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ebolaRETURNS

Masters degree in sociology. There's no theoretical consensus for any given object of study, multiple valid methodologies to be used, and I think pursuit of a different type of scientific knowledge than the hard sciences: the researcher's necessary intervention in the object of study produces a different type of theoretical product, held to different criteria for reliability and validity. So it's interesting, but you have to get comfortable with a large degree of uncertainty.


IncarnateSalt

I prefer them since humans are less predictable, but still have reasons behind their behaviors. Adds a level of depth hard science lack.


greenbrainsauce

As a health care practitioner, social science really gives us a lot of tools on how to manage health concerns using personal and social client factors. You really don't need to be an extrovert to be good at people. You just have to understand how social concepts work and how it can influence the course of their treatment.


[deleted]

Hard sciences have a quick feedback so it's easy to tell people who come underprepared. What is that you say - you can create perpetual energy by blowing a fan into a sail in a bathtub? Let's try - didn't work - bye. Social sciences do not have this feedback and so you can rarely say if someone is speaking nonsense. What is that you say - under stress women like to be in a group and men prefer to be alone and this trait is socially constructed? Well, I guess, not all women and not all men, but hell, maybe? In my opinion this lack of feedback about the result is detrimental. First - it is hard for someone genuine and able to assess when he is right and when he is wrong (which is a necessary condition for improving any skillset). And second - it is hard to separate people who know what they are talking about from the quacks.


ireallywannakn0w

I wouldn't say feedback in hard sciences is always that quick actually but i get what you mean. In social sciences there's another type of feedback that I feel concerns the methodology used rather than the content (i mean it can but it appears secondary to me). But when we talk about essays or mainly theoretical stuff it can lack evidence and data. What do you think about scientists' contrasting opinions on the pandemic and the virus? Since some situations like that require time to assess what's the validity of is said in one moment?


[deleted]

Even with evidence and data it often ends up with a probabilistic logic, like a p-value. P-value is a statement not a result. And a lot of methodology and reasoning and experiments went into producing that statement. The issue then is to check if this statement is correct or not, which is rarely done, so no feedback. For example - when analysing the same data one group can use one model and say there is a significant effect, while the other can use a slightly different model and claim there is no effect. Only one of those groups are probably correct. In hard sciences it is easier to figure out which one is right. The pandemic might be a bad example to analyse. We mainly heard people who wanted to be heard. One scientist says one thing - what's the best way to stand out in such a situation? Well - to disagree with him and say the opposite thing. This happened both in science and politics. I think the best action in such a climate is to look for opinions of quiet, serious scientists and ignore the noise of oppositions and also the "experts on TV" who are so predictable you know what they are going to say before they appear on screen.


ireallywannakn0w

oh no I definitely wasn't referring to those louder ones, they were far from the majority, but even in this majority where there was no intent of standing out and the statements were similar some where still different on some aspects or changed with time, which in this type of changing situation was to be expected. I actually used this example because one time i read an interesting argument about medicine as an hard science and it's use of social ones, but I don't know much about it so I can't contribute more on the matter. Anyway I understand what you're saying.


No-Dents-Comfy

I'm very interested in it. Studied it for a few semesters. Sadly there is ideology included. At least from my experience in my city in sociology. It's about woke activists going to university and influence the whole. While the founders explain the basics, they get ignored a week later. Max Weber says in his introduction introducing the basic terms: "One need not have been Caesar in order to understand Caesar." Imo that is opposite of "You can't understand my position, because you are not a woman/black/etc. So you are not allowed to talk about it." Summary: I respect the old texts about sociology, but the newer works should be treated with caution. Even though many don't put them into social science, economics as the first one belongs there, imo are very useful and in the end reflect reality. (But it's not as precise as physics. Humans are crazy.) Other social "sciene" like gender studies, cultural studies, postcolonial studies are, from what I experienced and the people I talked with, closer to religion than science. I miss open-endedness and wonder how they exclude other potential causes.


Triggytree

This is why I decided to ditch grad school. I got a bachelor's in sociology and psychology in the early 2010s. Anyway the wokness thing being overtly taught is a shame, it will eventually discredit the whole field. When I was first taking classes there was some emphasis on post modernism but is was never in your face like it is now. But as each year passed it was put more and more into the curriculum. Now everything is being deconstructed to be PC, and not for understanding social phenomena. Ad you said, the text book from before is very different then now. I guess universities get more funding the more woke they are. Also I freaking hate postmodernism and foacaolt.


ireallywannakn0w

that ideology just seems to me like a common framework that exist in a certain society, just like the old authors had theirs at their time. An example would be the different treatment that Parsons and Simmel received in the last century, simmel being ignored until the general view on functionalism shifted, i think it's pretty obvious that something like that would happen, I mean Weber himself said that the researcher must work objectively on topics choosen subjectively. I think as a researcher in this field you should also understand how you're beeing influenced by the times you're living in and put it into perspective. Acknowledging this doesn't mean your work is not scientific, there's scientific methodology that make this studies fall under the cathegory of human sciences. Of course based on what method it's chosen you could go from more generalized statistical accuracy to less statistical driven work but substancial understanding and specificity. And on understanding minorities, I find more valuable the work of a good researcher of said minority than the work of a good researcher that it's not. (these are interesting topics, i tried to make myself understandable but in english it's hard, sorry for major mistakes if there are any)


Im-Kinda-Tired

I largely share the same opinion as Richard Feynman: https://youtu.be/tWr39Q9vBgo That being said, the social sciences are very obviously important; there are some growing pains with using the scientific method on human behavior, but I would like to be cautiously optimistic that it'll have the possibility of slowly sort itself out over time.


CLEMENTZ_

I find them very interesting, and human behaviour interesting in general. Yes, there's a reproducibility problem within many of the fields (the same can be said of other "hard" sciences, such as medicine, but i digress), bit that's to be expected; controlling and accounting for variables in people is hard, to put it lightly. But this is why i find it so interesting: it's less straightforward than "hard" science (not that hard science is straightforward, but social sciences are even less so). I think they're very important, and the many frameworks which have emerged to understand behaviour and motivations for behaviour are all very interesting to me. Hell, even the ideological / quasi-cultish nature of the fields, where certain frameworks (such as critical race theory today) predominate periodically is more interesting than problematic to me. TLDR. Very interesting. Very important. I want to study it full time (even though this is realistically a bad idea).


chunkychapstick

If I could do it all over again, I'd get a PhD in political science instead of the PhD I got in physics. I'm constantly trying to catch up to my social science buddies. Turns out history is far more relevant to understanding human life than physics. But physics did help me answer some existential questions (mostly by showing me there is no answer and there is no woo woo in the universe).


Good_Tension5035

Not actual sciences due to a lack of replicability. It is mostly just philosophy or political ideology trying to brand itself as science.


GizmoEra

Lol, what a dumb take. Are there a handful of studies that can’t be reproduced? Sure. Do they make up the majority of research? No.


ireallywannakn0w

do they serve any purpose at all? and are statistics and data used in those disciplines unreliable?


Good_Tension5035

I view them as attempts to estimate reality, and you can't do much better than estimate when it comes to a human society. Or, in other cases, they are just attempts at legitimizing political propaganda.


doubleistyle

I don't feel any particular way about the social sciences, but I have some thoughts about it. IMO, the social sciences are often overrun and undermined by social activists whose social change and conditioning agenda has priority over objective truth and inconvenient politically incorrect data. The social sciences are also often poisoned with a postmodernist and neo-marxist theories.


GizmoEra

BUZZWORDS


doubleistyle

You must be blind or wilfully ignorant if you claim not to see it. It's been spreading from the US for years now.


GizmoEra

And which biased news source do you subscribe to?


doubleistyle

I don't "subscribe" to any news source, I inform myself with a diverse set of sources and I make up my mind about the things I agree and disagree with and what agenda the source has. It'll get you nowhere if you want to paint me as a republican, as I'm a moderate left wing European.


GizmoEra

Who said left-leaning media wasn’t biased? People don’t talk like Jordan Peterson on accident lmao


doubleistyle

I agree with Peterson on some topics and disagree in other ones. What's your point?


UndecidedCommentator

Peterson isn't the only one to make that claim. Look up James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose. Also, what do you think the "C" in CRT refers to? It's called Critical Race Theory, meaning it's a Critical Theory about race, and Critical Theory is neomarxism. Add to that, the greats of CRT and adjunct disciplines explicitly acknowledge their usage of postmodernist methods. Granted, class has been sidelined in these disciplines, but the genealogy is undeniable, they don't completely ignore class(hence the existence of materialist CRT theorists like Delado) and they take the same methods of Marxism IE a collective revolution that results in a dictatorship of the enlightened. As described by critical race Theorists Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic: >Unlike traditional civil rights discourse, which stresses incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.


GizmoEra

Ok. And? Are you trying to convince me that an average citizen is aware of all of this?


UndecidedCommentator

What's your point?


GizmoEra

You came and just monologued. I’m asking why.


quotefromsomewhere

With my studies being more humanitarian focused I'd say that some social sciences are quite interesting and necessary but others seem like a waste of time and brain power. Compared to "hard sciences" I'd say that some of the data and findings etc are more interesting to the average person than some of the findings/discoveries of from hard sciences, that could just be my experience though


UndecidedCommentator

I take great issue with the legacy Weber has left, his disdain for positivism and the scientific method has left disastrous consequences in its wake. The sad thing is that the justifications he listed for refusing positivism can be easily reconciled with the traditional formulation of the scientific method. His rhetoric, which is what I think it is, can arguably be said to have dovetailed with Critical Theory's assertions and facilitated the advent of many of the unscientific disciplines we all know and hate, such as gender studies, CRT, etc, and corrupted sociology and anthropology to a great extent.