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Chapter+Two - Chapter Two Elements of Social Theory Quick...

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Chapter Two Elements of Social Theory
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Quick Review Paradigms Ways of seeing the world that dominate at any  one time Frames of reference that organize thinking Paradigm shifts Theories Systematic sets of interrelated statements that  explain an aspect of social life Theories flesh out paradigms-they are how we  explain the world around us, limited by the 
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What do numbers mean? They can have symbolic value Used to justify a course of action What else can we learn from this number? They can have instrumental value As in an aid to planning How can we use this number to change  something?  
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What do numbers mean, cont. Statistics/numbers are often posed as “truth”  and our society places high value on them. But, numbers can be collected and statistics  presented to reflect the interests of an  institution, business, or similar entities A society that possesses numerical literacy  knows how to critique research and the  “facts” that result from it 
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What role do numbers play? Recent example:  Zadroga Bill to  compensate the  medical costs of  approximately 4,000  Sept 11 first  responders Instrumental value Numbers help  lawmakers and health  workers calculate 
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Numbers can be thought of in  three ways As “objective truth”
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