AOK Human Sciences (Lesson 3) How do Human Sciences investigate the world? How do Human Sciences differ from other “disciplines”
How do Human Sciences investigatethe world? This is a Labour Party Political Broadcast by Eddie Izzard, a comedian. It is biased and presents one side of the argument !Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZDreHPzU94What evidence does Eddie Izzard provide that Britain is brilliant ? Would this approach convince a natural scientist ?What is his view about quantitative data as shown by the first section of the broadcast ?What is his message ? How do you know ?!
3 Philosophical Approaches toresearch in the Human Sciences Positivism Interpretivism Critical Theory
Positivism Scientific method The Human Sciences can be studied in the same way as the Natural Sciences Quantitative (counting and measuring) Objective Replicable experiments Seeking “Truth”, “Laws”, “Models”, “Prediction” In what ways is the Stanford Experiment an example of positivist method ?
Interpretivism The process of interpretation The Human Sciences are more complex than the Natural Sciences Qualitative (interviews, photographs…) Subjective The importance of “context” Seeking “Insight”, “Understanding” In what ways would the Eddie Izzard clip be an example of an interpretivist method ?
Critical Theory Looking for underlying patterns / themes The Human Sciences can only be understood if we look for underlying meaning Structuralism The importance of politics Seeking “Explanation” through studying events as part of a wider process and pattern
Hong Kong (1) Since the colonial power left Hong Kong in 1997 it has been able to overcome the post colonial challenges it faced and develop a more equal and productive economy and society. Its success is due to the enterprise and attitudes of the local people. Further development is threatened by its lack of democracy and Chinese interference but the liberal society allows the community to flourish. Hong Kong is a great place to live.
Hong Kong (2) In recent years the GDP of Hong Kong has grown rapidly (on average by x % per annum ) and been based on growth in the financial sector (Hang Seng rose from y to z between 1997 and 2008) and trade. As a result, average incomes have risen by p% and the standard of living is now q% higher. Homeless numbers have dropped by r% in the last 10 years. Hong Kong is a great place to live.
Hong Kong (3) The Chief Executive’s report shows us how much progress has been made in recent years in both the economy and society. He argues that the careful, light touch approach of his Government is working very well. We interviewed 10 Hong Kongers who told us that they were happy and that their lives had improved in recent years. Hong Kong is a great place to live.
Task 11. Match each of the paragraph descriptions with the philosophical approach and briefly explain your decision2. For one of the following issues, attempt to write a paragraph from each philosophical standpoint The growth of cities The recent financial crash The situation in Palestine
Discussion Questions In what ways are the Natural and Human Sciences different ? If different methods of study produce contrasting results, how can we decide which is correct ? Does the complexity of studying Human Sciences make them a “richer” area for research or just a “harder” one ?
Clifford Geertz “Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be, therefore, not an experimental science in search of laws but an interpretive one in search of meaning”
Howework Task1. Put Geertz’s quotation into your own words.2. Do you agree ? Explain.
AOK Human SciencesWhy do we research the Human Sciences ? (Lesson 4) Racism Case Study Political choices
Obama ends racism ?!What point is thecartoon making aboutObama’s election ?What do you thinkwould end racism ? Isit possible ?
Racism through the Ages (Australia)What point is thiscartoon makingabout racism ?How has racismchanged over theages ?
Asian Racism ? Is this “racism”, “discriminatio n” or “prejudice” ? Who else suffers from racism in Hong Kong Why ? Is racism a natural part of the human
Racism in politicsMost immigrants to the UK are from EasternEurope (white) !Why does the BNP represent immigrants in
BNP viewsThink about Will Britain Be British in 30this excerptfrom the Years Time? Not if the ToriesBritish and Labour Have Their WayNational Mass immigration policiesPartyWebsite. pursued by both Labour and Conservative parties hasWhat caused English-speakingevidence is children to become a minoritythere thatthey are in 1,500 schools in Britain and“racist” if left unchecked, will seevalues ? British people reduced to anContrastthese values absolute minority within 30
Who should I vote for ? Weigh up the Weigh up the values statistical claims and beliefs of different made by different parties . parties. Which set of values Do the and beliefs do you “positivist”, statistical think will be best for arguments that have the country ? been presented convince you ?
Plenary Tasks Use evidence from discussions and your wider understanding to explain why it is important to study the Human Sciences ? What are the Human Sciences able to contribute to knowledge ? What are the main difficulties with this AOK ?