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SOCI 2P11 Study Guide - Comprehensive Final Guide: Convenience Sampling, Nonprobability Sampling, Audit Trail


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCI 2P11
Professor
Kevin Gosine
Study Guide
Final

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Brock U
SOCI 2P11
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Lecture 2
What is Social Research: Philosophical Orientations and Research Strategies
What is Sociology? --> The study of human interactions, how society functions,
sources of conflicts, inequality, sources of cohesion
What topics does sociology study?
Social inequality
Environmental awareness
Criminology
Social transformation/social change
4 Characteristics of social research
Empirical
o The knowledge produced is grounded in real world observations i.e.
generated from evidence.
o Not relying on information passed down from tradition or authority.
o This allows it to be verifiable
Systematic
o A systematized set of procedures and methods designed to maximize
reliability and to minimize bias i.e. certain procedures for selecting
populations, variables
o Ex. Single blind measures-experimental group gets drug and control
group gets placebo
o Double blind measure- when the experimentor does not know which
group is given which.
Seeks causes
o Not merely descriptive, interested in cause/effect relationships.
Particularly true in qualitative, not quantitative research
Aspires to be value free
o Aspires to be as "subjective" as possible
o More modern research which aspires to enact social change/activism
is more bias than traditional research
Theory and Research
Role of theory in the research process:
Theory is a model/framework that aids in explaining and making sense of a
given phenomenon i.e. better helps us understand the world around us and
informs social research
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Prevents us from being taken in by "flukes" i.e. observations of ice cream
sales and shark attacks increase simultaneously does not mean there is a
correlation
Shapes and directs research
o Shows us where to look for relevant data. i.e. Marxist theory (workers
and capitalists will always be in conflict, labour gives a product its
value and the owners are capitalizing on that surplus value) predicted
workers would become aware of their exploitation and revolt. Could
lead us to survey workers in a factory and ask about their job
satisfaction, their relationship with other workers etc in order to test
Marx' theory in a present day context
Helps us to make a sense of observed patterns in a way that can suggest
other possibilities
o If we found mass discontent in study of factory workers, Marx' theory
could help explain the level of discontent
o Theory/research can reinforce existing theory, or it can challenge
existing theory i.e. factory workers may be happy in their work
environment/employment
3 types of theory
Empirical generalizations
o Least abstract-->proposing a relationshop b/w two or more concepts
i.e. that there is a connection b/w gender and job status
Middle-range theories
o Theorize a specific substantive topic/area i.e. if we have a theory of
gender or racial identity i.e. Robert K. Mertain-strain theory-->why do
people deviate from the social norms? Those who are marginalized in
a certain way have a hard time achieving the most common social
values such as monetary gain due
Theoretical frameworks
o Broad theoretical perspectives
o They explain society as a whole i.e. Marxist theory of capitalism,
structural functionalism (looks at different institutions), symbolic
interactionsim (how people construct meaning)
Deductive and Inductive Resarch
Deductivism: Theory --> Data
Testing existing theory against data
Theory informs research
Ex. Surverying factory workers
Inductive: Data --> Theory
Interested in building new theoretical insights that are grounded in real
world data that we have collected
Iterative
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