This course seeks to turn learners into informed consumers of social science research. It introduces concepts, standards, and principles of social science research to the interested non-expert. Learners who complete the course will be able to assess evidence and critically evaluate claims about important social phenomena. It reviews the origins and development of social science, describes the process of discovery in contemporary social science research, and explains how contemporary social science differs from apparently related fields. It describes the goals, basic paradigms, and methodologies of the major social science disciplines. It offers an overview of the major questions that are the focus of much contemporary social science research, overall and for China. Special emphasis is given to explaining the challenges that social scientists face in drawing conclusions about cause and effect from their studies, and offers an overview of the approaches that are used to overcome these challenges. Explanation is non-technical and does not involve mathematics. Statistics and quantitative methods are not covered.
Explore the big questions in social science and learn how you can be a critical, informed consumer of social science research.
Course Overview video: https://youtu.be/QuMOAlwhpvU
After you complete Part 1, enroll in Part 2 to learn how to be a PRODUCER of Social science research.
Part 2: https://www.coursera.org/learn/social-science-research-chinese-society
What you will learn
What is social science?
Welcome to Social Science Approaches to the Study of Chinese Society Part 1! Part 1 focuses on being a CONSUMER of social science research. Take some time to review the Course Overview video and the assignments for this course. In Week 1, we will explore What is Social Science. By the end of this week, you will be able to understand the differences between social science from humanities, natural and life sciences, outline the origins of social science and have a grasp of key definitions and terms.
The Big Questions
In Week 2, we will focus on The Big Questions. By the end of this week, you should have some sense of the range of questions that are the focus of much social science research. The next week, Week 3, will expand on China specific research.
Social Science Research on China
In Week 3, we will focus on Social Science Research on China. By the end of this week, you should have some sense of major topics in current social science research on China.
The Social Science Disciplines
In Week 4, we will focus on The Social Science Disciplines. By the end of this week, you should have a better understanding of the emphases of each of the major social science disciplines, and the differences between the disciplines.