University of Leicester
MA Mass Communication
Student Name: Sarah Halima Mohammed
“Social science…consists of the disciplined and systematic study of society and its institutions and of how and why people behave as they do..” (Halloran, Unit 2, p.5). With reference to at least two of the research traditions outlined in Module 1, in what ways do these traditions reflect the above definition of social science?
Word Count: 2664
Human behaviour is a combination of how people behave in the capacity of mental, social and physical actions which are influenced by a range of elements such as attitudes, culture and values. It can be argued that human behaviour varies in that no two beings may experience or react alike within the same environment. Agreeing that human behaviour is so vast and multifaceted, any attempts to study it will inadvertently expose what it includes and excludes. It may be quite an inherent challenge to study. Given this conundrum, it preludes the question – why try to define social science seeing that it is this complex and in reference to Halloran’s abridged definition of social science suggests the limitations of his statement.
In an attempt to discuss the above challenge at hand, this essay seeks to address the questions provoked rather than answering the questions implied. It will define and examine what is social science and debate the terms social and science as separate entities-; “what is social cannot be scientific” (Halloran 2005) and then further elaborate on the different types of research making reference to three research traditions by comparing and contrasting them for illustration to support this analysis as well as justify Halloran’s definition of social science.
SOCIAL SCIENCE DEBATE
Before discussing what social science is, it is imperative to understand the definition of science or natural science in its truest form. “Accumulated and established knowledge, which has been...