Researching social problems: Putting the cart before the horse?

Chauhan, A. (Invited presenter)

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

Description

Whatdowegainindefiningandresearchingsocialproblemsas‘objective’,‘quantifiable’,and‘measurable’phenomena?Inhisinfluential1971paper,HerbertBlumercritiquedthesocialsciencesforchasingwhatisusuallytakenasthe‘objective’aspectofsocialproblems.Guidedbytheirobjective,quantifiableformulation,weoftenpurportknowingwhatasocialproblemisbeforewebeginresearchingit—inotherwords,weputthecartbeforethehorse.Usingmyresearchonpovertyasanexample,Iwilllogicallyexaminebothrealistandconstructivistapproachestothestudyofsocialproblemsandpointoutsomecommonerrorsineach.Iwillarguethatinresearchingsocialproblems,psychologyhascometosufferfromwhatFrancisBaconcalledtheidolatheatri—thedogmatictendenciesofresearchborneoutofwronglawsofdemonstration.
Period24 Oct 2017
Held atUniversity of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Keywords

  • social problems