OCTOBER 3, 2017. LECTURE FOUR: CONCEPTS OF JUSTICE AND ETHICS IN RESEARCH
Nature of Knowledge
The pursuit of knowledge: a social act
Nature of thinking
“Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both. Yet men/women do not usually define the troubles they endure in terms of historical change and institutional contradiction. ... The sociological imagination enables its possessor to understand the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals. ... The first fruit of this imagination--and the first lesson of the social science that embodies it--is the idea that the individual can understand his/her own experience and gauge his/her own fate only by locating himself within this period, that he can know his own chances in life only by becoming aware of those of all individuals in his circumstances. ...We have come to know that every individual lives, from one generation to the next, in some society; that she/ he lives out a biography, and that he lives it out within some historical sequence (CW Mills, The Sociological Imagination, 1959:3-10).
WHAT DO WE REALLY KNOW
Epistemology: the theory of knowledge, is
fundamental to any learning
Reason, observations, senses, experiences
To know means that a person accepts a true proposition to be right or correct for "the best of reasons."
Is Knowledge Possible?
reality and appearances
faith and science; traditions/ folklore/ superstition
The Ways to Knowledge
What informs OUR thinking?
What is research? What is research for, and for whom?
Elements: commitment/ conviction
What is research?
a procedure by which we attempt to find systematically, and with the support of demonstrable fact the answer to a question or the resolution of a problem.
Ways of Understanding
Methods and Methodology:Types
Units of Analysis
Research Methods: The Ethnography as a Collective Accomplishment
This close proximity to the social reality enables the researcher to develop conceptual categories from the emergent data.
This methodology of "appreciation" recognizes that the activities of actors have meaning independent of the research.
An ethnography is extremely appropriate in researching children.
Critical ethnographers raise their voice to speak to an audience "with" their research participants as a means of empowering them by giving more authority to their voice.
Triangulation is the application and combination of several research methodologies in the study of the same phenomenon.
Researching the Researcher:
Roles and Rules
A Question of Ethics: Trust and Truth
uncompromising honesty and objectivity
Trust: trust needs to be developed and cannot be taken for granted.
Both validity and reliability are never equally maximized within any single methodology.