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Introduction to sociological research.docx

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David Young

Introduction to sociological research Two types of reality A. Agreement reality – involves seeing something as real because you are told they are real and everyone seems to have agree they are real o i.e it is cold in antartica – don’t know as haven’t been there but have heard from various sources (tv, teachers) but have been exposed to several sources saying the same point o most of the knowledge of the world comes through agreement B. Experiential reality – seeing things as real because you have directly experienced them to be real o i.e its cold in Canada during the winter – we have all directly experienced that o relatively little knowledge about the world comes from experience Ordinary Inquiry A. what is ordinary inquiry o It is associated with agreement reality o Involves obtaining through tradition or authority knowledge that is generally agreed upon within a society B. Two bases for ordinary inquiry o (1) tradition – consumes knowledge that is passed on in the society through culture  There are many aspects of culture, religion being one  Religion in any culture provides a set of ideas about the world (creation, why we are here, our purpose)  Relying on tradition or other aspects of culture of understanding the world has advantages and disadvantages  Advantage: if we accept the beleifs gives, we don’t have to go through the trouble to develop our own understanding  It is given to us; saves us work  Disadvantage: traditional beliefs discourage us from finding new ways of looking at the world o (2) authority – consumes knowledge that is passed on in a society through expert  i.e educators  advantage: experts have a lot of knowledge and people can benefit from that knowledge  disadvantage: experts can be wrong and can make mistakes Personal Inquiry A. What is personal inquiry? o it is associated with experiential reality o involves obtaining knowledge through direct personal experience of the world o advantage: allows us to develop our own understanding of the world beyond what is given to us through tradition and authority o disadvantage: it is often subject to many errors B. some errors in personal inquiry o (1) inaccurate observation – we need to keep in mind that our observations are often not conscious, hence we may inaccurately recall or view events o I.e if someone asks what colour of shirt your bestfriend was wearing last time you met them? you saw the shirt, but may not have consciously observed the colour o (2) overgeneralization – we sometimes incorrectly assume that a similar events are evidence of a general patterns
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