OBJECTIVITY IN SOCIAL RESEARCH

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Key Concepts In Social Research

Author : Geoff Payne
ISBN : 9781446233894
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 78.8 MB
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`This clearly written and user-friendly book is ideal for students or researchers who wish to get a basic, but solid grasp of a topic and see how it fits with other topics. By following the links a student can easily and efficiently build up a clear conceptual map of social research' - Malcolm Williams, Reader in Sociology, Cardiff University `This is a really useful book, written in an accessible manner for students beginning their study of social research methods. It is helpful both as an introductory text and as a reference guide for more advanced students. Most of the key topics in methods and methodology are covered and it will be suitable as a recommended text on a wide variety of courses' - Clive Seale, Brunel University At last, an authoritative, crystal-clear introduction to research methods which really takes account of the needs of students for accessible, focused information to help with undergraduate essays and exams. The key concepts discussed here are based on a review of teaching syllabi and the authors' experience of many years of teaching. Topics range over qualitative and quantitative approaches and combine practical considerations with philosophical issues. They include several new topics, like internet and phone polling, internet searches, and visual methods. Each section is free-standing, can be tackled in order, but with links to other sections to enable students to cross-reference and build up a wider understanding of central research methods. To facilitate comprehension and aid study, each section begins with a definition. It is followed by a summary of key points with key words and guides to further reading and up-to-date examples. The book is a major addition to undergraduate reading lists. It is reliable, allows for easy transference to essays and exams and easy to use, and exceptionally clearly written for student consumption. The book answers the needs of all those who find research methods daunting, and for those who have dreamt of an ideal introduction to the subject.
Category: Social Science

Objectivity And Subjectivity In Social Research

Author : Gayle Letherby
ISBN : 9781446271414
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32.53 MB
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Objectivity and subjectivity are key concepts in social research. 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 book debates: - the philosophical bases of objectivity and relativity - relationism and dynamic synthesis - situated objectivity - theorised subjectivity - social objects and realism - objectivity and subjectivity in practice 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 practising researchers and scholars.
Category: Social Science

Objectivity In Social Science

Author : Frank Cunningham
ISBN : 9781442637955
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 84.85 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

Science Values And Objectivity

Author : Peter Machamer
ISBN : 9780822970866
Genre : Science
File Size : 21.75 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

Objectivity And Diversity

Author : Sandra Harding
ISBN : 9780226241531
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 48.21 MB
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Worries about scientific objectivity seem never-ending. Social critics and philosophers of science have argued that invocations of objectivity are often little more than attempts to boost the status of a claim, while calls for value neutrality may be used to suppress otherwise valid dissenting positions. Objectivity is used sometimes to advance democratic agendas, at other times to block them; sometimes for increasing the growth of knowledge, at others to resist it. Sandra Harding is not ready to throw out objectivity quite yet. For all of its problems, she contends that objectivity is too powerful a concept simply to abandon. In Objectivity and Diversity, Harding calls for a science that is both more epistemically adequate and socially just, a science that would ask: How are the lives of the most economically and politically vulnerable groups affected by a particular piece of research? Do they have a say in whether and how the research is done? Should empirically reliable systems of indigenous knowledge count as "real science"? Ultimately, Harding argues for a shift from the ideal of a neutral, disinterested science to one that prizes fairness and responsibility.
Category: Philosophy

Methodology Of Social Sciences

Author : Max Weber
ISBN : 9781351505567
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 66.71 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

Trust In Numbers

Author : Theodore M. Porter
ISBN : 1400821614
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 81.68 MB
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This investigation of the overwhelming appeal of quantification in the modern world discusses the development of cultural meanings of objectivity over two centuries. How are we to account for the current prestige and power of quantitative methods? The usual answer is that quantification is seen as desirable in social and economic investigation as a result of its successes in the study of nature. Theodore Porter is not content with this. Why should the kind of success achieved in the study of stars, molecules, or cells be an attractive model for research on human societies? he asks. And, indeed, how should we understand the pervasiveness of quantification in the sciences of nature? In his view, we should look in the reverse direction: comprehending the attractions of quantification in business, government, and social research will teach us something new about its role in psychology, physics, and medicine. Drawing on a wide range of examples from the laboratory and from the worlds of accounting, insurance, cost-benefit analysis, and civil engineering, Porter shows that it is "exactly wrong" to interpret the drive for quantitative rigor as inherent somehow in the activity of science except where political and social pressures force compromise. Instead, quantification grows from attempts to develop a strategy of impersonality in response to pressures from outside. Objectivity derives its impetus from cultural contexts, quantification becoming most important where elites are weak, where private negotiation is suspect, and where trust is in short supply.
Category: Mathematics

Social Science In The Crucible

Author : Mark C. Smith
ISBN : 0822314975
Genre : History
File Size : 46.84 MB
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The 1920s and 30s were key decades for the history of American social science. The success of such quantitative disciplines as economics and psychology during World War I forced social scientists to reexamine their methods and practices and to consider recasting their field as a more objective science separated from its historical foundation in social reform. The debate that ensued, fiercely conducted in books, articles, correspondence, and even presidential addresses, made its way into every aspect of social science thought of the period and is the subject of this book. Mark C. Smith first provides a historical overview of the controversy over the nature and future of the social sciences in early twentieth-century America and, then through a series of intellectual biographies, offers an intensive study of the work and lives of major figures who participated in this debate. Using an extensive range of materials, from published sources to manuscript collections, Smith examines "objectivists"—economist Wesley Mitchell and political scientist Charles Merriam—and the more "purposive thinkers"—historian Charles Beard, sociologist Robert Lynd, and political scientist and neo-Freudian Harold Lasswell. He shows how the debate over objectivity and social purpose was central to their professional and personal lives as well as to an understanding of American social science between the two world wars. These biographies bring to vivid life a contentious moment in American intellectual history and reveal its significance in the shaping of social science in this country.
Category: History