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Objectivity and Subjectivity.pptx

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Objectivity and Subjectivity.pptx

  1. 1. OBJECTIVITY AND SUBJECTIVITY SALIM N
  2. 2. • Research is an integral part of not only academia but society as well • Academic research is what allows individuals to understand the world in a factual sense. Data provides us with facts and these facts structure the world we live in. • Society and every aspect of it has been studied for decades now and researchers have come up with an array of new methods to accomplish this. • As society progressed civilisation moved from a society centred around religious governance to one rooted around science. • Sociologists wanted to study human behaviour the same way in which natural sciences were studied- thus the emergence of positivism. This is where objectivity and subjectivity become important.
  3. 3. • According to science, one must conduct research ‘objectively’ to avoid bias and arrive at the truth. • However, as humans are inherently subjective creatures it is not possible to study them in the same way sciences are studied. • What makes someone human is their ability to think, feel, act and react. Oftentimes the discourse surrounding this topic boils down to this question: Is reality represented in individuals’ perceptions or is reality something external to them? • The topic of subjectivity and objectivity in social sciences is a grey area that must be discussed.
  4. 4. • The fact/value dichotomy is reinforced by the objective/subjective dichotomy. • Science deals with facts; it is objective. • Ethics deals with preferences; it is subjective.
  5. 5. BETWEEN THE TWO • Objectivity is the perception or experience of the external; subjectivity is the perception or experience of the internal. • Subjectivity and objectivity are both necessary pathways to knowledge and are dependent on each other.
  6. 6. OBJECTIVITY • An approach in which attitude of an investigator is detached, unprejudiced, value free and free from biases. • It focuses upon a goal or the object and avoids distractions. • Objectivity means that conclusions arrived at as a result of inquiry and investigation are independent of the race, colour, occupation, religion, moral preferences and political predisposition of the investigator • Hence, objectivity pre-supposes value neutrality and predictability about outcome.
  7. 7. • Eg: Use of scientific methods like Verstehen. • Since Sociological Investigation involves multiple stages, objectivity is required in all those stages – Choice of topic and problem, Collection of facts, interpretation of facts and formulation of theories. • Proponents of objectivity earlier argued that sociologists should refrain from entering into questions of what ought to be but instead focus on explaining what is.
  8. 8. OBJECTIVITY…. • Objectivity is personal neutrality; it allows the facts to speak for themselves and not be influenced by the personal values and biases of the researcher. (Macionis, 20). • It can also be interpreted as mind-independent, because it is information that is not being altered based on an opinion. (“Proof that Reality is Mind-Independent”). • For example, when looking at a painting, a person would use objectivity to describe the texture, color, and form. These are all facts that are common and can not be changed.
  9. 9. • In an objective study, the researcher’s mental state has no bearing on the study, and the subject matter is observed in its proper context, regardless of the researcher’s mental state. • When an observer is an objective, they are not swayed by their own personal feelings or opinions. • The ability to perceive and accept facts as they are without being swayed by popular belief, popular perception, or one’s own desires is what it means to be objective.
  10. 10. • So that the biases, preferences, or predictions of social scientists are not reflected in collecting data, • objectivity is a ‘frame of mind.’ • The scientific study may only be described as objective if it is free of ideological prejudices based on race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. • In social science research, the need for objectivity has been highlighted by all major sociologists. ?
  11. 11. • sociologists are expected to recognise and admit their own values and overcome their personal prejudices. • On the other hand, Gunnar Myrdal believed that complete objectivity is an impossible ideal to attain.
  12. 12. FACTORS AFFECTING OBJECTIVITY • (a) personal prejudices and bias, • (b) value judgement, • (c) ethical dilemma and • (d) complexity of social phenomena
  13. 13. LIMITS OF OBJECTIVITY IN SOCIAL SCIENCES • Limits of objectivity in social sciences Objectivity in social science research has certain limitations, they are: • a) Social scientist is part of human society and their judgements are subjective and coloured by researchers own experience. • b) The subject matter of social science research is too complex. • All propositions are limited particular social groups and contexts. • Thus objectivity in a major issue in social science research.
  14. 14. • c) All members of the society have different values, social researcher will unconsciously influenced by their values. • d) Social scientist fails to achieve objectivity because the respondents are human beings have certain human problems.e.g. refusal of respondent, improper understanding, reluctance etc,. • All these problems cause biases and invalidate the research findings and conclusions.
  15. 15. SUBJECTIVITY • Subjectivity is judgment based on individual personal impressions and feelings and opinions rather than external facts. • This can be considered mind-dependent, because one is not using a fact, they are using their personal opinion. (“Proof that Reality is Mind-Independent”). • For example, if your favorite color is blue, then you are more likely to buy a blue sweater versus a purple sweater.
  16. 16. • To be objective, a researcher must not allow their values, their bias or their views to impact on their research, analysis or findings. • For research to be reliable and to be considered scientific, objectivity is paramount. • However, some question whether sociology can ever be entirely objective, as researchers' views and values are likely to affect their choice of topic. • Weber argued that while sociologists should be interested in the subjective views of their subjects, they should remain objective in their research; others (such as postmodernists) argue that objectivity is impossible at all stages of research.
  17. 17. • Objectivity means basing conclusion on facts without any bias and value judgement. • The conclusion should be independent of one’s personal beliefs, likes dislikes and hopes. • Both the data and the inference drawn from their analysis must be free from bias and prejudices. • But modern feminist researchers and critical social researchers argued research is a moral-political activity that requires the researcher to commit to a value position. • Value freedom is a myth.

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