- Code POLS4047
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Political Science
- Areas of interest International Relations, Policy Studies, Political Sciences, International Business, Asia Pacific Studies
The 20th Century witnessed profound challenges to classical knowledge paradigms in the social sciences. Approaches to the study of society and politics diversified. Critical, social, post-structuralist, post-colonial and ‘post-modern’ interventions drew attention to structures and practices of meaning-making and to the relationship between knowledge paradigms and power. Interpretivist scholars made substantial contributions to developments in the theories of language and communication, and in the 'second order observation' involved in varieties of discourse analysis. Scholars across a variety of disciplines are working in interpretivist traditions that depart from the positivist paradigm adopted constructivist, thick descriptive, inductive and context-based approaches to assess, explain and understand sites and assemblages of ‘meaning making’.
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the long tradition of Interpretivist Social Science, and to invite them to consider how its theoretical claims might inform their own epistemological and methodological decisions. The course offers practical training for students interested in modes of enquiry into the increasingly communicative, media driven, institutional and text based world in which we live that are not covered by conventional quantitative and qualitative approaches. In addition to equipping students with skills for interpretivist research design, data generation, analysis, inference, interpretation and critique, it addresses fundamental questions about the logic, conduct and significance of social scientific inquiry and the politics of knowledge in the 20th and 21st Centuries.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- engage in epistemological debates that relate to methodological approaches;
- assess the diverse range of strategies and approaches available to scholars in the social sciences;
- develop techniques and skills appropriate to the design and conduct of interpretivist research; and
- assess the logics that distinguish methodologies and the creative possibilities for their assembly.
- Research paper, 4000 words (40) [LO 1,2,3]
- Weekly reading response, 10 x 200 words each (3% each) (30) [LO 1,2,4]
- Oral presentation, 20 mins (20) [LO 1,2,3]
- Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Bevir, M. and R. A. W. Rhodes, Eds. (2016). The Routledge Handbook of Interpretive Political Science. London and New York, Routledge.
Rabinow, P. and W. M. Sullivan, Eds. (1979). Interpretive Social Science: A Reader. Berkley & Los Angeles, University of California Press.
Schaffer, F. C. (2016). Elucidating Social Science Concepts: An Interpetivist Guide. New York, Routledge.
Scott, J. W. and D. Keates, Eds. (2001). Schools of Thought: Twenty-Five Years of Interpretive Social Science. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Yanow, D. and P. Schwartz-Shea, Eds. (2006). Interpretation and Method. New York, M.E. Sharpe.
Assumed KnowledgeUndergraduate knowledge in a social science discipline.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- 6 units
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