Discussion: social science paradigms week2

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Babbie, E. (2016). The basics of social research (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage.

  • Chapter 2, “Paradigms, Theory, and Research” (pp. 30–59)

Discussion: Social Science Paradigms

If you have used Instagram, Photobooth, or any number of photo editing or publishing products, you may be familiar with filters that may be applied to photos. These filters can alter the mood, texture, or color of an image, thus altering how it is interpreted by others. In simple terms, social science paradigms function in the same way for research. They are like lenses that influence the perspective of a researcher. Although not theories in themselves, paradigms are fundamental frameworks of reference that underlie and give birth to theories.

How paradigms differ from simple lenses, however, is that they sometimes can lie below consciousness and are not a deliberate choice. For instance, it is possible to hold such strong beliefs about a set of issues that they are unrecognizable as a paradigm and instead seem like universal truths. By examining some well-known social science paradigms this week, you can begin to analyze your own thoughts and actions and those of others to detect where and how they fit into the current mosaic of paradigms. This also will help you recognize paradigms as a researcher and consumer of research.

In this Discussion, you select social science paradigms of professional interest to you and consider how they could be applied to human and social services.

To Prepare

Choose two social science paradigms from the Learning Resources this week (e.g., feminist, symbolic interactionism, critical race theory, etc.). Consider differences between them and how they could be applied to human and social services.

By Day 3

Post a description of the paradigms you selected. Explain the most important similarities and differences between the two. Finally, explain how each could be applied to human and social services research.

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