking in car
with young children in vehicle is bad says social science research)
Based on scientific research we can develop values and create laws to find out
what we believe right or wrong.
Science can help us know what is and why (eg what is changing, why is it
Social Regularities: The search for patterns of behavior and