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Lecture 2

week 2 lec


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC200H1
Professor
Eric Fong
Lecture
2

Page:
of 8
Logic os SOC Inquiry week 2 – covers ch 1, 2, 3
The practice of social research
- how to do research? - SOC is DIFF from SCI (where u can test anything fixed & grounded)
*
- research – library, books, read what PPL suggests and read the debates
- must know what PPL r talking about
- by UNDERST the major ideas, u can start to contribute ur ideas to the GR
- the INRO most IMP part of a journal/book – coz it gives you a motivation to read the work
-Lamone – dont worry about how to define what en athicity is, by looking at the boundary I can see
whether u belong to that GR or not – suggested there is much limitation here & now Ill INTRO a DIFF
way for you to understand
*
- research thought about as a PHL, to think about issues
- thinking, evaluation, considering factors – this can help us BUT need to show whether thinking is
correct or not (theories)
- when we do the research, u must prepare to HOW to test what you wanna do (a theory must have a
way of being tested)
*
- go out & talk to PPL thru interaction to find out what they think about an issue
-
*
- tech's or STA that helps us understand patterns & ideas going on in the SOC world
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Outline
- looking 4 reality: wanna find out whats the reality of the SOC world
- ordinary human inquiry – how do we find out
- uses of SOC research
- foundations
- models
- deduction VS induction
- how SCI works
*
Looking for reality
- understanding reality is complicated: must separate reality in DIFF segments to understand (BIO SCI,
SOC SCI about the SOC world etc)
- 60s – strong distinction between disciplines but now we realize IMP of interdisciplinary – underst the
SOC world needs a broad perspective
- SCI criteria:
- logical = the logic we learn in eg school is fundamental – is IMP for us to formulate research
β†’ make sure what we propose is logical & consistent
- holes in argument β†’ cant be found easily if there's logic
- empirical = what u propose can be tested with data in the real world
*
- eg person in front of window – what R the logical REL between all this info?
*
- ordinary human inquiry
- observation: seeing things that occure around u
- causal: certain things happen coz there's another thing occurring that makes this happen – eg coz I got
good grades, I was accepted by UofT – meaning good grades leads to acceptance of the uni
- probabilistic: 2 events occur and their happening is coz one thing occurs and MOST LIKELY the
other thing will follow – eg speeding leads to a higher rate of accidents
- SOC is probabilistic: if something occurs, MOST LIKELY another thing will follow
*
functions:
- understanding: to satisfy our own needs, a basic SOC need –
- prediction: we wanna understanding & predict – related, we wanna understand so we can know what
will happen next – to increase our certainty and control of things around us
Tradition – what ordinary person use to find out about things around them
- β€œin the past PPL do it like this, & if I do it like that Ill have the same result”
- advantages:
- the logic is cumulative
-disadvantage:
- prevent us to see ALT perspectives
- need extra effort to deconstruct traditional view
- some of the geniuses question tradition and then see something in a completely DIFF way
- 60s much of arrests of radical students – at same time, young sociologists weren’t happy with what
the PROF talked about in class (functionalism)
- students saw what happened around them (conflict) and think functionalism doesn't explain
everything
- young scholars start to challenge this – wrote their own PHD work – about conflict, inequality
- provided an other perspective of UNDERST the SOC world
*
-authority: rely on this to find out about reality
- affected by status of the one with authority – eg friend VS doctor
-disadvantages
- if the authority uses the wrong perspective, they provide the wrong INF or they misuse their authority
by stepping out of their area of expertise
*
- inquiry errors and solutions
- 1 inaccurate observations
- solution: measurement devices and precision
- 2 overgeneralization
- solution: replication: repeat a study to make sure the same results are produced each time
*
- 3 selective observation – eg 40s – study of who r u gonna vote for? The result isnt the case coz ur
interviewing someone who might be middle class (selecting wrong GR of PPL)
- selecting a specific GR of PPL, in other words, while ignoring/missing out on others
- solution: make an effort to find cases that dont fit the general pattern
- 4 illogical reasoning eg not considering issues in a logical way – suggesting DIFF things in DIFF
chapters for example
- solution: use systems of logic explicitly
*use of SOC research
- exploratory research -
- descriptive research -
- explanatory research – eg explaining why this occur or doesn’t occur
- β†’ each have their own functions to UNDERST SOC REL
* foundations of SOC SCI
- a SCI underst of the world must make sense and correspond with what we observe
- both are essential and relate to threemajor aspects of the overall SCI enterprise: theory, data collection
& data analysis
*
- just like a puzzle, DIFF pieces and trying to make sense of how to put them together (theory)
-
*
Theory
- is about what is, not what should be
- not about value – cant say what is better or worse
- elements:
- 1 concepts – building blocks of a theory
- 2 concept clusters – associated concepts that are consistent & mutually reinforcing; form a webb of
meaning
- eg urban decay has lots of concepts: ECO growth etc
*
- 3 assumptions: a necessary starting point – everything starts with an assumption
- 4 relationship: how concepts r related
* theory
- cluster of concept like RLG affiliation, EDU, predujice, vothing BEH, SOC class – make a theory of
all these concepts
* the uneducated R more prejudiced than the uneducated figure
- REL between EDU & prejudice
- not REL in 2nd figure
*
- theory
- social regulations: patterns in SOC life
- durkheims social facts for example – something we can observe
- aggregate, not IND
- the collective ACTs & situations of many INDs