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Social Science: Track 1

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What are the Social Sciences? One definition is that they are specialised systematic forms of knowledge, which leads the question: What is knowledge? Through discussions with powerful and responsible social scientists, the tracks on this album focus on the history of social science, how they are shaping the world as we know it, and the differences between scientific and religious knowledge. The material forms part of the course DD100, An introduction to the social sciences: understanding social change.

By: The OpenLearn team (The Open University,)

  • Duration 1 hour 30 mins
  • Updated Wednesday 11th March 2009
  • Posted under Sociology
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Track 1: Social Sciences - what are they?

Two social scientists explain what attracts them to the subject, and explore the differences between 'knowing' and 'doing' social science.

© The Open University 2009

Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Social Sciences - what are they?    Two social scientists explain what attracts them to the subject, and explore the differences between 'knowing' and 'doing' social science. Play now Social Sciences - what are they?
2 Development of the social sciences    How the social sciences developed in response to challenges to traditional systems of belief. Play now Development of the social sciences
3 Complementary approaches    Comparing social and natural sciences, the need for both perspectives for full understanding. Play now Complementary approaches
4 Influence of Social Science    The impact the study of social science has had since the 19th century. Play now Influence of Social Science
5 Knowledge - what is it?    The relative status of different kinds of knowledge, scientific knowledge and its supposed objectivity. The interrelationship of objectivity and subjectivity. Play now Knowledge - what is it?
6 Religious knowledge    Exploring the God hypothesis to see if it is the best way to explain the circumstances of life, using various objective and even subjective forms of evidence. Play now Religious knowledge
7 Origins of knowledge    The action inherent in knowledge production, for example in religious knowledge. The privilege system of different kinds of knowledge. Play now Origins of knowledge
8 Changes in knowledge    Changes in the volume and storage of knowledge that is being produced. Changes in the status of knowledge, for example the natural sciences and conventional medicine. Play now Changes in knowledge
9 Expert knowledge    The nature of expert knowledge and the power and exclusivity inherent in it. Decline of faith in the expertise of doctors, people using the internet to treat themselves. Play now Expert knowledge
10 Knowledge and trade    Financial motivation affects the kind of knowledge that is studied and produced and llimits the alternative knowledge that can be produced. Play now Knowledge and trade
11 Knowledge and social science    Social construction of the social sciences, the relationship between the natural sciences and the social sciences and the implications of this in the development of the social sciences. Play now Knowledge and social science




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