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Chapter 1-2

SOC221H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1-2: Operational Definition, Symbolic Interactionism, Ann Oakley


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC221H5
Professor
Shyon Baumann
Chapter
1-2

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SOC221 Sept 15 WEEK 2 Reading Notes Ch.1 and 2
CH.1:
Cannot know everything from personal experience or observation all the time, sometimes
discover and believe things that other people tell us (knowing things through agreement)
When personal experience and other peoples in society conflict, we often agree with society
2 TYPES OF REALITY
1) Agreement reality- what we know that comes from our culture and what we share with those
around us
2) Experiential reality- what we know from personal discovery or experience
Social scientists only believe something they have not experienced if it has both logical and
empirical support (must make sense and not contradict actual observation)
Definitions of epistemology and methodology:
Epistemology- science of knowing
Methodology- science of finding out
ORDINARY HUMAN INQUIRY:
People want to predict future circumstances, they do so using causal and probabilistic reasoning
Causal- see future circumstances as caused or conditioned by present ones
Probabilistic- effects occur more often when the causes occur then when the do not, but not
always.
PREDICTION VS UNDERSTANDING:
Prediction- can predict things without understanding eg my ankle tingles it will rain
Can also predict using knowledge and recognizing patterns eg shaq sucks at free throws he will
probably miss
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POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES OF AGREED UPON KNOWLEDGE:
1) Tradition:
POS
-spared from finding out for ourselves
- inherit knowledge that is passed down to develop more knowledge
NEG
-may be seen as a fool reinvestigating knowledge people already believe they know
-may not reinvestigate because people already think they know
2) Authority
POS
-trust people with knowledge in a particular area, which is usually a good call
NEG
-Authority figures can make mistakes
-May rely on people that are not an expert in that field
4 TYPES OF ERROES IN INQUIRY:
1) Inaccurate observations
Mistake observations
Scientists Control by making observations more deliberate eg pay attention to profs 1st day
outfit rather than not
2) Overgeneralization
Look for patterns among specific things we see and assume they are similar across multiple
events
Scientist use large samples and replicate findings
3) Selective observation
Recall info that supports observation and forget what does not
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Scientist will often have a set number and kind of observations to be seen before reaching a
conclusion
4) Illogical reasoning
Observations that contradict our daily life (exceptions not always the rule)
Eg gamblers fallacy
Scientists use system of logic consciously and explicitly to avoid this
WHAT IS REALLY REAL? 3 VIEWS:
1) Premodern view
Assume things are as they are
Though people seeing differently were wrong
2) Modern view
Accepts diversity in opinion
Multiple views may be right
3) Postmodern view
Only things that is real is the images we see from our point of view
No objective reality, only what different people see
FOUNDATIONS OF SOCIAL SCIENCE:
3 major aspects of social scientific enterprise (theory, data collection, and data analysis)
Theory- logical aspect of science
Data collection- observational aspect of science
Data analysis- patterns in observations, may compare what is logivally expected to what is
observed
ATTRIBUTES VS VARIABLES:
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