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SOCIOL 1A06 (735)
Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Research Methods;Ethics.docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

Research Methods/Ethics Research Methods - Experiments - Surveys (self-administered questionnaires, interviews) - Observatory studies (participant observation, ethnography) - Secondary data analysis (“documentary analysis”, “historical sociology”, “use of official stats”) Quantitive vs qualitative research: - Quantitative: availability of numerical data - Social phenomena catpured nicely by stats - Qualitative: focus on process (how, why), giving voice to “participants” - Which type is superior? Depends on question asked - Example: children of divorced parents Cross-sectional vs longitudinal: - Cross sectional: data taken at one point in time - Longitudinal: study done at more than one point in time - Ex, study of adolescent mothers Limitations of experiments: - Artificial environment, doesn’t mirror real life - Validity - Hawthorne effect - N/A to all things sociologists study - Replicating a positivist approach to research (not conducive to rapport building; “subject” rather than participant; treat them well; have them have an active role) Limitations of surveys: - Designing good questions is difficult (mutually exclusive, exhaustive categories) - Dishonesty - Forgetfulness (memory fade and telescoping) - Requires literacy - Data is limited to what is on paper - Low response rates Limitations of observatory studies: - Low reliability - Generalizability - Hawthorne effect - Ethnocentrism Limitations on secondary data analysis: - Incomplete data (might not have data that you want) - Accuracy of data - Biases of origina
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