PM606 Advanced Social Science - Essay Prowess

PM606 Advanced Social Science


Assessment Instructions

Key Information:

Assessment title:Literature Review
Module Name:Advanced Social Science
Module Code:Advanced Social Science
Tutor’s Name: 
Assessment will be set in:Week 11 of 20
Assessment is due in:Week 20 of 20
Assessment weighting:50%

Assessment Task Instructions:

Core Task Carry out a critically evaluative literature review (2500 words) on one of the following themes:   The utilitarian theories of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, and their relevance to contemporary problems of research ethics in the social sciences.     In your literature review, use academic sources to (a) identify and describe several key ethical problems of contemporary social science, and (b) explain Bentham and Mill’s utilitarian ethics, (c) identify and compare utilitarianism to alternative ethical theories.       Feminist political ideas and movements, and their relationship to feminist philosophies of social science.   In your answer, use several academic sources to (a) describe the contemporary feminist movement and (b) compare and contrast feminist approaches to social science (e.g. feminist empiricism, feminist standpoint theory, postmodern feminism, etc.), (c) identify and compare feminist philosophies of social science to at least one, non-feminist approach to social scientific research (e.g. empiricist/ positivism, neo-Kantianism/ Interpretivism, etc.)        Find and read a wide variety of scholarly sources on the topic; choose 5 articles related to different theories/approaches to review, and write an overall evaluation of the sources
Structure The literature review (2000/2500 words) includes: SECTION 1 (Introduction-250 words)  A short description of the topic of the literature review SECTION 2-6 (300 words – 500 words per article) 5 critical evaluations on academic literature relevant to your topic SECTION 7 (Conclusion-250 words). A summary review of the analysed issue based upon your literature research and its application to practice.   Each review will include: A short statement that explains the main focus or purpose of the academic sourceA short summary of the theories or arguments covered in the academic source Critical analysis of the academic source (e.g. reliability of the text, credibility of the author, poor features, left-out content, weaknesses in argument)Citation details using the appropriate citation style  
Theory and/or task resources required for the assessment: Recommended Sources for Theme 1: Bentham, J. (1970). An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications. Bryman, A.  and Bell, E. (2011). Business Research Methods. 3rd edition. Oxford UP. p. 121-145. Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2007). ‘The ethics of educational and social research,’ in: Research methods in Education. 6th edition. Routledge, p. 51-77. Holtug, N. (2002).  ‘The Harm Principle’. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol. 5, No. 4 (Dec., 2002), pp. 357-389 Long, D. (1990). ‘”Utility” and the “Utility Principle”: Hume, Smith, Bentham, Mill’, Utilitas, 2(1): 12–39. Mill, J. S. (1998). Utilitarianism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kymlicka, W. (2002). Contemporary Political Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 2. Sartorius, R. (1969). ‘Utilitarianism and Obligation’, The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 66, No. 3 (Feb. 13, 1969), pp. 67-81.   Recommended Sources for Theme 2: Crasnow, Sharon (2009). Is Standpoint Theory a Resource for Feminist Epistemology? An Introduction, Hypatia, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Fall, 2009), pp. 189-192 Benton & Craib (2011). The Philosophy of Social Science. (2nd ed.).Routledge. Ch.4 and Ch. 9. Gorham, Geoffrey (1995). The Concept of Truth in Feminist Sciences, Hypatia, Vol. 10, No. 3, Analytic Feminism (Summer, 1995), pp. 99-116 Harding, Sandra (2004). A Socially Relevant Philosophy of Science? Resources from Standpoint Theory’s Controversiality, Hypatia, Vol. 19, No. 1, Feminist Science Studies (Winter, 2004), pp. 25-47 Hekman, Susan (1997). Truth and Method: Feminist Standpoint Theory Revisited, Signs, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Winter, 1997), pp. 341-365 Held, Virginia (1985). Feminism and Epistemology: Recent Work on the Connection between Gender and Knowledge,Philosophy & Public Affairs, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Summer, 1985), pp. 296-307 Maffie, James (1995). Naturalism, Scientism and the Independence of Epistemology, Erkenntnis (1975-), Vol. 43, No. 1 (Jul., 1995), pp. 1-27 Whelan, Emma (2001). Politics by Other Means: Feminism and Mainstream Science Studies, The Canadian Journal   You also will find and read a wide variety of scholarly sources on the topic from your own research and within class. Choose 5 articles related to different theories/approaches to review, including at least three from the recommended sources above, and write an overall evaluation of the sources

Learning Outcomes Assessed:

The following learning outcomes are assessed in this task: Critically apply social science theories in real world situationsEvaluate a range of academic theories and methodological approaches and explain how they inform and influence different perspectivesCritique the methodology and theoretical frameworks of a piece of academic research within their specialist area

Assessment Mark:

Your literature review will be marked for:   Content Clearly summarises a range of relevant sources with reference to theories, identifying key points and reflecting the content of the literature in depth. (30 marks)   Critical Analysis Evidence of accurate comprehension of each source. Analysis evaluates each source’s contribution to the academic debate on the chosen topic with reference to theories, approaches and how these have informed and influenced different perspectives (40 marks)   Sources Evidence of rigorous and academically grounded selection; justification of the selection reflecting understanding of the chosen topic; sufficient use of in-text citations and references (20 Marks)   Presentation The overall presentation of the literature review conforms to the UK academic conventions, including application of the relevant referencing style; Academic style is used well and the review is well organised and coherent with good use of language. (10 Marks)  

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