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Sociology (Arts)
SOCI 211
Yasmin Bayer

Soci 211 Jan 15 RESEARCH PROCESS:  set out your question  literature review  work out the design  data collection, and analysis  report TWO WAYS OF REASONING Inductive (“hypothesis generating): go from specific to general. Go from the little things then reaching a conclusion. Collect evidence then theorizing about it. A lot who to qualitative research adopt this approach. Ex. Data to theory Deductive (“hypothesis testing): go from general to specific. Look at the theory collect your evidence then going back to the theory again. Quantitative work typically uses this approach.... surveys.. statistical analyses.. is your evidence supporting your theory or do you have to modify your theory that you started off with? Ex. Mary waters in her older bookndthnic rdtions.thased on interviews. Interested in assimilation. Argument that in the us the 2 and 3 and 4 generation immigrants become fully assimilated in us culture. So they internalize American culture. Mary says this mainstream understanding makes her uncomfortable and shes suspicious and doesn’t think that argument holds. Goes out to test that statement and does interviews. Says that statement is too simplistic. Ex. Theory to data to theory Methods: Quantitative versus qualitative: theres some communication between them but theres differences... quantitative data collection produces hard data.. numerical data. Qualitative data collection gives soft data like images, documents, observations.... advantage of quantitative is you can summarize your findings in the form of tables and charts etc. in qualitative your data will be more thick descriptions. Field work gives you pages of descriptions. A lot of notes. Looking into the meaning of things. Its rich data. Analysis of it is messier than statistical analyses. The question you formulate determine what methods are best for you. Fieldwork: anthro calls is ethnography. Key thing is to look at a group of people and how they interact with each other and with people outside their group. Stick to the natural setting. Reach out to those people and go to where they are. Observe them and talk to them and participate. Try not to disturb nature setting. Trying to understand the meaning of their culture. This produces thick descriptions its qualitative. Interviews: indepth interviews means getting to the meaning in the way that people behave and make sense of the world. You ask open ended questions so ask them to elaborate are interested in learning peoples stories. Not yes or no questions. Qualitative data Content analysis: studying human or social artifacts. Tv programs, diaries, political speeches, historical documents, movies, music, museums... can produce qualitative or quantitative data Surveys : quantitative data. Based on questionnaire. Looks like an interview... its a type of interview. Have a set number of questions that you ask different people. Goal is to reach as many people as possible. Can generalize from this data. Experiments: quantitative data. All data is qualitative in nature when collected but these ones you can quantify easily. Create an environment that stimulates real world. Done in labs. Controlled environment. Want to isolate variables to look at a specific relationship between certain variables. Secondary data analysis: use what other people have done. Focus groups are messy to analyze. You recruit a group of people to put them in a space to discuss something. Get data out of discussion that is created. Usually a moderator that keeps discussion running smoothly and ask questions that researchers may want to know. Can combine a bunch of different techniques. Referred to as triangulation. THEORY AND RESEARCH tend to think about these separately. But they are always really together. They feed from each other Theory versus ideology: Similarities: Both contain a set of assumptions Both seek to explain the social world But ideologies: Are often based on political values or faith Are closed systems (.. not space for questioning things) offering absolute certainties Resists opposing evidence Shows you the best way. Not much engagement with change or if that ideal can be reach or sustained. Often protects the interests of a particular group Social theory: Recognizes uncertainty Changes based on evidence Whenever you theorize your thinking of the empirical evidence Seeks logical consistency Detached. Systematically looks at multiple aspects of the world with the goal of explaining relationships and processes and mechanisms of different variables. Theory seeks to provide explanations Abstract, but based on evidence Weber: “the prophet and the demagogue do not belong on the academic platform” he understood that researchers are human so theres some subjectivity and we do have ideological leanings that influence research but he believed that ideology does not belong in the classroom. Job of social scientists in classroom shows different things without taking any moral stand... remain detached. Present different ways of seeing the world and let them make up their own minds. Theories are not laws. They change over time. Elements of social theory: 1. Axioms (assumptions, go unstated,ex everybody wants to get rich and to be loved... these are implied but not said, in the past they used to talk about their assumptions ex marx talked about human nature saying we are good people etc, ), postulates: in-built statements about the nature of concepts 2. Concepts: use all the time, used to explain observations. Pay attention to whats
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