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Sociology as a Science.docx

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Ivanka Knezevic

Sociology as a Science  Characteristics of science:  Knowledge is based on facts  Facts are port of the real world and can be observed.  Scientisits can make ‘objective’ observations  Scientific truths, achieved by use of scientific methods, reflect the real world better than other kinds of knowledge because science is less subjective than other kinds of knowledge Our past experience creates a perceptual bias (remember the role of values in sociology). Objectivity is achieved by testing theories against systematically collected data and by leaving research open to public scrutiny Operationalization: the link between theory and research  Theory is a tentative explanation of social phenomena.  It expresses relationships between concepts  Aristotle: “Concept is a thought about the essence of that whereof we are thinking.”  Operationalization is the process of translating theories and concepts ( abstract ideas) into hypotheses and variables (ideas about concrete, observable phenomena).  It is the link between theory and research  Research: collecting and analysing observations of relevant phenomena Variables  Concepts cannot be observed directly. But their indicators/measures can.  Variable is an observable phenomenon (an indicator / measure of a concept) that can assume different values. Hypotheses  Hypothesis is a testable claim (expectation) about an observable phenomenon, based on a theory  It is a link between a specific theory and specific research  A hypothesis usually expresses a relationship of variables.  In a cause and effect relationship- The independent variable is the presumed cause The dependent variable is the presumed effect Methodological issues: validity  Precision in measurement: does the indicator measure the concept accurately?  Conceptual validity: the measurement corresponds
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