In ancient philosophy, there was no difference between the applied studies of mathematics and the study of history, poetry or politics – i.e. Aristotle studied planetary motion and poetry with the same methods. Only with the development of mathematical proofs, (i.e. Isaac Newton’s Physics – gravity, study of planets), was there a recognized difference between applied scientific disciplines (mathematics, physics, biology…) and the humanities or social sciences (sociology, psychology, economics…).
Many disciplines in social sciences use the scientific method (called the Social Science Inquiry Method in our course) The inquiry method is used to gather data and information when studying the behaviour, trends and statistics regarding society, individuals and groups
The study of people as individuals and as members of groups (i.e. families, communities, societies, peer groups…). Social Sciences are the systematic studies of people, their activities, customs and relationships – essentially it’s the study of human behaviour.
People have a tendency to exchange myths, misunderstanding, etc…or say that an understanding of humans is just “common sense.” There is a complexity behind human behaviours and why individuals, groups and societies act the way they do The social sciences include various areas of study – known as disciplines – such as history, civics, economics…
Sociology: examines human society and group behaviour (macro level) Psychology: studies the human mind, emotions, behaviours of individuals (micro level) Anthropology: considers the scientific study of humans throughout time (historical evolution) and space (cultural), especially of their origin, behaviour and physical, social, and cultural development (macro level)
These social sciences are known as behavioural sciences or the scientific study of human behaviour through research and analysis These social sciences each have a different emphasis but do not conflict with each other
Examines the relationships between people and the social structures they develop Study the actions and responses of individuals within a group in order to detect general patterns of human behaviour Although each of us is unique, we also belong to different categories Ex. Students, teenagers, teachers, brothers or sisters Explore how the categories we belong to shape our experiences of the world Try to understand how society as a whole can influence our thoughts, feelings and actions Purpose: to predict and control social behaviour and interaction Main methods used: statistical analysis, observation & surveys
Why is obesity more likely to be a trend in lower income families? Article: Why Low-Income and Food Insecure People are Vulnerable to Overweight and Obesity http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/why-are-low- income-and-food-insecure-people-vulnerable-to-obesity/ http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/why-are-low- income-and-food-insecure-people-vulnerable-to-obesity/
The study of an individual‘s behaviour based on mental processes psyche = mind & logos = the study of Psychologists study an individual’s feelings, thoughts, personality, mind & mental processes They examine both overt actions and mental processes Purpose: to predict and control human behaviour Methods used: interviews, experiments, surveys & case studies
Why would pre-adolescent children commit suicide? Article: Suicide among pre-adolescents http://www.apa.org/monitor/2010/10/suicide.aspx
The study of the development of the human species and human cultures throughout the world and time Purpose: to discover and predict patterns of human development and change Main method used: observation Observation is when researchers live and participate with humans in the cultural surroundings. They observe and record the information with the belief that the participants will carry on through daily activities
Why is death celebrated in some cultures? E.g. Day of the Dead in Mexico – Dia de los Muertos Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUUAgEWeYeI
Anthropology Cultures: Past & Present Sociology Groups & Society Psychology Individuals Anthropology, Psychology & Sociology are related fields of study that each examine human behaviour Human Behaviour Culture & Thought Culture & Society & the Individual
DisciplineMain FocusMethods of Research Anthropology Means ‘the study of man’ (humans) The study of the lives and cultures of human beings as species – dead or alive. Through time (i.e. evolution) and throughout the world (i.e. cultures) 2 branches – physical and cultural Physical - scientific research, archeology, historical artifacts… Cultural - Field study/observation - Living with a cultural group for extended periods – observing rituals and group behaviours. Psychology The scientific study of individual behaviours and mental processes. Examines what guides our thinking and behaviour. Studying people’s feelings, thoughts, and personality development through interviews to determine past influential experiences, conducting animal experiments – believing these will lead to a better understanding of humans Sociology The study of human social life, groups, origins, and relationships in society. Examines how membership in a group shapes our experiences of the world. Conducting statistical analysis and observation. Considers trends and reasons why things happen the way they do in society and analyze how society affects individuals and how individuals contribute to society. Comparison of the 3 Disciplines in HSB4M – Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology
What are Theoretical Perspectives and How are they Useful?
Ideas or ways of viewing situations that are used to explain and analyze how social actions, social processes, and social structures work A framework for organizing and explaining observations and evidence
Without evidence/facts, theories are just a educated guess as to how and why a situation might occur Once information has been gathered (observation, experiment, survey, interview…) it lacks meaning without the theory to organize it
What happens? How does it happen? Why does it happen? How can people change what happens?