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Semester 1 - Sept 16, 2013 - Research Strategies.docx

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Department
Communication Studies
Course
COMM 2002
Professor
Heather Pyman
Semester
Fall

Description
Communication Research  September 16     , 20 3 Class Lecture #2 Research Strategies How theory is used in qualitative and quantitative strategies, they both have different approaches  to the concept, Epistemology – how are we going to do it? Problems with where we get our information: ­ Biased/subjective (opinionated) ­ Always changing (Wikipedia) ­ May not be true (Wikipedia) ­ Tampered facts/lacking context ­ Old/out of date ­ Incomplete knowledge (parents/friends) ­ Limited perspective (parents) ­ Misinterpretation (religion, church) Where we can get our information: ­ Parents ­ Friends ­ Internet ­ Books ­ Religion ­ Teachers ­ Television We need reliable and valid information; as social scientists we look for the ability to critically  determine what were studying is correct and reliable. Bringing a formal structure to answer the  questions that we have, that is what our interest is. As communication scholars, we look at the  connection between research methods and communication.  Research Strategies: ­ Two distinctive clusters of research strategies: quantitative vs. qualitative ­ These strategies differ in terms of the: o Role of theory in research o Epistemological foundations (how are we going to do this) o Ontological basis (what objects of study are possible to look at) Theory and Research ­ Theory: explanations of observed regularities or patterns o Large social theories (social relationships) o Smaller specific theories (Magic bullet theory, critical cultural theory) We live our lives unconsciously guided by a whole bunch of theories; these theories determine how  you’re going to live your life, how you interact and what you do. You have soon developed your  own set of theories that helps you answer questions. Each culture has a different theory outlook; by  the way we greet people (hand shake, bowing to one and other). These theories help us understand  how the world works, that will help us answer research questions. Epistemological Questions: WHAT IS THE PROCESS? ­ What is (or should be) considered acceptable knowledge? ­ Can the social world be studied “scientifically”? ­ Is it appropriate to apply the methods of the natural sciences to social science research? Ontological Questions: WHAT ARE WE GOING TO STUDY? ­ What kinds of objects exist in the social world? ­ Do social entities exist independently of our perceptions of them? ­ Is social reality external to social actors or constructed by them? ­ You cant apply stimulus response theory to the human behavior (only quantitative) If you wanted to measure happiness, you must find a question that is applicable to “being happy”.  These questions will divide the Q vs. Q research.  Qualitative research: you cannot measure human behavior by making the assumption that we are  able to measure “happiness”, for example – that is impossible.
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