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Social Research - Essay Example

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Economics: After Reading Gunnar Myrdal's little book Objectivity in social research summarize the author's three or four main ideas.What if any import are Myrdal's ideas Can we "do" social science research or study social science research (or "hard" science research for that matter) if they are true Explain your answer.
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Download file to see previous pages Another problem is how to be objective and, at the same time, practical, because the researcher wants to understand society as well as to change it or transform it with the findings of the research. (Myrdal, 1969).
2.- There is an irrational taboo about discussing the influences of tradition, environment, and personality of the researcher. So the aim of the sociology of social sciences should be to destroy that irrational taboo, and the philosophy of social sciences should be aimed at finding logical means for achieving objectivity in social research. The latter is the topic of Myrdal's essay. Sociology and philosophy of social science research are important since they try to avoid systematic biases in research and faulty knowledge. The theoretical knowledge is related to cause and effects issues, and the practical or political knowledge is related to the means and ends issues. (Myrdal, 1969).
3.- The solution of the logical means is to dsicover the valuations that are actually determining the theoretical and the practical research, to find the relevance, significance, and feasibility of them in order to transform them into specific value premises for research, and to determine the approach and define the concepts in terms of value premises that have been explicitly stated. (Myrdal, 1969).
5.- Beliefs are the ideas about how reali...
Through comparison it can be detected if the beliefs are true or false. But valuations are very complex since they are shifting and contradictory. It can be argued that behavior happens through selective focusing and it is really opportunistic. Besides that it can be stated that there are higher and lower valuations. Most of the time lower valuations are selfish in the process of rationalization when the individual tries to find good reasons that are not true reasons behind his/her behavior. So Myrdal argues that "All ignorance, like all knowledge, is opportunist." Private or personal opinions and public or political opinions are different most of the time. (Myrdal, 1969).
6.- Social research questionnaires should include quantitative questions in which the respondents could not give their valuations about reality.
7.- In order to measure the valuations of the respondents a different set of questions should be conducted for measuring them indirectly.
Myrdal's ideas are very important for the researcher to be taken into account when conducting social research due to the fact that biases and faulty knowledge can be avoided in a systematic way. The issues related to the irrational taboo about the influences of tradition, environment, and personality should also be addressed appropriately by the researcher. A good research should differentiate among the concepts of opinions, beliefs, and valuations. By doing so the researcher can infer facts and policies of real value for the research community. The aim is to come up with valid and reliable data from the social science research that can be useful for understanding and transforming the social ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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