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lec.notes.jan28, 30 feb 1st.docx

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Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2120
Scott Schau

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Lecture Notes Mon. Jan. 28 2013 th Conceptualization -the process of taking the fussy ideas and coming to agreement about the meaning -is the process of specifying what we mean by a term -a clear, verbal specification of your variable (concept) so that others know what it is and van place cognitive borders around it Concept -the end result of conceptualization -is an abstract term referring to a group of phenomena that enable us to link separate observations and to make generalizations – e.g. apathy, participation, liberalism etc. -concepts : abstract elements representing classes of phenomena -building blocks of theories -e.g. love, gender, health, obedience, conflict -we need to be specific in our definitions for measuring Construct -we can measure: constructs Constructs: -can not be observed directly or indirectly -theoretically created based on observations -concepts leads to constructs -conceptualization: the process of coming to an agreements about what concepts mean and represent with regard to social and physical reality Indicators -a sign of the presence or absence of the variable we are studying -we will discover disagreements in definitions of our concepts and indicators of these concepts Operationalization -stage when we decide how we will measure concepts within a study -most importantly, how variables will be measured -examples -measuring ethnic background based on mother tongue -measuring sex based on genitalia -measuring academic success based on GPA Interchangeability of indicators -researchers will not agree on all indicators for a given concept -however, the concept of interchangeability of indicators suggests that they will behave in the same way that the concept would if it was real and measurable Nominal/Conceptual definition -assigned without claim that the definition represents a real entity -it is arbitrary and represents the consensus or convention of the general use of the term -a statement of what a concept means to the researcher Operational Definitions -involves giving specific empirical meaning to a concept -to have the specific definition of the concept and how it will be measured -the exact operations that will be used -precisely laid out and measured -might need a working definitions for purposes of inquiry Creating Conceptual Order EXAM/MIDTERM QUESTION FROM THIS SLIDE -be explicit about conceptual staring points -progression of measurement steps in a structured study: -conceptualization -nominal/conceptual definition  operational definition  measurements in the real world Definitions -definitions have a major impact on both descriptive and explanatory studies -more of a problem in descriptive research – get different results with different definitions -explanatory research measures the patterns of relationships in human social life, this results in consistent research findings even with changing definitions Wed. Jan 30 2013 Lecture Notes Defining Variables and Attributes IMPORTANT - Variables must have 2 qualities: o 1) Attributes must be exhaustive o 2) Attributes must be mutually exclusive Levels of Measurement (Pyramid, top to bottom) - Ratio - Interval - Ordinal - Nominal - Anything can use the level below it’s own, but you cannot move up on the scale o I.e.: Ratio Measures can use Interval, Ordinal and Nominal Measures, but Nominal cannot use Ordinal, Interval or Ratio - When you’re defining your variables, big decision – what level of measure are you going to use? Nominal Measures ( = / not = ) - Variables whose attributes have only characteristics of exhaustiveness (jointly exhaustive) & mutual exclusiveness - I.e. a variable with just discrete categories (cannot be ranked) o E.g., gender, religious affiliation, political party affiliation, birthplace, college, hair colour - Offer names or labels for characteristics - All you can say about 2 people i
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