Monday, January 9, 2012
Research Methods for Sociology- [2206B-003]
Email: [email protected]
Final Exam= cumulative w/emphasis on info post-midterm
The Fundamentals of Research
What are you?
The Paradigm War of Methodology (ex: Mac vs. PC vid)
What method do we use?
-The type of info you are trying to find will influence which method you use
-The method should be used to compliment your thesis
-Every academic person should have a basic understanding of both quantitative and
The information Age
How modern society depends of information as a resource
-Information is everywhere
-Sociology is useful for a background in methods
What do We Hear?
Watch and listen to the media….
-Do you hear certain types of statistics over and over?
Ex: drinking and driving (MADD), anti-smoking ads etc
-What values/messages do these stats portray?
-Can you think of situations where the same statistical info could be used to justify
Rushton Study Finds Men more Intelligent
-“in the battle between the sexes, a controversial UWO prof has given men the
equivalent of the atomic bomb”
-A study published in the academic journal Intelligence says men are more
intelligent than women
-An analysis of more than 100,000 IQ tests show males averaged 3.63 points higher
What kinds of questions were given?
What ratio were men-women?
What defines “intelligence”?
Definition of Social Research
-Social research is a process in which people combine a set of principles, outlooks,
and ideas (i.e. Methodology) with a collection of specific practices, techniques, and
strategies (i.e.:, a method of inquiry) to produce knowledge.
What is the Point? 2206B-003
Monday, January 9, 2012
-Research methods is the synthesis of social theory and practical application
-Adding to knowledge:
-Using data collection to build on existing ideas or create new ones
Three Main Goals of Social Research
1. Explore new angles or previously unexamined phenomena
2. Try to describe information in detail
3. Try to explain or understand why people behave the way they do
What is Theory?
-“A Tangled maze of jargon?”
-“Abstractions that are irrelevant to the real world?”
Use methods to test and examine those ideas
Positivism: Sees social science research as the same as natural science research
- Durkheim, Weber etc.
Interpretive (Constructionist): human social life is qualitatively different than
other things studied by science
Praxis: practice as distinguished from theory-Marxist
So… What is Methodology?
-What people were interviewed or observed?
-What questions were those people asked?
-How many individuals provided the answers upon which the conclusions are
-What categories were used for data analysis?
Alternative Ways of Knowing
1. Authority- ex: Parents, teachers etc.
2. Tradition- ex: Wife takes husbands name when married; going to school, etc
3. Common Sense- ex: things just make sense so we feel it is right
4. Media Myths- ex: most of the time they don’t present reality
5. Personal Experience- ex: leads to overgeneralizations- leads to
stereotypes/generalizations; leads to selective generalizations (see what you
what to see); leads to premature closure(idea that you feel like you kno