Lectures 6 and 7 - 1 Soc 120 Marriage and the Family...

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Unformatted text preview: 1 Soc 120: Marriage and the Family Lectures 6 & 7: Methods & Gender Prof. Elwert Review • Recent U.S. history • The 1950s • 1960s to the present • Baby boom and baby bust • Divorce revolution • Early adulthood 2 Overview (next two lectures) • Sociology of the Family • Scientific approach • Methods • Approaches • Gender • Sex vs gender • Gender as role behavior • Variability of gender roles • Origin and maintenance of gender – Biosocial perspective – Socialization – Doing Gender The Scientific Approach • Objectivity • Drawing conclusions from data regardless of personal opinions, beliefs, or values. • Objectivity is difficult! It requires training, effort, and constant, critical self-reflection. • Positive vs. normative statements • Positive: descriptive, factual—what is – Ex1: “Most women believe that women should earn the same as men” is a factual claim about women’s beliefs. – Calls for a scientific investigation. Can be checked empirically. • Normative: opinions, values—what’s morally good or bad, what should be – Ex2: “Women should earn the same as men” is a normative statement of how the speaker believes the world should be. – Calls for a moral, philosophical, religious inquiry. Cannot be checked empirically. 3 The Scientific Approach • Most apparent normative statements about the family are loaded with positive/factual claims – Ex3: “Women should earn the same as men because women are as productive as men” conditions the normative statement (women should earn the same as men) with a factual statement (women are as productive as men) that can be questioned scientifically. – Ex4: “Gay marriage is bad because it endangers heterosexual marriages” also contains a factual claim (gay marriage endangers heterosexual marriages) that can be questioned scientifically. • Note: The conditioned normative judgments (e.g., Ex3, Ex4) collapse if the factual claim turns out to be wrong – Watch out for such pretend “value” statements. Pundits (and students) often make apparent normative statements because those are harder to attack (“it’s what I believe in my heart!”) . – Science doesn’t give a hoot. Science checks factual claims and calls out those that are unsupported by the data....
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This note was uploaded on 03/21/2012 for the course SOCIOLOGY 120 taught by Professor Elwert during the Fall '11 term at University of Wisconsin.

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Lectures 6 and 7 - 1 Soc 120 Marriage and the Family...

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