Class Notes (809,450)
Canada (493,716)
Sociology (3,988)
SOC221H5 (196)
Lecture 3

week 3 Readings

8 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto Mississauga
Mary Jo Nadeau

Chapter 1(p. 10 – 21)  SOC221- Reading Notes, week 3 Doing Social Research  Dimensions of Research (Chapter 1) 10-21 Chapter 6 (p. 101 – 3)  • Use of Research Qualitative & Quantitative Measurement  Chapter 13 (all)  o Some researchers concentrate on advancing gen Field Research  knowledge over the long term, whereas others conduct studies to solve specific, immediate problems o Basic Research  Research designed to advance fundamental knowledge about the social world  Focus on testing theories that explain how the social world operates, what makes things happen, why social relations are a certain way, and why society changes  Is the source of most of the tools, methods, theories, and ideas used by applied researchers to analyze underlying causes of people’s actions or thinking o Applied Research  Research that attempts to solve a concrete problem or address a specific policy question that has a direct, practical application • Usually addressed by an employer, club, agency, social movement or organization  Rarely concerned w/ building, testing or connecting to a larger theory, developing a long-term general understanding, or carrying out a large- scale investigation that might span years  Usually conduct a quick, small-scale study that provide practical results for use in the short term  Applied research usually doesn’t reach public domain in publications • This means that well-qualified researchers rarely get to judge the quality of applied studies o Types ofApplied Research  Evaluation Research Study • One tries to determine how well a program or policy is working or reaching its goals and objectives • ‘Does it work?’ • Most common type of applied research • Widely used in large bureaucratic orgs to demonstrate the effectiveness of what they’re doing • Measure the effectiveness of a program, policy, or way of doing something + often use several research techniques • Ethical + political conflicts often arise b/c people can have opposing interests in the findings o Can affect who gets a job, build pol popularity, or may help promo an alternative program • Limitations: o reports rarely go through peer review process o raw data are seldom publicly available o focus is narrowed to select inputs + outputs more than the full process by which a program affects peoples’lives o decisions makers may selectively use or ignore evaluation findings  Action Research Study • Researcher treats knowledge as a form of power and abolishes the division b/w creating knowledge and using knowledge to engage in political action • Several types, but they all share: o People being studied actively participate in research process o Research incorporates ordinary/popular knowledge o Research focuses on issues of power o Research seeks to raise consciousness or increase awareness of issues o Research is tied directly to a plan or program of pol action • Tends to be assoc w/ a social movement, pol cause, or advocacy for an issue  Social Impact Assessment Research Study • Researcher estimates the likely consequences or outcome of a planned intervention or intentional change to occur in the future • Forecast how aspects of the social environment may change and suggests ways to mitigate changes likely to be adverse from the POV of an affected pop • Ex. Estimate the ability of a local hospital to respond to an earthquake, determine how housing availability for older adults will change if a major new highway is built, etc • Purpose of a Study o Exploration  Exploratory Research: research into an area that hasn’t been studied and in which a researcher wants to develop initial ideas and a more focused research question  May be the first stage in a sequence of studies  Tend to use qualitative data + not be committed to a specific theory or research question  Rarely yields definitive answers  Ex. Study discovers a trend in lower rates of marriage o Description  Descriptive Research: one ‘paints a picture’with words or numbers, presents a profile, outlines stages, or classifies types  Focuses on ‘how?’and ‘who?’questions  Use most data-gathering techniques – surveys, field research, content analysis, and historical-comparative research  Researcher begins w/ well-defined subject & conducts a study to describe it accurately; outcome is a detailed picture of subject  Ex. Study describes the kinds of men and women for which it is most frequent o Explanation  Explanatory Research: focuses on why events occur or tries to test & build social theory  Explaining why things are the way they are  Buildings on exploratory & descriptive research  Ex. Study focuses on why certain couple are choosing cohabitation over marriage • Time Dimension in Research o Cross-Sectional: Observe a collection of people at one time  Disadv: cannot capture social processes or change  Can be exploratory, descriptive, explanatory, but usually descriptive o Longitudinal Research: research in which the researcher examines the features of people or other units at multiple point in time  Time Series: observe diff people at multiple times  Panel: observe the same people at two or more times  Cohort: observe people who shared an experience at two or more times  Case Study: observe a small set intensely across time • Data-Collection Techniques o Quantitative Data-Collection Techniques  Experimental research: Research in which one intervenes or does something to one group of people but not to another and then compares the results of the two groups.  Survey research: Quantitative social research in which one systematically asks many people the same questions and then records and analyzes their answers.  Content analysis: Research in which one examines patterns of symbolic meaning within written text, audio, visual, or other communication medium.  Existing statistics research: Research in which one examines numerical information from government documents or official reports to address new research questions. o Qualitative Data-Collection Techniques  Qualitative interview:Aone-on-one interview between a researcher and an interviewee that is usually characterized by being semi- structured and open ended.  Focus group:Atype of group inter-view in which an interviewer poses questions to the group, and answers are given in an open discussion among the group members.  Field research:Atype of qualitative research in which a researcher directly observes the people being studied in a natural setting for an extended period. Often, the researcher combines intense observation with participation in the people’s social activities.  Historical–Comparative research: Research in which one examines different cultures or periods to better understand the social world.  ContentAnalysis: can also be qualitative. • Ex. Exploring implied meanings and discourses Qualitative and Quantitative Measurement (Chapter 6) • Introduction o Quantitative researchers are more concerned about measurement issues  Begin w/ a concept & then create empirical measures that precisely & accurately capture it in a form that can be expressed in numbers o Qualitative researchers develop ways to capture & express variable & nonvariable concepts using diff alternatives to numbers  Measure features of social life as part of a process that integrates new concepts or theories w/ measurement o Diff policymakers & researchers conceptualize & operationalize poverty diff • Why Measure? o We measure everyday o Measurement helps people observe what is otherwise invisible o The social researcher measures for difficult-to-observe aspects of the social world  Ex. For social class Ethics in Social Research (Chapter 3) • Introduction o Ethics includes the concerns, dilemmas, and conflicts that arise
More Less

Related notes for SOC221H5

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.