HSCI 307 Lecture Notes - Discrete Category, Post-Structuralism, Operationalization

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Class 5 Lecture Notes (to compliment the lecture slides) HSCI 307
x Paradigm-Underlying theory/framework that is the foundation for how you create
knowledge; used to talk about different approaches that address research problems.
-Very different approaches exist for how we go about our methods: qualitative vs.
quantitative.
-Distinction that influences the research questions and the way the research is collected
lies within the underlying paradigm.
x Positivism-applies to a paradigmatic, deductive approach; is MEASUREABLE; view data
as neutral, objective, unbiased.
x Interpretivism-used in the qualitative research methods; grounding a new theory in the
issue/problem you are trying to study; postmodernism, poststructuralism, etc. are some
of the two more recent forms of interpretivism; looks at the assumptions we bring to
the work (such as our own values as researchers).
x Qualitative and quantitative is an approach in which we go about a paradigm; it[s like a
hierarchy, for e.g.
Positivist Qualitative
Quantitative
x Measurement: an assessment of a concept; we can measure it with a number; has a
measurement tool to assess what we are measuring.
-We need to understand measurement in order to understand the type of data we need to
collect. How we measure, collect, & assess is different depending on the approach and
paradigm we use. There is no one method that is better than the other.
x Conceptualization: How you analyse the data and develop meaning from it; why does it
mean that? E.g. you want to have a particular experience from the research
x Operationalization: developing specific research questions/procedures into observations,
e.g. how an individual answers questions and what they draw from to do so.
Operational definition: example of crimeYcalculating the amount of time a person has spent in
prison can allow you to determine the severity of the crime they have committed. Point: there
are a number of different ways we can think about criminality; depends on the kind of data you
have to determine your analysis.
-Operational is like a way of quantifying the data (interpreting the data in a numerical,
measureable way). Need to think about what the potential biases in the data are (can get the
Zofficial records[ for criminal behaviour but what if the records are wrong? They might not be
updated or completed according to another individual[s bias, etc.
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