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SOCL922: Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Module convenor: Bronislaw Szerszynski
Provide an introduction to the philosophy of the social sciences by exploring the following questions:
At the end of the course, students should:
All social science, whether empirical or theoretical, qualitative or quantitative, proceeds on the basis of explicit or implicit philosophical presuppositions about the nature of the social. This course is designed to make students more aware of the implications of this for research design and issues of validity, and to help them be more reflexive about the role of the social scientist in society.
The module consists of five 2½-hour sessions, each of which will include a lecture, seminar discussion and group activities, and in which students will explore the relevance of the approaches discussed to their own research project or interests.
Students will be taught alongside students on FASS507, the ten-week version of the course; after SOCL922 has finished, students are welcome to attend any or all of the last five sessions, in which guest lecturers explore specific approaches in more detail. There is also an online version of FASS507 with material which can supplement the proximal sessions.
Students are expected to write their own essay title, with the course convenor’s approval. The essay should address topics covered in the unit, but students are encouraged to make them relevant to their own research practice and social scientific interests.
One 2,500 word essay.
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