OBJECTIVITY IN SOCIAL RESEARCH

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Objectivity And Subjectivity In Social Research

Author : Gayle Letherby
ISBN : 9780857028402
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 70.73 MB
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This book, written by leading authors in the field, takes a completely new approach to objectivity and subjectivity, no longer treating them as opposed - as many existing texts do - but as logically and methodologically related in social research. The authors explain complex arguments with great clarity for social science students, while also providing the detail and comprehensiveness required to meet the needs of practicing researchers and scholars.
Category: Social Science

Objectivity In Social Science

Author : Frank Cunningham
ISBN : 9781442637955
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 56.31 MB
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The debates over objectivity in the social sciences have a long history; there have been contributions by philosophers and social theorists from a variety of viewpoints, including empiricism, phenomenology, pragmatism, and Marxism. Objectivity in Social Science combats the widespread opinion that objective inquiry is impossible in the social sciences by drawing together and exhibiting the weaknesses of arguments, taken from positions in the philosophies of science, social science, language, and perception, in favour of anti-objectivism, arguments which have recurred in one form or another throughout the course of these debates. As the author puts it, 'What I have attempted to offer is at the least a convenient map for finding one's way about in the tangle of issues surrounding the question of objectivity in social science and at the most a set of arguments sufficient to convince the perplexed, and presently wrong-headed, of the (objective) falsity of social-scientific anti-objectivism.' In the course of the book arguments advanced by such influential figures as Thomas Kuhn, Benjamin Lee Whorf, Karl Mannheim, N.R. Hanson, Peter Winch, Michael Polanyi, P.K. Feyerabend, and Jürgen Habermas, among others, are critically examined, as are attempts of pragmatists, phenomenologists, and others to construct alternatives to the objectivist interpretation of conflict and progress in the development of social-scientific knowledge.
Category: Social Science

Objectivity And Diversity

Author : Sandra Harding
ISBN : 9780226241364
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 72.43 MB
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Worries about scientific objectivity just won t go away, but by now, it s safe to say, no one who reflects on the appropriate role of values and interests in scientific research thinks it is or could be free of them. It now seems obvious that social, political, and economic values and interests influence research on weapons, for example, or health and the environment. Yet the dominant late twentieth-century philosophies of science have tended to conceptualize the reliability and predictive power of the results of research as damaged by such values and interests, and they continue to do so in spite of powerful analyses of how sciences operate in practice and in spite of the rise around the globe in the last four decades of various forms of participatory action research and citizen science, both of which take their research agendas from the concerns of disadvantaged groups. Why are the epistemic/scientific norm of objectivity and the social/political norm of diversity still perceived as inevitably in conflict with each other? Why aren t they perceived as in conflict only sometimes, but many times as providing valuable resources for each other? How can we promote science that is both more epistemically adequate and socially just? Sandra Harding probes these questions with clarity and concrete cases, and in doing so puts severe pressure on conventional philosophies of science and points to intellectually sounder and politically more progressive ways to think about them. She proposes a new way to relink sciences and their philosophies to democratic social relations, even while these are themselves undergoing transformations. A must read for anyone interested in how to think about the politics of science globally."
Category: Philosophy

Advocacy And Objectivity

Author :
ISBN : 9781412843829
Genre : History
File Size : 81.85 MB
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This award-winning book of the Frederick Jackson Turner Studies describes the early development of social science professions in the United States. Furner traces the academic process in economics, sociology, and political science. She devotes considerable attention to economics in the 1880s, when first-generation professionals wrestled with the enormously difficult social questions associated with industrialization. Controversies among economists reflected an endemic tension in social science between the necessity of being recognized as objective scientists and an intense desire to advocate reforms. Molded by internal conflicts and external pressures, social science gradually changed. In the 1890s economics was defined more narrowly around market concerns. Both reformers and students of social dynamics gravitated to the emerging discipline of sociology, while political science professionalized around the important new field of public administration. This division of social science into specialized disciplines was especially significant as progressivism opened paths to power and influence for social science experts. Professionalization profoundly altered the role and contribution of social scientists in American life. Since the late nineteenth century, professionals have exerted increasing control over complex economic and social processes, often performing services that they themselves have helped to make essential. Furner here seeks to discover how emerging groups of American social scientists envisioned their role what rights and responsibilities they claimed how they hoped to perform a vital social function as they fulfilled their own ambitions, and what restraints they recognized.
Category: History

Methodology Of Social Sciences

Author : Henry A. Finch
ISBN : 9781412843836
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 58.16 MB
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Max Weber wrote these methodological essays in the closest intimacy with actual research and against a background of constant and intensive meditation on substantive problems in the theory and strategy of the social sciences. They were written between 1903 and 1917, the most productive of Max Weber's life, when he was working on his studies in the sociology of religion and Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Weber had done important work in economic and legal history and had taught economic theory. On the basis of original investigations, he had acquired a specialist's knowledge of the details of German economic and social structure. His always vital concern for the political prosperity of Germany among the nations thrust him deeply into discussion of political ideals and programs. Weber's methodology still holds interest for us. Some of its shortcomings, from the contemporary viewpoint, may be attributed to the fact that some of the methodological problems that he treated could not be satisfactorily resolved prior to certain actual developments in research technique. These few qualifications aside, the work remains a pioneering work in large scale social research, from one of the field's masters.
Category: Social Science

Science Values And Objectivity

Author : Peter Machamer
ISBN : 9780822970866
Genre : Science
File Size : 82.16 MB
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Collection of essays that identify the values crucial to science, distinguish some of the criteria that can be used for value identification, and elaborate the conditions for warranting certain values as necessary or central to scientific research.
Category: Science

Science As Social Knowledge

Author : Helen E. Longino
ISBN : 0691020515
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 51.43 MB
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"Helen Longino has written a timely book that fills a critical gap in the existing literature between philosophy of science and the social studies of science. Her exposition of scientific inquiry as a context-laden process provides the conceptual tools we need to understand how social expectations shape the development of science while at the same time recognizing the dependence of scientific inquiry on its interactions with natural phenomena. This is an important book precisely because there is none other quite like it." --Evelyn Fox Keller, author of "Reflections on Gender and Science" Conventional wisdom has it that the sciences, properly pursued, constitute a pure, value-free method of obtaining knowledge about the natural world. In light of the social and normative dimensions of many scientific debates, Helen Longino finds that general accounts of scientific methodology cannot support this common belief. Focusing on the notion of evidence, the author argues that a methodology powerful enough to account for theories of any scope and depth is incapable of ruling out the influence of social and cultural values in the very structuring of knowledge. The objectivity of scientific inquiry can nevertheless be maintained, she proposes, by understanding scientific inquiry as a social rather than an individual process. Seeking to open a dialogue between methodologists and social critics of the sciences, Longino develops this concept of "contextual empiricism" in an analysis of research programs that have drawn criticism from feminists. Examining theories of human evolution and of prenatal hormonal determination of "gender-role" behavior, of sex differences in cognition, and of sexualorientation, the author shows how assumptions laden with social values affect the description, presentation, and interpretation of data. In particular, Longino argues that research on the hormonal basis of "sex-differentiated behavior" involves assumptions not only about gender relations but also about human action and agency. She concludes with a discussion of the relation between science, values, and ideology, based on the work of Habermas, Foucault, Keller, and Haraway.
Category: Philosophy