RCSSCI 260 - Theorizing Knowledge in the Social Sciences
Section: 001
Term: WN 2019
Subject: RC Social Sciences (RCSSCI)
Department: LSA Residential College
Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course will explore various methods of inquiry that scholars and practitioners employ to answer both historical and contemporary questions having to do with the connections between power and knowledge in the social sciences. Using both a broad thematic focus and a series of “real world” questions to structure readings and activities, the key concern is with how knowledge is acquired and produced, stored and disseminated. Students will be introduced to four broad strategies used by social scientists to collect the data on which their books, articles, essays, and documentaries are based: archival research; quantitative methods; ethnography/fieldwork; survey research/quantitative methods and oral histories. We will address both the theory and the application of particular methodologies with a focus on finding good approaches to explore interesting questions. Specifically, we will examine and utilize these methodologies to explore the topic of the College Years. Students will explore the archives at the Bentley Historical Library to find out about experiences of college students in the past. Reading assignments will allow for the examination of the experiences of college age youth based on findings from multiple methodological approaches. Topical examples considered in this class will include the experiences of students from different socioeconomic backgrounds; the ways in which college maintains inequality; and the implications of attending vs not attending college. Working collaboratively with the instructor, students will develop strategies that may help to frame and guide future research projects and questions.

Course Requirements:

Student performance will be assessed via class participation, completion of course projects and written assignments.

Intended Audience:

This course is open to all undergraduates but is a required gateway course for students who are considering concentrating in the RC’s Social Theory and Practice [STP] program. Students who are considering the STP program should also enroll in the one-credit seminar, RCSSCI 290.

RCSSCI 260 - Theorizing Knowledge in the Social Sciences
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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