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Lecture 1 - Research Method

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Malcolm Mac Kinnon

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SociologyScientific Methody Not all questions can be dealt with by science y Science cannot answer ultimate questionsUltimate Questions y Is it possible to live a meaningful life or are all ways of living equally futile y Is there an unmoved movera first cause of the universe y What happens to us when we die y Why is there something instead of nothingShelleyy Do we have a soul and is that soul immortal y Science deals with factualempirical questions that represent evidence evidence is obtained using the scientific method y The Big Bang took placewe have evidence of this y According to physicists before the big bang nothing existed but according to philosophy it is illogical to say that something comes from nothing and they say that something is Gody What came before the Big Bang To answer this question you have to appeal to religiony Thats why God figures are responsible for why the universe exist today y Empirical inquiryanswered by scienceScience and Experience y Experience in research many stages y An occupy movement typeuses conflict theory largely leftwing and they are Marxists that dont like capitalism dont like inequality and the general nastiness of the system we live in y Feminist takes feminist theory to investigate issues and according to stage 3 use previous feminist research y Filtering means lack of objectivitymeans the presence of bias y Sociological research is NOT completely objective there are subjective elements involved as indicated y How does research filter perception ValuesTheoriesPrevious researchMethodsReality y Biases lead to incorrect conclusions of what we see so sociologists try to observe objectively and reduce the bias y Descriptive studies vs Explanatory studies y Descriptive can be divided into 2 parts STATIC and TREND analysis o Both trend and static o Static specific point in timeex photograph freezes reality in a certain point in timeNo attempt to talk about relationships of this and thatStatic studies CAN deal with trendswhat takes place over a period of time but doesnt try to explain what causes the trendEx What is infant mortality of Canada in 2011infant deaths below 6 months1000 births 4921000 birthsthese rates are very indicative of how a society is doingExof murders in Toronto in2009 62 And Detroit 100
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