Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology 48-101 Lecture 2: Notes on Research Method

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University of Windsor
Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology

Lecture 2: Research Methods How to do Research Quantitative and Qualitative Research  Picking 3 different news articles from 3 different countries looking at the same war event  The country that the event took place, the US, Canada  It is important to see how people perceived the event How to do Research  Role of Values and Experience  Scientific vs. unscientific thinking  The research cycle  Ethical considerations in sociological research  Four main sociological research methods  Important statistics in sociological research  Our values decide what subjects we choose  Values  theories  previous research  methods  "reality"  Values also influence what theory researchers might use  You have a theory; you either support or reject it  Previous research is important because you want to confirm your view  Your values might decide what to read, what not to read How not to do Research  Unscientific Reasoning  Tradition  the tradition says this works so it must work  Authority  someone says so, so it must be right  Casual observation  you look at an event in general and you make an decision  Overgeneralization  looking at small percentage of a group to make conclusion for the whole group  Selective observation  reporting the things that we like  Exception to the rule  Ego-defence  I'm right because I believe I am right  Premature closure  every answer is the beginning of a question; closing the possibility for further research Values filter research:  Which problem to research  What theory to use  What methods to use  How to interpret results  how reality looks like Values influence so much because:  We think our values are superior than others  Values are the way we think, influence our decisions Research Steps  Select a Topic  finding your interest  Ask a key question  is there a relationship between….?  Review the Literature  Read what other researchers say about the topic/research question  Develop a Design for research  From there, where do we go? Find a method that is appropriate for research. How should we collect data? Should we choose surveys, interviews, or observe people?  Collect Data  Analyze Data, Interpret and Explain the Data  Report Results  We publish the data, reporting the data Be careful when doing Research  Ethical Considerations o Treatment of subjects o Treatment of research results o Subjects have the right to privacy, the right to confidentiality, consent must be informed Research Methods  Field research  the researcher being in the society that was being researched on  Experiment  having control groups, randomization  Survey  Existing data/documents  research based on existing data Qualitative Research  Participant Observation o Study people in their environment, look at people in their point
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