SOCL 5020 Logic of social inquiry 2013 Fall (Vedres)
(Logic of social inquiry 2013 fall)

This course is a reflexive introduction to the logic of inquiry in sociology and social anthropology.By logic of inquiry we refer to the way that social theories are brought into relation with evidence (whatever that might be).There are some premises that the course is based on: One is that social research is ultimately about constructing social theories.The outcome of social research should not be more data, but new ideas.Two, is that positivism: induction proper is not a possibility – social research ultimately relies on the creative spark of a theoretical idea, deployed in iterations of deduction (we can call this abduction).Three, is that designing social research is difficult, because publications convey a ritualized sequence of the research process that is impossible to practice (and is never practiced).Instead of a process, this course imagines research as iterative interplay between data and ideas.What distinguishes the professional researcher from the amateur is the capacity to organize complexity by deploying patterns of practice in this iterative interplay.The fourth premise is that social sciences must critically relate to ideas of objectivity, and need to reflect on relevance, social engagement, and possibilities of activism.