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Jan. 8-10.docx

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University of Guelph
GEOG 2260
Alexander Legwegoh

Jan. 8-10 What is social science research? - Based on fact alone, without theory or judgement - Read or used by experts or profs - Done only in universities by those with PhD‟s - Involving going to library and finding articles on a topic - Hanging around exotic places, observing people - Drawing sample of people and conducting a survey - Asking people about their circumstances and opinions - Using computers to analyze data Alternatives to Social Science Research - We accept info (explanations) based on: o Authority  expert or person in charge says so o Tradition  it has always been that way o Common sense  rely on what everyone knows o Media myths  popular portrayals say so o Personal experience  experiencing is believing Social Science Research - Asking questions about society and following scientific rules to create new knowledge What is Geography? - Exploration of spatial or temporal relationships - Relationships between people and environments - Landscapes and nature - Regionalism, localities, places - Mapping sciences Design and Research Questions Why do we conduct research? - Prove an idea - Explore the range of issues in a particular idea - Predict for the future (to avoid reoccurrence) - To evaluate - Know dynamics/process Research: Differing Purposes & Tools - Exploration o To investigate little understood phenomena o To identify discover important variables o To generate questions for further research - Explanation o To explain why forces created phenomenon o To identify why … - ? o ? o ? - Understand o To comprehend processes, interactions, phenomena and/or people - Prediction o To predict future outcomes o To test outcomes under different conditions - Evaluation o To assess the merits of something (often policy) o Means that we have some benchmarks or criteria to assess against Stages of the Research Process - Idea (site, subjects) - Literature Review - Design (questions, methods) - Data Collection - Conceptual/Theoretical Work - Analysis and Findings - Present Findings Research Process Myths - There is one right way to do research - Research process is straightforward - If you follow all the steps your data will deliver clear results Choose a Topic - What areas need further exploration? - Could my study fill a gap? Lead to greater understand
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