"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Post Number: 616
|Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 02:49 am: |
moonsign: your comments now are specific(aids, fatherless, single parents, etc), but your original comment about personal responsibility and stats were not but generic...so what ever respect u have or don't has no bearing on me...it may be sad but it is truth.
Abm: don't misunderstand me. Let me restate it: I believe in research, but I understand its limitations, and I can see poor research from a mile away. Unfortunately, people see a ph.d and some stats and they think they heard the WORD...Also, technology is different...it is mostly measurable. Human phenomena is more difficult.
For example, stats incarceration is only the begining, really just a sampling...give out a few questionaires...use databases to determine how many prisons are in a particular prison or region, etc...findout their percentage of the population...that is the easy part, but these stats really don't tell us anything...the question is when u try to use the stats to explain something to find out what it all means...so that when we hear cosby talk about stats...what does it all mean? Does his reasoning explain the stats or is it something else...will learning standard english, buying $50 pair of sneakers instead of $85 or having one child instead of five get a class of poor folk out of poverty...there are stats that say this, but it seems incomplete(These studies often add that racism doesn't exist since caribbean and africans prosper proving that african americans are just really lazy. ..Thomas Sowell/Ethnic America..for a contrasting view see Winston James, “Explaining Afro-Caribbean Social Mobility in the United States: Beyond the Sowell Thesis” in Comparative Studies in Society & History. vol. 44, no. 2, April 2002). I believe those things would improve folks chances, but I don't believe it will get folk out of poverty, because their are other factors...structural problems that work in tandem with "personal responsibility." Now, I'm making a point about stats and their explanatory merit...not cosby, et al...actually, if one is interested in seeing someone breakdown someone's research, read James article. So again, I believe in research but its limited in explanatory capabilities and the researcher oft in rigor...