Creating a Dialectical Social Science

Concepts, Methods, and Models

Author: I.I. Mitroff

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN:

Category: Social Science

Page: 189

View: 967

The depth, intensity, and long-standing nature of the disagreements between differing schools of social thought renders more critical than ever the treatment of dialectical reasoning and its relationship to the social sciences. The nature of these disagreements are deeply rooted in fundamentally differing beliefs regarding, among many things: (1) the nature of man, (2) the role of theory versus data in constructing social theories, (3) the place and function of values versus facts in inquiry, etc. It has become more and more apparent that such fundamental differences cannot be resolved by surface appeals to rationality or to consensus. Such for it is precisely the definitions of appeals are doomed to failure 'rationality' and 'consensus' that are at odds. That is, different schools not only have different definitions of rationality and consensus but different notions regarding their place and function within a total system of inquiry. A dialectical treatment of conflicts is called for because such conflicts demand a method which is capable of recognizing first of all how deep they lie. Secondly, a method is demanded which is capable of appreciating that the various sides of the conflict fundamentally depend on one another for their very existence; they depend, in other words, on one another not 'in spite of' their opposition but precisely 'because of' it.

Dialectical Social Science in the Age of Complexity

Author: Ian Trevor King

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Social Science

Page: 297

View: 856

This study places dialectical thinking, theory, and method on a solid scientific footing with respect to the contemporary sciences of holistic-relationism; and offers a competing, even superior, philosophy of social science to the mainstream version of positivistic-behaviourism. It also indicates ways in which a dialectical, holistic-relational social science will help to shape a more democratic, humane style of politics and public policy. It subjects mainstream social science to wholesale reorientation, and in doing so, offers a valid prescription for a post-positivistic, post-behaviourist social science that is scientifically grounded.

Changing Social Science

Critical Theory and Other Critical Perspectives

Author: Daniel R. Sabia

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: Social Science

Page: 220

View: 552

Changing Social Science is both a description of and prescription for the current unease in the social sciences. It brings together articles by philosophers, sociologists, and political scientists who advocate changing the way social science is conceived and practiced. Focusing on the thought of past and present critics and proponents of critical inquiry—especially on the critical theory of Jürgen Habermas and on the disciplines of political science and sociology—collaborators on this volume support a critical form of social and political inquiry, outline its main characteristics, and examine its foundations, options, and unresolved problems. The book is divided into section on reflexivity, methodology and explanation, and criticism and advocacy. From an introductory overview of the collection of articles and an account of the central issues in critical inquiry, discussions ensue on the methodological inadequacies and political implications of naturalist approaches to social and political inquiry; the nature and foundations of interpretive approaches to social science; the role, nature, and limits of causal explanations and causal theories of human action; the role of values in research and theory; and defenses and criticisms of the normative aspirations of both Habermas's critical theory and of critical social science in general.

Social Science and Policy Challenges

Democracy, Values and Capacities

Author: Georgios Papanagnou

Publisher: UNESCO

ISBN:

Category: Political Science

Page: 299

View: 339

Producing scientific knowledge that can inform solutions and guide policy-making is one of the most important functions of social science. Nonetheless, if social science is to become more relevant and influential so as to impact on the drawing and execution of policy, certain measures need to be taken to narrow its distance from the policy sphere. This decision is less obvious than it seems. Both research and experience have proved that policy-making is a complex, often sub-rational, interactive process that involves a wide range of actors such as decision makers, bureaucrats, researchers, organized interests, citizen and civil society representatives and research brokers. In addition, social science often needs to defend both its relevance to policy and its own scientific status. Moving away from instrumental visions of the link between social research and policy, this collective volume aims to highlight the more constructed nature of the use of social knowledge.

Qualitative Research in Psychology

Proceedings of the International Association for Qualitative Research in Social Science

Author: Peter D. Ashworth

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Psychology

Page: 360

View: 655

The Dialectics of Inquiry Across the Historical Social Sciences

Author: David Baronov

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN:

Category: Social Science

Page: 308

View: 861

This book turns conventional global-historical analysis on its head, demonstrating, first, that local events cannot be derived — logically or historically — from large-scale, global-historical structures and processes and, second, that it is these structures and processes that, in fact, emerge from our analysis of local events. This is made evident via an analysis of three disparate events: the New York City Draft Riots, AIDS in Mozambique, and a 2007 flood in central Uruguay. In each case, Baronov chronicles how expressions of human agency at the level of those caught up in each event give form and substance to various abstract global-historical concepts — such as slavery in the Americas, global capitalist production, and colonial/postcolonial Africa. Underlying this repositioning of the local and the ephemeral is an immanent, phenomenological analysis that illustrates how mere transient events are the progenitors of otherwise abstract, global-historical concepts. Traversing the intersections of human agency and structural determinism, Baronov deftly retains the nuance and serendipity of everyday life, while deploying this nuance and serendipity to further embellish our understanding of those enduring global-historical structures and processes that shape large-scale, long-term, historical accounts of social and cultural change across the historical social sciences.

Managing Disaster

Strategies and Policy Perspectives

Author: Louise Kloos Comfort

Publisher: Durham : Duke University Press

ISBN:

Category: Social Science

Page: 420

View: 156

This book reflects an important shift in society's definition of disaster. For centuries catastrophic events have been considered "acts of God" and therefore uncontrollable by definition. Managing Disaster is international in scope, covering such natural and man-made calamities as tornadoes in western Pennsylvania, earthquakes in Peru, flooding in the Netherlands, and toxic waste disasters. Centers for hazard studies have only recently examined the interrelated aspects of disastrous events and recognized the interaction between natural hazards and human systems. As society attempts to acquire the information and develop the skills to reduce the risks and damage from disaster, an increasingly professional public service is reconsidering its strategies and policy direction. Managing Disaster addresses this problem and the need for a new approach to teaching this subject at the university level. Twenty-three professionals and scholars in public policy and administration--rom universities, government, and the private sector--examine the basic issues confronting managers and public agencies in the face of disaster.

A Guided Science

History of Psychology in the Mirror of Its Making

Author: Jaan Valsiner

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

ISBN:

Category: Psychology

Page: 332

View: 357

That sciences are guided by explicit and implicit ties to their surrounding social world is not new. Jaan Valsiner fills in the wide background of scholarship on the history of science, the recent focus on social studies of sciences, and the cultural and cognitive analyses of knowledge making. The theoretical scheme that he uses to explain the phenomena of social guidance of science comes from his thinking about processes of development in general--his theory of bounded indeterminacy--and on the relations of human beings with their culturally organized environments. Valsiner examines reasons for the slow and nonlinear progress of ideas in psychology as a science at the border of natural and social sciences. Why is that intellectual progress occurs in different countries at different times? Most responses are self-serving blinders for presenting science as a given rather than understanding it as a deeply human experience. For Valsiner, scientific knowledge is cultural at its core. Major changes have occurred in contemporary sciences--collective authorship, fragmentation of knowledge into small, quickly published (and equally quickly retractable) journal articles, and the counting of numbers of such articles by institutions as if that is a measure of "scientific productivity." Scientists are inherently ambivalent about the benefit of these changes for the actual development of knowledge. There is a gradual "takeover" of the domain of scientific knowledge creation by other social institutions with vested interests in defending and promoting knowledge that serves their social interests. Sciences are entering into a new form of social servitude.

Explorations Beyond the Machine

A Philosophy of Social Science for the Post-Newtonian Age

Author: Ian Trevor King

Publisher: Nova Publishers

ISBN:

Category: Social Science

Page: 277

View: 557

The Argumentative Turn in Policy Analysis and Planning

Author: Frank Fischer

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN:

Category: Political Science

Page: 335

View: 761

Public policy is made of language. Whether in written or oral form, argument is central to all parts of the policy process. As simple as this insight appears, its implications for policy analysis and planning are profound. Drawing from recent work on language and argumentation and referring to such theorists as Wittgenstein, Habermas, Toulmin, and Foucault, these essays explore the interplay of language, action, and power in both the practice and the theory of policy-making. The contributors, scholars of international renown who range across the theoretical spectrum, emphasize the political nature of the policy planner's work and stress the role of persuasive arguments in practical decision making. Recognizing the rhetorical, communicative character of policy and planning deliberations, they show that policy arguments are necessarily selective, both shaping and being shaped by relations of power. These essays reveal the practices of policy analysts and planners in powerful new ways--as matters of practical argumentation in complex, highly political environments. They also make an important contribution to contemporary debates over postempiricism in the social and policy sciences. Contributors. John S. Dryzek, William N. Dunn, Frank Fischer, John Forester, Maarten Hajer, Patsy Healey, Robert Hoppe, Bruce Jennings, Thomas J. Kaplan, Duncan MacRae, Jr., Martin Rein, Donald Schon, J. A. Throgmorton

Use and Usefulness of the Social Science

Accomplishments, Disappointments, and Promise

Author: Robert W. Pearson

Publisher: SAGE Publications, Incorporated

ISBN:

Category: Social Science

Page: 188

View: 314

Publishing the 600th volume of The Annals is dedicated to reflecting on how selected disciplines and fields of study have promoted their use and usefulness in advancing and informing public policy. With an impressive array of experts in their respective fields, this volume examines how anthropology, behavioral genetics, criminology, economics, international relations, sociology, psychology, and political science have advanced or strayed from that agenda.

Public Policy Analysis

An Integrated Approach

Author: William N. Dunn

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN:

Category: Political Science

Page: 468

View: 704

Public Policy Analysis, the most widely cited book on the subject, provides students with a comprehensive methodology of policy analysis. It starts from the premise that policy analysis is an applied social science discipline designed for solving practical problems facing public and nonprofit organizations. This thoroughly revised sixth edition contains a number of important updates: Each chapter includes an all-new "big ideas" case study in policy analysis to stimulate student interest in timely and important problems. The dedicated chapter on evidence-based policy and the role of field experiments has been thoroughly rewritten and expanded. New sections on important developments in the field have been added, including using scientific evidence in public policymaking, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and "big data." Data sets to apply analytical techniques are included online as IBM SPSS 23.0 files and are convertible to Excel, Stata, and R statistical software programs to suit a variety of course needs and teaching styles. All-new PowerPoint slides are included to make instructor preparation easier than ever before. Designed to prepare students from a variety of academic backgrounds to conduct policy analysis on their own, without requiring a background in microeconomics, Public Policy Analysis, Sixth Edition helps students develop the practical skills needed to communicate findings through memos, position papers, and other forms of structured analytical writing. The text engages students by challenging them to critically analyze the arguments of policy practitioners as well as political scientists, economists, and political philosophers.

A Guided Science

History of Psychology in the Mirror of Its Making

Author: Jaan Valsiner

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN:

Category: Psychology

Page: 352

View: 657

That sciences are guided by explicit and implicit ties to their surrounding social world is not new. Jaan Valsiner fills in the wide background of scholarship on the history of science, the recent focus on social studies of sciences, and the cultural and cognitive analyses of knowledge making. The theoretical scheme that he uses to explain the phenomena of social guidance of science comes from his thinking about processes of development in general--his theory of bounded indeterminacy--and on the relations of human beings with their culturally organized environments. Valsiner examines reasons for the slow and nonlinear progress of ideas in psychology as a science at the border of natural and social sciences. Why is that intellectual progress occurs in different countries at different times? Most responses are self-serving blinders for presenting science as a given rather than understanding it as a deeply human experience. For Valsiner, scientific knowledge is cultural at its core. Major changes have occurred in contemporary sciences--collective authorship, fragmentation of knowledge into small, quickly published (and equally quickly retractable) journal articles, and the counting of numbers of such articles by institutions as if that is a measure of "scientific productivity." Scientists are inherently ambivalent about the benefit of these changes for the actual development of knowledge. There is a gradual "takeover" of the domain of scientific knowledge creation by other social institutions with vested interests in defending and promoting knowledge that serves their social interests. Sciences are entering into a new form of social servitude.

Coordination Theory and Collaboration Technology

Author: Gary M. Olson

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN:

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 816

View: 494

The National Science Foundation funded the first Coordination Theory and Collaboration Technology initiative to look at systems that support collaborations in business and elsewhere. This book explores the global revolution in human interconnectedness. It will discuss the various collaborative workgroups and their use in technology. The initiative focuses on processes of coordination and cooperation among autonomous units in human systems, in computer and communication systems, and in hybrid organizations of both systems. This initiative is motivated by three scientific issues which have been the focus of separate research efforts, but which may benefit from collaborative research. The first is the effort to discover the principles underlying how people collaborate and coordinate work efficiently and productively in environments characterized by a high degree of decentralized computation and decision making. The second is to gain a better fundamental understanding of the structure and outputs of organizations, industries, and markets which incorporate sophisticated, decentralized information and communications technology as an important component of their operations. The third is to understand problems of coordination in decentralized or open computer systems.

The Social Science Jargon Buster

The Key Terms You Need to Know

Author: Zina O'Leary

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN:

Category: Education

Page: 344

View: 627

- Are you confused by academic jargon? - Do you know your `discourse' from your `dialectic'? - Can you tell the difference between `anomie' and `alienation'? The Social Science Jargon Buster tackles the most confusing concepts in the social sciences, breaking each down and bringing impressive clarity and insight to even the most complex terms. `This book successfully addresses the central task for any teacher of social theory - how to make the material accessible without making it simplistic and banal. The overall effect is a most effective text that hard-pressed students and lecturers will grab with both hands' - Dave Harris, Senior Lecturer in Social Science This practical, down-to-earth dictionary will help students new to social science discourse gain a thorough understanding of the key terms. Each entry includes a concise core definition, a more detailed explanation and an introduction to the associated debates and controversies. In addition, students will find a useful outline of the practical application of each term, as well as a list of key figures and recommendations for futher reading. This dictionary brings a refreshing clarity to social science discourse, making it essential reading for all students on undergraduate social science courses.