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SSH 205 (13)
Chapter 1

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Social Sciences and Humanities
SSH 205
Scott Clark

SSH 205: Chapter 1 A. Notice and Focus (Ranking) • “What do you notice?” • Always repeatedly answer that question • Cite actual details of the thing being observed rather than general observations about it • Rank (order of importance) the various features of the subject you have noticed • Answer this: “What three details (specific features) are most interesting?” • Third step is to say why the 3 things struck you as the most interesting B. Five-StepAnalysis 1. Locate exact repetitions –identical or nearly identical works or details a. Ex: If the word “seems” repeats three times, write “seems x 3”.Also, consider different forms of the word –“seemed, seem” 2. Locate repetition of the same kind of detail or word –strand: grouping of same kind of words/details a. Ex: “Polite, courteous, mannerly” or “accuse, defence, justice, witness” are strands) 3. Locate details or words that form or suggest binary opposition –called binaries or organizing contrasts a. Ex: “Open/closed,” “Naïve/self-conscious,” and “Grey/brown” 4. Choose what you take to be the key repetitions, strands, and binaries and rank them in some order of importance 5. Write up the three lists that you have composed and then write a focused paragraph in which you explain your choice of on repetition or one strand or one binary as significant Looking for Pattern • Repetition is a sign of emphasis • Sometimes patterns of repetition are significant because they are part of a contrast –basic opposition– around which subject matter is structured o Ex: Organizing contrasts are “nature/civilization,” “city/country,” public/private,” “organic/inorganic,” and “voluntary/involuntary” • Binaries are useful because they are sites of uncertainty, of more than one point of view Anomaly • After the five-step analysis, look for anomalies –things that seem unusual or seem not to fit •
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