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Political Science 3N06 2012 L15.docx

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McMaster University
Political Science
Todd Alway

select one of the research methods that we have discussed in class; (3) different methods to do this successfully; it is all about using a research method  the process of doing this- research expectation o find the strengths and weaknesses of the methods o read the footnotes/bibliographies o start thinking through o think about sampling shit o you have to demonstrate the understandings o many people like lists o it is different from other assignments o o 1. An introduction: What is the research topic you are exploring? What is your research question? How will answering your question advance our knowledge?  SET A FUCKING CONTEXT  set the stage to why this follows o 2. A discussion of how you are defining and operationalizing your major concepts and variables: Are you developing your own research instrument or are you duplicating instruments that have been used in other research? For example if conducting a survey, are you generating your own question list or are you taking survey questions that have been used in some other context (say the General Social Survey)? Why? In either case, your questions should be attached as an appendix. o Consider also what type of technique you will use to analyse your data – quantitative analysis, content analysis, discourse analysis, etc.  what do you mean by democracy?  what do you mean  how do you know it when you see it  conceptualize your variables o 3. What is your sampling strategy and why? Who/what will you be looking at, amongst all possible cases in the population of interest? Why this sampling strategy? How will you identify and gather your sample? What obstacles will you likely encounter and how will they affect the generalizability of your analysis?  what is your sampling question; which ones are you going to chose  have to think about which of the many  spend time on sampling strategies  o 4. What data collection technique/method will you be using? Survey, interview, ethnography, etc. This section should constitute the bulk of your analysis. Why this technique? In what way does it provide information useful to answering your specific research question? Have you sufficiently described the strengths/limitations of the technique? How will you overcome the limitations (to the extent that they can be overcome)? What limitations are inherent to your data collection strategy?  most of the time spent here  more detail; to what would work for a particular research question  what are the strengths and limitations   these are guidelines; some more relevant and others less, where applicable- Political Science 3N06 2013 Lecture 8a Field Research  Interviewing is one type of method that can reveal how people see the world o can be used for several questions o a lot that can be explored o limitations can bee associated  However, both structured and unstructured interviewing rely on a somewhat artificial social context for exploring the lived reality of interviewees o think about the rigged structure o think about the fact that it is a social structure that is hierarchical  The interview is itself a social context – one that generates answers that are not necessarily generalizable to other social contexts o gather together 6-12 individuals and get them to talk amongst each other; and look at how the group views the issues  So for maximum ecological validity o To develop a naturalistic understanding of social life  frameworks appropriate for ecologically valid data; in understanding the world as it is  Why not study social life out there and as it happens? Field Research  Field research involves going out into the field and undertaking direct research  Using your senses – sight, smell, touch, and hearing - to observe the world around you o get out there and observe  The field is not limited to exotic third world locales (although it can include them)  The field is any social field that you are interested in understanding  The key is to find a social space and occupy it so that it can be observed  For at l
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