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Index of Study Modules for Methods Quals

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: April 11, 2004
Latest Update: April 11, 2004

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    Most of you know that one of my degrees is in mathematics, and that I believe that everyone could do math well, if teachers just knew how to teach it. For me, SPSS, or an equivalent program, is essential to your understanding as a sociologist. But SPSS is easy. Ask any of my statistics students. Beyond that I think you ought to understand what a variable is and how we manipulate them to say what we want and insist it's been proved. But I think you need to know that that's a game. Most of us understand reality as we live it, whether we count it or not. Methods is just another way to speak it, in organized enough form that we can more readily see our own contradictions.

    Besides my perspective on math you should know my biases as I deal with these study topics. Biases are always reflected in our perspective. I can best be described as radical left with a heart that would love to be a conservative, if I could just stand the hypocrisy. (The hypocrisy that capitalism doesn't exploit people in an unjust manner, that is.) That means that I don't believe that markets are really free, now or ever, that I believe that bad things happen to good people, and that we need society-level safety nets for them that don't depend on privatization and profit, that we are all fascinating creatures as humans and capable of governing ourselves and living a just and enjoyable life, and that I recognize that there are some really bad and stupid people out there who do some really bad and stupid things, except that I don't think any group, including intellectuals, Christians, Muslims, etc., has a corner on the ability to be bad and stupid.

    There are lots of other things that influence my thinking, like feminism, art theory and history, philosophy, religion, plain old orneriness, and a childhood of poverty and rejection for all the same reasons those things happen to other people. Knowing this, you'll need to think about theory and methods from your own perspective and feel free to disagree with me when you learn something I don't know, or when you have chosen a different perspective. I'll try to balance the materials I offer to help you do that, but that is your responsibility. I have degrees in lots of things. Sociology is only one of them. I am a sixty-eight-year-old woman who has read a lot and thought about a lot of things, not a seer. Be very leary of anyone who claims to be a seer. jeanne

  • Micro and macro sociology Link added April 11, 2004.
  • The Qualitative/Quantitative Dilemma Link added April 12, 2004.

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, April 2004.
"Fair use" encouraged.