Social science – philosophy soci 404 – document analysis assignment


SOCI 404 SOC of Community: Document Analysis Assignment

1. Who composed the document and why? Why has it survived and have any changes been introduced over the years? What methods appear to have been used to acquire information contained in the document?

2. What are some biases in the document and how might you go about checking them or correcting them? How inclusive or representatives is the sample of individuals, events, etc contained in the document? Was there a lapse between the writing and the publication of the document? How reliable or dispassionate was the persona who wrote the document? Under what institutional constraints or routines was he or she probably operating, and how might these have affected the document?

3. Evaluation the possible uses of the document as (a) a direct report about the past and (b) an index of institutional activities or cultural outlooks. What role did etiquette, convention, and custom play in the composition of the document? If you relied solely upon the evident contained in these documents, how might your vision of the past be distorted?

4. Are there any contradictions within the document, or with otherwise known facts, that might lead you to question the credibility of pieces of information contained in it? What other kinds of documents or sources of evidence might you consult to correct biases, check inaccuracies, or provide further evidence on issues connected with the document? If you relied solely upon advice contained in the document, how might your vision of the past be distorted?

5. What are the key categories and concepts used by the writer (s) to organize the ideas presented? What are the “selectives” or “silences” that result from these categories of thought?

6. With what methods of analysis could one use this document (and perhaps others like it) to address those questions in a reliable and valid way? What sorts of generalizations can one make on the basis of the information contained in these documents?

Document: A Mask for Racial Discrimination.’ How Housing Voucher Programs Can Hurt the Low-Income Families They’re Designed to Help. (Article published on TIME website on February 20, 2020.)