Chapter 3 Reading
- Sociological research is a scientific endeavor.
- Research is supported by empirical (tangible) evidence.
Evidence that has been acquired through direct
observation, and that can be verified or disproved by direct or indirect observation
by more than one person.
- All sociological research begins with research strategy.
- Research strategy is the general approach a sociologist takes when managing an
- A quantitative research strategy is an approach where the researcher collects
data that can be quantified and expressed in terms of numbers, percentages, or
- A qualitative research strategy is an approach in which the researcher collects
data that are rich in description and not easily measured using statistical
- A research method us the actual technique a researcher uses to collect data.
- Factors that influence all sociological research: Theory, Values, Epistemology,
- Data are known facts or stats, gathered and used as the basis for reasoning,
reference or calculation. A theory is an explanation of some observed regularity.
How the researcher views the world; provides a guide for explaining any
regularity he/she observes in the data.
- Any theory both reveals and conceals certain aspects of human experience.
(Ricoeur & Sullivan)
- Merton felt that grand theories were ‘too remote from particular classes of social
behavior, organization and change to account for what is observed’.
- Empirical is verifiable by observation and experiment rather than theory or logic.
- Theory may be used deductively or inductively.
- When data are collected and analyzed in order to answer the questions raised by
an existing theory – than the theory is deductive. (Usually used in quantitative)
- Once the researchers have drawn generalizable inferences from