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University of Toronto St. George
Loretta H O

coLecture 1 May 15, 2012 What is this course about? This course is SOC200, required course if you go into sociology major. What we will be looking at in this course is to look at how to do a social research. Recall what you learned in sociology 100, that was very introductory, what sociology is and what we do as sociologist and you kind of got a glimpse of what a paradigm is and what theories we use sociology, at the end what you did was that you went through different chapters in a substantive way. So in SOC101 some of you went through the topics of work family, health, gender and etc. these topics were substantive topics in sociology. SOC200 is not a substantive course rather it is a course that teaches you how to do research on those substantive topics so that you can gather information, this course will be giving you techniques and tools to do that research in those substantive topics or you might do preliminary level for you to be able to consume research and to understand what that research mean. This course will give you the tool on how to do the research and it also give you the tool to how to understand the social research. It is not a topical sort of class it is not a substantive topic that you are doing it is technique that you are learning critically thinking about the design and technique and interpretation of it etc. What is expected in this course: The textbook is the Second edition of the Fundamentals of Social Research (Earl Babbie and Lucia Benaquisto), you will be responsible for the material available for the second edition. In addition to class reading there might be time to time a link to journal articles that are more current or something that happened in the news. Generally this course will be as apply as possible, so in the test last year students asked to read an newspaper article 1 and come to class prepared to analyze whatever the topic was using the research tools that they learned in the class. The bulk of the reading will be from the textbook. Evaluation in the course: There are no concessions in this course. We are supposed to get through a set of material that is outlined in the course outline and it has to be done in 5 weeks. 1. Pop Quiz: In the last 10 minutes of some lectures, you will write a quiz consisting of five questions that covers material from both the preceding class and the current class. For instance, if a quiz were to occur at the end of lecture on May 17, it will cover lecture and reading material from both May 15 and May 17. The quizzes are designed to keep you attentive during lectures and up-to-date on the readings. There will be five quizzes, each worth 2% of your grade. There are no make-ups for missed quizzes; you will receive a 0 for any missed quiz. the questions asked in the pop quiz are relevant to the course material the they will be included in the midterm exams. The types of question that might be asked would be definitional very basic for instance what is operationalization bases or it might be like “I am doing a social project on the gender wage gap” give me an idea of an appropriate sample, something like that. If you came to class and looked over your textbook it is a free 10%. Most of the people got 4 out of 5. The Quizzes question will be definitely asked again in the test. There will be a pop quiz will be at the end of the class and will cover the material including the day, we will be grading pop quizzes in class, there is no question and lay time. 2. Midterm and Exam: Both the midterm and final exam will cover material from lectures and all readings. The tests will consists mainly of written questions. The 2 final exam is not cumulative. The first midterm will be on May 31, it will cover all the material till that day, there are no multiple choice test. You might get a passage and be asked to read and asses the patterns. Or you might be asked short answer questions. The bulk of your mark will come from the research proposal 1 part. 3. Research Proposal: You will a research proposal, submitted in two parts (Part 1: 10- 15 pages due on June 5; Part II: 20-25 pages due on June 21) framing some topic of research. Although you will not be expected to conduct the actual research, your proposal must explicitly contain all the elements required for you to feasibly do so within a six month period. Your research proposal will be submitted in two parts. The components required for each part are listed on the first page of this syllabus and reviewed in the first lecture. This is the main part of this class. You need to come up with a research proposal and you will show that the research that you drawn on the literature, how you plan to measure, whatever you are planning to measure, how you plan to sample, how you plan to find out what is the best way to do this research, how do you decide on the method how you will. You are not required to do the research but you need to think critically about how you would analyze potential data that could come in this propose research so you need to give this a lot of thought. This research project is standard research project that all Universities do. You need to get started immediately very early and, a way is to start early is to sort of break it down in 2 parts so that you are accountable at the way you fit and the second part at the end of the course so that way first part is 15% and if you are not doing something right is that you have a chance to nd redo the assignment. So the first part 10 to 15 of the assignment and the 2 time is 20 to 3 25 pages. You need to hand in the first part of the assignment and should be graded by a TA, the TA will make comments on the assignment the TA will then give you back your assignment, part of the requirement for the second part of the assignment for you is that you go through the Tas comments and make correction to what the TA has suggested if there is any issue you can always come back to Professor and talk to her. Part of the mark for the second part of the assignment is that you go through Tas suggestion and fix your assignment accordingly. If you do not fix the mistake you will be immediately lose certain percentage. It is very important to take the Tas suggestion very serious and correct them. you only need to add 10 to 15 pages. You will not get those marks if you do not fix the mistakes. To make sure you need hand in both assignments so that the TA can go back and see if you fixed your mistakes. The final proposal should be submitted the last day of the class at the day of the last test. COURSE POLICY & OFFICE HOURS CHECK COURSE OUTLINE. Emails that are send from other email than University email server, so if you use other email server you will not receive a response. How do you know that… The Arctic is cold? That you can get cramps when running on a full stomach? That women, on average, make less money than men who work in the same fields? And how do you know that Facebook is very good for social networking. All these questions are question that we can ask but a lot of time how we come to answer is not through scientific inquiry. How we come to those answers a lot of time theses are these are the ways. Ways of knowing 4 We come to answers that many of the question that bother us or our minds in society, social research in particular, but in society as a whole there are certain ways. There are certain ways of knowing include: First-hand experience this would include that when I run I get cramp, so that is how I know that you should not run after eating because you get cramps. This is very non scientific. Another non-scientific way that we come to know thing is that well every body think so, there is a general Agreement. For instance if it this class is asked who know when you run a full stomach you get cramps you get probably that 90% of the people would say yes probably 10 % would say that is never happened to me and I never heard of that before. There is a general agreement on something and that is kind of common sense as well because a lot of time when there is a general agreement that will be common sense. Another way that we come to know things is Beliefs some people just belief some times it is because of religion but it does not have to be this way it is just belief, people know things because they just believe it. They are part of time. Observation is another one that we come to know things. and another one is that Someone told you so. …. Etc. These are very non-scientific ways. What we are doing is none of this stuff. What are are trying to do through this course to address particular social issues and try to understand it through scientific research. Non-Scientific Inquiry: fall in 3 categories, fill slide 5 with the information from the textbook: Ordinary “causal”/”probabilistic” reasoning Scientific versus non scientific inquiry: Problems with Non-Scientific Inquiry (and some solutions): 5 Some of the problems that are worth to be highlighted is that when we use non scientific inquiry we might be using Inaccurate observations which leads to problems when we try to generalize about our data, so when you try to base something based on non scientific data that are not accurate then you might run into problems obviously. Example: you are trying to measure job satisfaction among women, your question will be are women satisfied with their work. Lets assumes that you want to research a specific group for instance law. Are women lawyers satisfied with their work, lets say you plan to use a non scientific method, so you say I will answer this question by asking legal clerks whether or not they like their work, but these legal clerks are not lawyers so you are getting inaccurate data, lets say the professor ask now who are you going to ask, you might say my aunt work as a legal clerk and she has a few friends as well so I will ask them as well. Now the professor can ask again is that enough, you are asking 2 or 3 people about their job satisfaction is that enough. What is important lesson from this is that if you are asking 2 or 3 people is that you might be over generalizing. A lot of times we come to this information because we cannot desegregate this non scientific method of investigation, we rely on non scientific methods. But sometimes when we are giving non scientific method is that there are problems with it that we do not think about it. So one problem with the example is about that the question is about women lawyers and you go and ask clerks that is an inaccurate data so you are not asking the right people. And further when you tell that you are asking 3 of your aunts friends that is problematic because you are using overgeneralization because you are asking 3 people, and you are trying to say some thing about a population by using 3 people. If you decide to ask your aunt and her friends who are part of an organization like a social committee at work, that you will collect data 6 from there, I will be able get people like 50 and you go back to your professor and propose. The professor might say that that is kind of problematic because you only select 50 people who probably like their work. For instance if you are willing to join some sort of social committee you are probably okay with your work you are probably okay with people that you work with. So the problem that you run in to when you look at group like this is that you are sort of Selective Observation selecting people who like their work and you are not getting at the people who are going only to work 9 to 5 there. You are getting at people who are really enthusiastic over their work at least enthusiastic enough that care to join a social organization. the last one is interesting is that a lot of time when we use a non scientific method is is that we do not have a theory to back it up with so a lot of time we lead to Illogical Reasoning explanation that might sound fine to a person but is totally illogical. Theoretical grounding is needed to back up your research or project; peer reviews. Any research that you have to do is supposed to be in a scientific way not in a hard science sense, but it should answer a question that is related to theory. So lets say if we were going to research about he lawyers and their satisfaction, you supposed to come up with sort of logical theory to support your work. Suppose your research topic was women’s job satisfaction, you might start looking at the literature about the women’s job satisfaction, look at the different measures of job satisfaction, and come up with a reasoned argument so X Y Z literature, and have all of it to construct a research that is backed up with a reason or research
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