SOCIOL 2Z03 Lecture Notes - Ethnomethodology, Community Organizing, Demand Characteristics
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November 11th, 2011
1) Naturalism: Assumes that social reality is “out there” and can be
communicated by research subjects. For example, Whyte’s street corner society.
2) Ethnomethodology: Questions people’s reports about their lives. Subjects tell
socially constructed stories about themselves, so researchers “make sense” out of
subject’s views of the world. Researchers identify the social meaning people attach
to social interactions, allowing society to function in an orderly, taken-for-granted
way (what makes our daily lives possible; shared meaning). With this type of
research we cannot assume that subjects are giving us accurate answers;
researchers need to be serious and do some exploring. For example, Garfinkel’s
“rule breaking” studies (Studied social interactions with the simple example of
buying a t-shirt at the store and complicating the situation so that the interaction
becomes more challenging, difficult and unscripted).
a) Individual level analysis.
b) How interactions add up and function in society
(accumulation of all our interactions; understanding one
3) Grounded Theory: Build theory from the actual patterns of social interactions
observed by researchers. Let the data tell the theoretical story. It is important that
with this method, we research in a more interactive way, which you do not start
with a theory, collect information and let the theoretical process unfold as well as
leave openings for changes. It is also important that once you decide your theory
that you make sure it is right. For example, Conrad’s academic change.
Unobstructed Research: Data collection that does not involve direct contact with
units of observation.
1) Use published or unpublished research documents.
2) Historical comparative research.
Content Analysis: Collect data by examining the substantive content of material,
such as books, songs, photos and paintings.
Sources of Data/Documents: newspaper.
ECONOMIC FORCES (profits; business cycles) Entrepreneurship
PUBLIC TRUST IN LIFE INSURANCE MANAGEMENT (firm formation)
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