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Sociology 2206A/B
Donna Maynard

March 31, 2014 Chapter 13: Quantitative Data Analysis 2. Bivariate Distributions/Statistics • Contingency tables are unwieldy for interval/ratio (or even large ordinal) variables • Scatter plots o a simple graphic way to display distributions of Y across categories of X when there are many categories of each o cannot be used with nominal variables SLIDES WITH SCATTER PLOTS ARE POSTED ON EXAM – may be asked to look at a scatter plot and interpret it (will have to at least interpret something) 3. Multivariate Relationships and Distributions/Statistics Multivariate (many variables) - Types of associations • Independent • Interveining • Interacting • Spurious - Distributions and statistics • 3 way contingency tables ALL NEXT SLIDES WILL BE POSTED – still typing up, but some images only on her slides 1) Independent Relationships • Each X has an independent effect on Y 2) Intervening Relationships • All or part of an association between one variable to another is indirect - Athird variable ‘intervenes between the two Ex. Poverty  Self Image  Mental Health 3) Interactive Relationships • One variable changes the relationship between two others • Effect of X1 on Y varies by category of X2 Ex. The effect of poverty (X1) on mental health (Y) varies by gender o Maybe poverty effects the mental health of men more than women 4) Spurious Relationships • A‘false’association between X1 and Y, caused by an antecedent variable (X2) related to both Chapter 8, some of 9 – The Nature and Practices of Qualitative Research Theory and Concepts Qualitative Orientations to research • Usually inductive • Tends to be interpretivist – individual meaning that everyone walked away with = what we’re supposed to study • Is often constructionist • Frequent use of naturalist perspective – research best done if have an actual natural environment, doesn’t do any good for us to have them in the lab - Refer to chapter 1 Place of Theory • Involves grounded theory o Using data to develop theories  Starting ‘on the ground’with observation o Often iterative process going back and forth from data to theory, revising or ‘tightening’theory in the process Creating and measuring concepts Quantitative Research Qualitative Research Defininig and measuring concepts one of Not central to research process, though 4 main goals still useful Definitive Concepts Sensitizing concepts - Defined with nominal and operational - Provide only a general source of definitions reference for empirical research - Redined standarsized measures - Concept may be ‘moving target’ - Ex. Hothschild’s ‘emotional labour’– part of labour you do in certain jobs requires you to feel certain way and experience certain emotions. Difficult to do. She was looking at airline stewardesses. How can stewardesses keep that smile on their face when their job is so awful. Kinds of Qualitative Research • Ethnography/participant observation • Qualitative interviewing • Focus groups • Qualitative analysis o Conversation and discourse analysis o Textual and document analysis N.B. Often some combination 4 Main Goals of Qualitative Research 1. Empathy • Seeing through the eyes of the people studied o Involves probing ‘beneath the surface’of social behaviour 2. In-depth description and emphasis on context • Narrow contexts – behaviour that seems odd or irrational may be easier to understand if the context is deeply described o Ex. Religious rite observed out of context • Broader social context and cultural relativism – human beliefs and activities can best be understood in terms of the broader cultural context in which they are situated 2. Emphasis on process • Showing how events and patterns unfold over time o Along time spent in the field allows the researcher to understand individual and social change  This can be done with semi-structured and unstructured interviewing and using a life history approach 4. Flexibility and limited structure • Questions asked the people studied tend to be quite general, especially early in the research • There is usually little or no theory or predefined concepts driving the research • The topics explored in the research may change as the study progresses 6 basic steps to qualitative research • Inductive, often iterative process • Ex. Foster (1995) Research on crime in a housing complex in Britain – from text Reliability and Validity • Very important in quantitative research o For establishing and assessing the quality of concepts and their measures • Often not directly applicable in qualitative research • 3 ways to approach these terms/issues 1. Use them in the same way, with the same meaning as used by quantitative researchers • Ex. Mason 1996 o External validity: Generalizability o Internal validity: Theoretical and empirical establishment of causality WILL SEE THESE TERMS ON EXAM o Etc. see chapter 2 • Why do it? o Appropriate for some methods to judge by these standards  Ex. Focus groups are sometimes high in external validity, long term observation is high in internal validity etc. • Scientific community, publishing practices encourage it 2. Use similar terms, but with slightly different meaning • Ex. LeCompte and Goetz (1982) o External validity: can the findings be applied to other situations or people? o Internal validity: is there a good match between observations and resulting theory? o External reliability: degree to which a study can be replicated o Internal reliability: inter-observer consistency in what they observe and record Sometimes we use words, but they are not true. N.B. qualitative research tends to be strong internally and we externally 3. Use terms and ideas created specifically for qualitative research BE FAMILIAR WITH THESE TERMS FOR PURPOSES OF YOUR EXAMS • Criteria for evaluating Qualitative research o Based on Authenticity and Trustworthiness  Authenticity based in naturalistic perspective  Trustworthiness has 4 main characteristics  Credibility  Transferability  Dependability  Confirmability o Briefly introduced chapter 2 1. Credibility • Parallels measurement and esp. internal validity • How believable are the findings? o To other researchers, to consumers of the research and also for the people studied  Can use respondent validation  Have participants read your notes, or pre-published work  Does your account seem true to them?  Problems:  Defensive reactions and demands for censorship  Loyalties to researchers and lack of honesty  Lack of understanding  Participants are not social scientists – lack theoretical and conceptual knowledge, often can’t make clear sense of the findings 2. Transferability • Parallels external validity • Do the findings apply to other people in other situations? o Sometimes not very important to qualitative researchers  Often look at rare or unique cases – teenagers with deadly diseases  Focus on thick description  Rich, detailed accounts
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