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Lecture 6

Week 6 Babbie.docx

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SOCI 217
Amin Ghaziani

Week 6 Babbie. Chapter 11 and 14 Chapter 11: Qualitative Field Research [Topics Appropriate to Qualitative Field Research] - This method is usually comprehensive  studying the topic as completely as possible - More appropriate to study things i.e attitudes and behavior whose context needs to be known in order to understand the issue as oppose to things with artificial settings and surveys - Study social processes over time - Elements of Social Research:  Various kinds of behavior  A variety of events  2 or more people meeting and interacting in immediate proximity with one another  Roles and social types  Behavior appropriate to pairs or sets of roles  Groups or cliques  Organizations  Smaller-scale societies  How large numbers of people adjust to life in groups such as ruling class or urban class [Methodological Terms in Qualitative Field Research]  readers will be overwhelmed with terminological jungle - Ethnography and Participant Observation  The terms are sometimes used synonymously  Related to history, disciplinary association and research orientation  Both are rooted to the concept of naturalism: observing events in a natural situation  May be referred to as naturalistic observations and holistic understandings of cultures or subcultures  Ethnography is associated with anthropology / participant observation with sociology - Case Study Design  Main purpose: to focus on the specification of the case, providing rich, detailed data (sounds like idiosyncratic)  Research question: most of the time exploratory and descriptive (by studying a subgroup) but it can be explanatory sometimes  Focus is on a single instance of some social phenomenon or more in a limited number like 2, 3 or 4 cases  It is more concerned about the unit studied and not so on how the data are gathered [Considerations in Qualitative Field Research] - The Various Roles of the Observer  can refer to Prof’s notes  Complete participants – genuine participants. You let people see you as a participant. Raised an ethical issue of deceiving people in an attempt to elicit information  however, researcher does this with the belief that data will be more valid and reliable, subjects will be more natural and honest  problems known as reactivity  the reactions: 1) expel the researcher, 2) speech and behavior modification to appear more respectable, 3) the social process might be radically changed (to go for hunger-strike or not). Also, a complete participants, whatever you say or don’t say may affect the outcome of the research  Complete observers : Studies a social process without becoming a part of it in any way. As a result, subjects of study may not realize that they are being studied. As for the researcher, he may not know why subjects behave in a particular way. So, the observation may be inaccurate. Depending on your focus, the extent to which you decide to be a complete observer or participant may differ - Relations to Subjects  The degree of association with the subjects being studied  The importance of objectivity: to adopt insider understanding – to understand a perspective, research, by using this approach will have to believe their notion as true. Symbolic realism – the need for social researchers to treat the beliefs they study as worthy of respect rather than as an object of ridicule  by doing this, you may lose the possibility of seeing and understanding the phenomenon within frames of reference unavailable to your subjects  by doing so, you may be able to understand why people behave in certain ways. Also, have to allow yourself to remain open to various possibilities [Various Frameworks for Qualitative Field Research] - Grounded Theory  an attempt to derive theory from an analysis of the patterns, themes, common categories  researchers begin with an area of study and allows the theory to emerge from the
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