October 25th, 2016

Getting Ready for Research Methods

As you know, I felt lousy about how I did on my midterm in Research Methods.  I’ll find out tomorrow how it went.  Actually, I might not find out.  I’m told it might take a couple of weeks to get the papers back.  Everyone says, I couldn’t have done as bad as I think I did, but we shall see.

This has been a tough week logistically. My husband got a nasty cold last week which means by the weekend, I had a nasty cold. So I haven’t been sleeping well, it’s been hard to concentrate and I have low energy, which is not like me. Work has been very stimulating and busy on top of all that. So, I’ve had to be a master time manager this week.

What’s my big worry–really not this week.  It’s planning the time to do the writing I need to do the rest of the semester.  I think I need to take a few vacation days and totally focus on the writing.

Tonight, I’m reading “Rethinking Social Inquiry” by Henry Brady and David Collier–the first 8 chapters. My professor loves KKV, the insider’s term for a book, “Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research” written by Gary King, Robert Keohane, and Sidney Verba. I’m still learning what all of these terms mean, but there is a battle going on the the social sciences about what research methods to use.

I may not have this exactly right, but it’s the old school of data sets of observations and conclusions drawn from data which could be subjective or could be analyzed in different ways versus the new school (relatively speaking) of more quantitative research using causal inference, equations and mathematical results that are argued to be more definitive . I’m still not sure what side I fall out on, but I think I’m old school in more ways than one.

It’s really the decades old argument of what is science? Are Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, International Relations and more sciences? Is science just in a laboratory or in the laboratory of everyday life? Would love to know what you think.