Class Notes (808,491)
Canada (493,250)
Sociology (3,132)

Chapter 1-11 lecture notes

46 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Sociology 2206A/B
Nicholas Spence

Chapter 1- Doing Social Research What is Research? - A method we utilize to find answers to questions we have about the world Knowledge Attainment Source Something is true Problem because Someone in a position of -Overestimate scope of Authority authority says so! knowledge -Disagreement among authorities -Overstepping realm of expertise -Misuse of authority! -Blind acceptance undermine democracy It has always been that way!-Distortion through time -Things change Tradition Of your everyday reasoning -Logical fallacies -Contradictions Common Sense -Same problems as tradition Of the media (TV, movies, -Inaccurate reflection of newspaper, magazines) reality Media Myths -Journalists constraints -Perpetuations of myths -Competing Interests Youve seen it or -Overgeneralization Personal Experience experienced it -Selective Observation -Premature Closure -Halo Effect Science - Science: a social institution and a way to produce knowledge - Data: Empirical evidence a scientist gathers in accordance with rules and procedures - Empirical Evidence: observations scientists experience through the senses - Scientific Community: collection of people who practice science and a set of norms, behaviors, and attitudes that bind them together. It is a professional community who share ethical principles, beliefs, and values, techniques and training and career paths Aspects of the Scientific Method - What is it? Ideas, rules, techniques and approaches that the scientific community uses: 1. Empiricism or a reliance on the senses 2. The a priori statement of methodological principles 3. The replicability principle 4. The communicability of results 5. An institutionalized skepticism 6. The potential to falsify any hypothesis Discover & Justification - Context of Discovery: we may think of discoveries and insights in science as coming from a variety of sources that may or may not be rational or methodical - Context of Justification: this relates to the idea of how we assess the truth of statements. In science, we follow the scientific method Research Process - Step 1: Select a Topic - Step 2: Research Question - Step 3: Research Design - Step 4: Gather Data - Step 5: Data Analysis - Step 6: Interpret Results - Step 7: Disseminate the Results Publishing Scholarly Work - Choose the appropriate journal given the content of your research - Choose the most prestigious journal in which your work is likely to be accepted - Peer review process (blind): experts critique research based on its merits - Rejection, resubmit with changes, accept work for publication - Finally publication, if you are lucky! Dimensions of Research - Use of Research - Purpose of Research - Time Dimension of Research - Data Collection Techniques of Research Use of Research - Basic Research 1. Advancing fundamental knowledge 2. Practical applications not obvious, at least initially 3. Scientific rigor is key - Applied Research 1. Focusing on a specific issue or problem 2. Tends to be more controversial given its specificity 3. Methodological soundness is less important; getting an answer given the restraints is key Purpose of the Study - Exploratory: seek out new territory - Descriptive: detailing a specific context or situation - Explanatory: identifying the causes of outcomes of interest Time in the Research Process - Cross Sectional Research: observations are made at a single point in time - Longitudinal Research: observations are made at more than one point in time 1. Time Series: gathering the same type of information across two or more time periods 2. Panel Study: observe the same units over multiple time points 3. Cohort Study: observe the same category of units that share a similar experience in a specific time period 4. Case Studies: observe a few cases over time in great detail Data Collection Techniques - Quantitative 1. Experiments: manipulate conditions and assess the effects on subjects 2. Surveys: administer a questionnaire to respondents 3. Content Analyses: examining information in written or symbolic material 4. Existing Statistics: gather previously collected information and combine in new ways - Qualitative 1. Field Research: case studies examining a small group of people over some specific length of time 2. Historical-Comparative Research: examining aspects of social life in a past time or across different cultures Chapter 2- Theory & Social Research What Is a Theory? - Providing an account of what we observe - General explanations of human behavior - System of interconnected abstractions or ideas that condenses and organizes knowledge about the social world Characteristics of Social Theories - Explain patterns - Explain aggregates - Probabilistic NOT deterministic
More Less

Related notes for Sociology 2206A/B

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.