FRHD 3070 First Exam notes

15 Pages

Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 3070
John Dwyer

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Social research - Combined set of principals, outlooks and ideas with a collection of practices, teqniques and strategies to produce knowledge Alternatives to social research - Authority o Learning from authority figures o Limitations  Overestimating their knowledge  Some authorities do not agree  May speak in fields they are not trained in  Promote their own power and position - Common sense o Everyday reasoning and what makes sense o Limitations  Can originate from tradition  Can contain errors and misinformation  Contradictory ideas  Opposites attract vs. bird of the same feather… - Media myths o Television shows, movies etc. o Limitations  Primary goal is to entertain  Mislead by visual images  Used to win public support  Industries pay for their own benefit - Tradition o Authority from the past o Accept as true because that’s the way things have always been o Limitations  Can be proven to not be true - Personal experience o Personally see or experience it, believe it to be true o Four common errors  Overgeneralization  Evidence supports beief but falsely assumes that it applies to every other situation  Selective observation  Tendency to take notice of certain people or events based on past experiences  Premature disclosure  Belief one already has the anwers and does not need to listen or raise question  Halo effect  A person over generalizes from what they accept as highly positive and rub off onto other areas How science works - Data o Information a person gathers carefully according to rules and procedures - Qualitative data o Information in the form of words, pictures, sounds, etc. - Quantitative data o Information in the form of numbers - Empirical evidence o Observations that people experience through senses o Can be direct or indirect - The scientific community o Collection of people who share a system of rules and attitudes that sustain the processof producing scientific knowledge o Range of practitioners and technicians apply research techniques that scientists have developed and refined - The scientific method and attitude o The process of creating new knowledge using the ideas of the scientific community Steps in research process - Theory o 1. Select topic o 2. Focus question o 3. Design study o 4. Collect data o 5. Analyze data o 6. Interpret data o 7. Inform others Dimensions of research - Basic research o Research designed to advance the knowledge about the social world - Applied research o Attempt to solve a specific problem that has direct practical application o Types of applied research  Evolution study  Tries to determine how well a program or policy is working  Action research  Treats knowledge as a form of power and abolishes the division between creating and using knowledge to engage in political action  5 characteristics o People actively participate o Incorporates popular knowledge o Focuses on issues of power o Seeks to raise awareness of an issue o Tied directly to a plan of political action  Social impact assessment research study (SIA)  Estimates the likely consequences or outcome of a planned intervention to occur in the future Purpose of study - Exploratory research o Research into an area that has not been studied o Develop initial ideas and a more focused research question - Descriptive research o Research in which one paints a picture o Using words, numbers, etc. - Explanatory research o Why events occur o Tries to test a built social theory Time dimension in research - Cross sectional study o Examines a single point in time - Longitudinal research o Examines the features of people at multiple points in time o Three types  Time series study  Takes place over time  Different people or cases looked at in each time period  Panel study  Observes exactly the same people across multiple points in time  Cohort study  Focuses on a category of people who share similar life experiences in a specific period - Case study research o Usually qualitative o Researcher examines a large number of details in one or a few cases Data collection techniques - Quantitative data collection techniques o Experiments  Does one thing to one group and nothing to another  Compares the results of the two o Survey research  Asks many people the same questions and records and analyzes the answers o Content analysis  Patterns of symbolic meaning  Within written text, audio, visual etc. o Existing statistics research  Examines numerical information from government documents or official reports  Address new research questions - Qualitative data collection techniques o Interview  One on one  Semi-structured and open ended o Focus group  Poses questions to a group  Answers given in open discussion o Field research  Observes people in natural setting o Historical comparative research  Examines different cultures or periods to better understand the social world Reviewing literature and planning a study - Literature review o Systemic examination of previously published studies on a research question o Integrates studies together to prepare for conducting a study o Bring together and summarize the state of the field o Goals  Demonstrate familiarity with a body of knowledge  Establish credibility  Show path of prior research and how current project is linked to it  Integrate and summarize what is known in an area  Learn from others and stimulate new ideas Where to find literature - Periodicals o Social research in newspapers, magazines, television etc. o Not complete reports o For a selected audience and lack essential details o Mass market publications  Designed to provide general public with news and entertainment o Popular social science magazines  Sometimes peer-reviewed  Simplified versions of research with commentary - Scholarly journals o Peer reviewed reports of research o Not usually found outside college or universities o Citations  Details of scholarly journal articles location that help to find it quickly o Abstract  Short summary of a journal article  Reference tool for locating scholarly journal articles o Citation formats  ASR  Last Name, First name. 2009. “Title of Article.” Journal Name -206. (page numbers)  APA  179-206. (page numbers)  MLA  Last Name, First Name. “Title.” Journal Name, 46.3. (2009): 176-206. Print. - Books o Collection of articles and research reports - Dissertations o Graduating students must write a dissertation thesis o Half of all are published o Valuable because they are original research findings - Government documents o Governments sponsor studies and publish findings - Policy reports and presented papers o Researcher examines two sources in which they are trained specialists to obtain o Research institutes and policy centers publish papers and reports o People in professional fields hold annual meetings and most oral reports are available as written papers - Meta-analysis o Quantitative overview of existing evidence on a particular topic What to record 1. Too much rather than too little 2. Hypothesis tested 3. Major concepts 4. Main findings 5. Design of the research 6. The group or sample used 7. Ideas for suture study How to organize notes - Put into catagories of common fields - Draw charts comparing different reports comparing what they say about the same question - Noting agreements and disagreements What is theory - Social theory o System of interconnected ideas that condenses and organizes knowledge about the social world Parts of a theory - Concepts o An idea expressed as a symbol or in words o Have 2 parts  Symbol  Word or term  Definition  Something learned through a diffuse, non-verbal, informal process such as your parents o Weak, contradictory, or unclear definitions restrict the advancement of knowledge - Concept clusters o Collection of interrelated ideas that share common assumptions o Belong to the same social theory - Classification concepts o Classification  Means of organizing complex concepts using a combination of the characteristics of simpler concepts o Ideal types  A pure model about an idea, process or event  Developed to think more clearly and systematically - Scope o From highly abstract to the most concrete o More abstract = wider scope - Assumptions o Part of social theory that is not tested o Acts as starting point or basic belief - Relationships o How concepts and assumptions are connected o Proposition  A basic statement in social theory that two ideas are related to eachother  3 types  True or false  Conditional  Casual Aspects of theory - Theory can be catagorized by o Direction of its reasoning o The level of social reality o The forms of explanation o Overall framework of assumptions and concepts Direction of theorizing - Deductive approach o Begin with abstract ideas o Work towards concrete, empirical evidence to test the ideas - Inductive approach o Begin with concrete empirical evidence o Work towards abstract ideas or general principals - Grounded theory o Rooted in observations of specific concrete details o Used by all qualitative research Range of theory - Empirical generalization o Summerizes finding or regulates empirical evidence o Few if any abstract concepts o Statement about a recurring pattern - Middle range theories o Slightly more abstract o Focuses on specific topic area o Includes multiple empirical generalizations and builds a theoretical explanation - Theoretical framework o More abstract than middle range o Rarely in empirical research o Several major theoretical frameworks Levels of theory - Micro level o Concrete, small and narrow level of reality  E.g. face to face interactions o During a small time period  E.g. 2 months - Meso level o Middle level between a broad and narrow scope  E.g. development of social organizations o During a middle range period of time  E.g. 5 years - Macro level o More abstract large scale and broad scope  E.g. major changes in the family dynamic o During a long period of time  E.g. several decades Forms of explanation - Prediction o Statement about something likely to occur in the future - Casual explanation o Why events occur in terms of cause and effect o 4 types  Temporal order  Cause must come before effect  Association  Co-occurance of two events  When one happens, other is like
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