programme

Research Methodology I – Nature of Inquiry in Social Science Research (NISSR)

Home/ Research Methodology I – Nature of Inquiry in Social Science Research (NISSR)
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSES3011032

Semester and Year Offered: Semester 1

Course Coordinator and Team: Anandini Dar (c); ManasiThapliyal, Monimalika Day, PrabhatRai, Shivani Nag; all SES faculty & CSSRM

Email of course coordinator: anandini@aud.ac.in

Pre-requisites: Pre-doctoral

Aims/Outline:

To introduce students to various meanings of what constitutes “science,” knowledge, and scientific inquiry, and understand the key role that history, philosophy, and feminist theory have played in shaping scientific inquiry for educational research.

To enable students to understand that logics of inquiry and research design are guided by epistemological and philosophical perspectives in social science research.

Students will also learn some of these epistemological perspectives, such as, positivism and interpretivism.

Course Outcomes:

  • Students should be able to write and critically think about what constitutes knowledge and inquiry, and how these are shaped by some seminal scholars engaged in such writing.
  • Students should be able to articulate differences between positivism, interpretivism, and critical tradition perspectives.
  • Students can begin to locate the problems they seek to research within the guiding frameworks of the philosophical and epistemological frameworks they have studied in the course.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 1: Theories of knowledge

This module begins with an examination of what is science within social science research. What constitutes scientific inquiry? What is knowledge? The role of history, philosophy, and feminism in shaping scientific inquiry will also be examined to unpack meanings about ‘objectivity’, ‘subjectivity’, ‘truth’, and ‘fact.’ Students will engage with what constitutes knowledge from a de-colonial, Dalit, and gendered perspective.

Module 2:Perspectives of inquiry

In this unit, students will be familiarised with the various epistemological and philosophical perspectives of inquiry in social science research that inform a researchers logic of inquiry and research design and outcome. Perspectives of positivism and interpretivism, are examined in depth, along with constructionism and critical theory, so that students can begin to locate the problems they seek to research within such guiding frameworks. As this unit develops and shapes students understandings about perspectives of inquiry in social science disciplines, differences between qualitative and quantitative methodologies will also be introduced here.

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Review paper:40%
  • Roundtable presentation: 40%
  • Feedback participation: 20%

Reading List:

  • Alvares, C. (2005). Why Multiversity. Third World Resurgence. Issue No 173-74.
  • Carr, EH. (1961).What is history?Cambridge University Press.
  • Durkheim, E, [1895] (1982).The Rules of Sociological Method.The Free Press.
  • Feyerabend, P. (1975).Against Method: Outline of an Anarchist Theory of Knowledge. N.L.B. pp. 09-53.
  • Gellner, E. (1984). The Scientific Status of the Social Sciences.International Social Science Journal, Vol XXXVI, No. 4, pp. 567-586. Accessible at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0006/000636/063623eo.pdf
  • Harding, S. (1986). The Science Question in Feminism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • Kuhn, T. (1970).The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Lal, V. (2005) Modernity, Frameworks of Knowledge, and the Ecological Survival of Plurality. Accessible at: http://vlal.bol.ucla.edu/multiversity/
  • Popper, K. (1972). Objective Knowledge. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Rege, S. (2010) Education as TrutiyaRatna: Towards Phule-Ambedkarite Feminist Pedagogical Practice. Economic and Political Weekly.Vol 44 (44-45).
  • Wallerstein, I. (2000). “Chapter 1: For Science, Against Scientism: The Dilemmas of Contemporary Knowledge Production.” In ParthaNath Mukherjee (ed.) Methodology in Social Science Research: Dilemmas and Perspectives. Essays in honour of Ramkrishan Mukherjee. Delhi: New Sage Publications.
  • Blumer, H. (1969). “The Methodological Position of Symbolic Interaction.”In Symbolic Interactionism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp 1-21.
  • Hammersely, M. (2013). “Chapter 2: Methodological Philosophies.” In What is Qualitative Research?Bloomsbury Press.
  • Kolakowski, L. (1968).The Alienation of Reason: A History of Positivist Thought. Outileday& Company, Inc.: New York.
  • Maxwell, J. A. (2011). Paradigms or toolkits?Philosophical and methodological positions as heuristics for mixed methods research.Mid-Western Educational Researcher, 24(2), 27-30.
  • Mukherjee, P. N. (ed.) (2000). Methodology in Social Science Research: Dilemmas and Perspectives. Essays in honour of Ramkrishan Mukherjee. Delhi: New Sage Publications.
  • Scott, J. W. (1991). The Evidence of Experience.Critical Inquiry, 17(4), 773-797.