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Sociology Quiz 1 Notes.docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

Sociology Quiz 1 Notes The Sociological Imagination / Sociological Theories Ch.1 – New Society *See Table 1.1 pg 18 Suicide  Groups with a higher level of social solidarity tend to have lower suicide rates than groups with lower social solidarity.  The likelihood of committing suicide decreases with the degree to which that person is anchored to society. Sociological Imagination (Origins)  First Pillar; using evidence to make a case for a particular point of view. (Scientific Revolution)  Second Pillar; the realization that people control society and can change it. (Democratic Revolution)  Third Pillar; people can intervene to improve society resulting in the creation of the sociological imagination. (Industrial Revolution) Sociological Theories  Order Theories – Support status-quo  Change theories – making social change / revolution Can be:  Macro-sociology – society shapes us (external / social structures)  Micro-Sociology – we shape society Structural Functionalism  Order Theory (Macro Level)  Stress that human behaviour is governed by the stable patterns of social relations or structures.  How social structures maintain their stability.  Emphasize that social structures are based mainly on shared values.  Maintaining balance solves the problems. Conflict Theory – it is our economic conditions of life that shape how we life  Change Theory (Macro Level)  Karl Marx (predicted capitalism would be replaced by socialism)  Focuses on relations among classes  Shows how patterns of inequality in society produce social stability and social change.  Stresses how members of privileged groups try to maintain their advantages.  Argues that eliminating privilege will lower the level of conflict and increase the sum total of human welfare. Symbolic Interactionism – Society is created through our everyday interaction.  Change Theory (Micro Level)  Interested in understanding subjectivity and how our interactions create a sense of society.  Focuses on face-to-face communication  Subjectivity  People create their social circumstances Feminist Theory  Change Theory (Micro & Macro)  Gender relations and in inequalities  Holds that male domination and female subordination are determined not by biological necessity but by structures of power and social convention  Women’s social reality Concepts to Know Ch.1 & 7 – SIQ – Durkheim and Suicide Egoistical Suicide – results from the lack of integration of the member of a community into society. Ch. 3 – SIQ – Sociology in Canada Lecture – Music Videos Research Methods and Ethics Ch. 20 – New Society  Social Research – systematic, purposeful study o Solely evidence relevant to theoretical ideas. o HEART – methods of observation and questioning. Social Science  Science needs subjectivity (essential to changes of innovation) o Personal values / expectations o Filters reality o Influence, to an extent what we see doesn’t 100% determine.  Reality doesn’t exist as a neutral scientific judge.  Observer bias: making unconscious mistakes in classifying /selecting observations. o Prevented through use of scrutiny, skeptical reasoning, doubt, research, and observation. o Fraud/deceit are part of science.  Objectivity – observations free from personal values/expectations. Scientific vs. Non-Scientific Thinking Scientific – Problem of induction  No matter how many observations you make, you can’t infer your next observation.  Method of collecting facts…useless if you can’t interpret them.  Skeptical thinking and public scrutiny testability and uncertainty.  Set of practices for testing knowledge claims. Non-Scientific  Doesn’t start by collecting facts, instead with a question, hunch, or well-conceived conjecture. Natural vs. Social Science  Both guard against distortion / bias / values.  Difference; bacteria don’t blush. Natural: - no social norms - Can’t consciously control surroundings / reactions like humans. Social: - humans act / reason / decide - Study meaningful actions…able to ask questions however data interpretation is hard. Methods of Social Research 1. Explanation - Shows association or correlation - Correlation doesn’t prove causation o Spurious: coincidental (incorrect connection) - Involves cause and effect. 2. Understanding  Meaningfulness of explanations to human activity  “how to proceed with the activity” o Participation / role play / interaction / observation Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research  Quantitative – availability of numerical data.  Social phenomena captured nicely by stats.  Qualitative: focus on process (how, why); giving voice to “participants”  Which type is superior?  Ex. Children of divorced parents – questions that require qualitative research to answer. Cross-Sectional vs. Longitudinal Cross-Sectional: data taken at one point in time. Longitudinal: study done at more than one point in time.  Example: study of adolescent mothers – longitudinal Techniques of Social Research 1. Experiments – enable researchers to isolate causes and measure their effects.  Researcher shouldn’t be interested in building rapport.  Variable control, randomization.  “subject” not “participant” or “friend”  Hypothesis – unverified but testable knowledge claim  Variable – independent – affect others, dependent – affected by others.  External validity – degree of which experimental findings remain valid in a non- lab setting. Limitations – not applicable to all studies.  Artificial environments  Can contain personal bias because of measuring parameters.  Hawthorne effect – where people behave differently when they know they are being watched.  Replicating a Positivist Approach to research – the traditional scientific method. Simply interested in observing. 2. Surveys –self-administered questionnaires(close ended), interviews(open ended).  Primary way to collect social evidence.  Systematically compare answers to identical questions as from large population.  Involve sampling – very accurate results needs larger sampling.  Focus on different units of observation  People can be informants about other groups. Limitations – designing good question are difficult (mutually exclusive, exhaustive categories)  Dishonesty  Forgetfulness  Requires Literacy  Data is limited to what is on paper  Low response rates 3. Observational Studies – the researcher goes in and observes while at a distance. Ethnography is where they are not only observing but also collecting other forms of usually text-based data.  Sometimes difficult to gain access / permission “inside”.  When you interact with people, you draw on meanings  Drawbacks – researcher presence can undermine validity. Findings may have researcher’s bias. Ensuring that the “tools” of inquiry didn’t “create” findings. Limitations – low reliability  Generalizability  Hawthorne effect  Ethnocentrism – as a researcher, you apply in your own morals to your studies. You add your own biases to the people you are studying. 4. Secondary Data analysis – documentary analysis, historical sociology, use of official statistics.  Data that another researcher has collected for analysis. New researcher uses that data for their own analyses. (ex. Census data) Limitations – incomplete data  Accuracy of data  Biases of original creators. Research Ethics  Submit application for approval.  Consent letter for participants  Informed consent: Participants have the right to know that they are participating in a study, the nature of their participation, and their rights as participants. Consent Letter requirements: - Study purpose  Procedures involved in the research  Harms  Benefits  How confidentiality will be provided 
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