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SOC387H5 (17)
Lecture

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC387H5
Professor
Salina Abji
Semester
Spring

Description
January 10, 2013 • What do we mean by research? o Systematic: Research is about a process  So other people will evaluate your research based on how well you follow the process o Sociological research: concerned with understanding the social world • What makes research ‘qualitative’? o Focuses on the qualities of social phenomena, rather than quantities or statistics • Positionality o How our position and our relationship affect who we’re talking to • Setting o How is this conversation different in a classroom compared to in a party or at a bar, even if the content had been the same • Content o Thoughts and feelings • Don’t need to buy the book yet January 17, 2013 • Review Question o What is qualt research?  Focuses on the qualities of social phenomena; looks beyond everyday ways of seeing social phenomena in the outside world • What is a paradigm o Your basic world view o Aresearch paradigm reps your beliefs about the nature of social reality and the ways in which we create or advance knowledge o Your paradigm what you will see as ‘data, info, and facts’and how you understand ‘knowledge’ o Epistemology  different ways of knowing o Things to note:  They’re not provable; They’re matters of faith • They are still important b/c they shape what we choose to research • It shapes the actions you take when doing research  It is often implicit in research  is very rarely clearly stated which paradigm is being used o Page 9 of reading (Esterberg) o Positivism: characteristics  Purpose of social research? • To discover a set of Causal laws that can be used to predict general patterns of human behaviour • If you can predict human behaviour, you can control or even perfect society through effective policies  Nature of social reality? • The social world is inherently knowable • Focus is on objectivity o We can objectively agree on the nature of social reality o Emphasized empirical observations  What constitutes ‘good’research? • Scientific ways of knowing are privileged over other ways of knowing eg, religion, intuition, magic • Use deductive logic to test social theories against observable facts • Is value-free and objective • Where do good research ideas come from? o Pages 6-7  deductive and inductive approaches  Deductive: linear  Inductive: iterative (you work in small steps and each step causes you to revisit the previous step) • Start with your observations of the world and use those to go back to your theory • Sociological imagination: ‘alien eyes’ o Good starting point for inductive approach o Research limitations  1 interview + field notes  Non-obtrusive measures + field notes January 24, 2013 • Review (all questions are true) o Positivist: being able to make society better by predicting what happens (more abut social control) o Postmodernist: all knowledge is valid o Deductive is a linear, step by step approach o Inductive moves in a circle and goes back and forth • Smith Reading (Page 1-3) o ‘It is a history that still offends the deepest sense of our humanity’ o Looking at the other as ‘the indigenous peoples  colonial/imperial history’  People who have been studied in a way that constructs them as the other/alien o Many researchers, academics and project workers may see the benefits of their particular projects as serving a greater good ‘for mankind’, or serving a specific emancipatory goal for an oppressed community (p2)  Eg. Feminist/critical approaches and positivist o It becomes so taken for granted that many researchers simply assume that they as inds embody this ideal and are natural reps of it when they work with other comms (p2) o Site of struggle (p2, pg1)  Scientific knowledge is valued  Negates alternative ways of knowing o Research is a colonial project  ‘dirty word’ o Key concept: epistemic violence  Epistemology: ways of knowing  Epistemic knowledge: abuse of power exerted against or through knowledge • Ex. The millet seeds sentence (p1, pg1) • The assumption that you can know the truth of a people just with a brief encounter with them • How research was ultimately used (ex. residential schools in Canada)  Smith is asking ‘whose knowledge?’  Ultimately attempts to question the project of research itself o Which research paradigm guides her article?  Postmodernist: valuing community point of views and ways of knowing • Questioning what research is considered ‘good’, at a very fundamental level  If research is such a dirty word, why does Smith still do research? • Because she’s trying to change things  Feminist/critical: address oppressive conditions • Ethics Lecture January 31, 2013 • Vested interest = bias • Don’t try to do cause and effect o Try to understand social processes or experiences • SMART Principles o Specific o Measurable o Answerable o Relevant o Transparent • Interview Methods o How do salespeople react to someone that walks in alone versus groups or pairs? February 7, 2013 • Extended Case Method: extending the theory (b) o Alternative to positive; meant almost as post-positivism • Grounded theory (a) o Interpretive  social constructionist • Institutional ethnography (c) o Feminist critical approach • Methodology vs methods o Methodology is the next step down after a paradigm  It is the overall approach to doing the research o Methods  The actual tools used to do the research (ex. Interviews) • Gangnam Style Video o Lots of colour o Scenery changes o Girls were all really skinny o Alot of movement, dancing  Active o Content:  Focus on women as sexual object  Horse  Code/analysis: Thane of luxury/sites of luxury o Context:  Where it’s posted (YouTube)  Video is a satire on the rich in Seoul • Discourse vs content analysis o Hermeneutics (esterberg)  Interpretation of meanings (meaning making) o Discourse – power of language, social constructionist meanings • Literature review o Focus on what gaps you want to fill on top of what you’re studying o Your sources should share methodologies or approaches, or something  Should explicitly or implicitly be linked to each other o Lit review tells a story o Focus on arguments against your view o Need to use one of the methodological approaches to do research o Introduce the lit review (ex. Little research has examined the rising pop…” February 14, 2013 • ‘Identify author of quote’ • Extended case: start with the theory and go into the field and test them (different from positivist framework) don’t worry about being neutral and be conscious of your power  really test the theory • Grounded theory: inductive rather than deductive approach o Positivist: objective research (don’t let preconceived notions guide your research) o You need to be open to the idea that if different things emerge, your research question may change • Institutional Ethnography o Relations organized around specific rulin
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