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SOAN 2120 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Jargon, Internal Validity, Blind Experiment

Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2120
David Walters
Study Guide

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Sunday, March 18, 2018
Midterm 2
Chapter 6
an approach to field research the emphasizes providing a very detailed description of a different
culture from the viewpoint of an insider in that culture to permit a greater understanding of it
make inferences
a collection of methods linked together through an overarching theoretical orientation
findings are the results of the method used as from the social life or environment
social interactions is a process of reality construction
the study of common-sense, specialized and highly detailed analysis of micro-solutions.
Analyze behaviour, mannerism, language
we are all ethnomethodologists
we need to triangulate research, use different methods to tap into same issues,
EG( Kegger)
university student infer that there is going be alcohol served, with other people there
based on their culture knowledge
Steps in field research project
1. Preparing, reading, and defocusing : uses skill or careful listening and looking, short-term
memory and regular writing before they go into the field. Reads scholarly literature to help them
learn about concepts. Learn about themselves and reflect on personal experiences
2. Selecting a Field Site and Gaining Access to it : can be limited by a researchers characteristics
or by laws and regulations
Field site: the one or more natural locations where a researcher conducts field researcher.
Case: social relationship or activity, can extend beyond boundaries of site
Selects a site, the identifies cases to examine within it
Three Things that are important in choosing a site: richness of data, unfamiliarity and suitability
3. Entering Field and Establishing social relations with members: :
Level of Involvement
field roles can be arranged on a comtinumum by the degree of detachment or involvement a
researcher has with its members
Complete observer – only observes the study without participating in their activities
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Sunday, March 18, 2018
facilitates detachment and protect to the reachers identity
Complete participant — when a researcher full participates in all aspects of the study groups activities
Semi-participant — participates to some degree in group activities but not as much as a full member
Strategy for Entering: negotiating access, how much to disclose to members
Planning — how your going to gain access to the field site
Gatekeeper: formal or informal authority to control access to the site
muts set non-negotiable limits to protect research integrity
social relations are formed thought the process
occurs with reach new member
Covert observer
is secretly studying a group without the group members knowing they are being studied
Overt Observer
who is studying the group member with their full knowledge
4. Adopting a social role and learning the ropes :
Presentation of self : how we present ourselves to other people- how we act-what we say-what we
look like
sends symbolic messages
has to be careful about the “presentation of self” in the field
Researcher as instrument
the researcher is the instrument for measuring field data
puts pressure on the researcher to be alert and sensitive to what happens in the field and to be
disciplined about recording data
it has person consequences
Attitude of strangeness : mentally adjusting to ‘see” or for the first time or as an outsider
hard to recognize what we are close to in the world
we fail to see the familiar as distinctive and assume that others experience reality just as we
hard to study in familiar surroundings
Building rapport : getting along with members by charm and trust and understanding
Charm and Trust
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Go native: what happens when a researcher in field research gets overly involved, loses all distance or
objectivity, and becomes like the people being studied:
Normalize social research: Techniques in field research used by researchers to make the people being
studied feel more comfortable with the research process and help them accept the researchers presence.
Maintaining Relationships
1.Social Relationships: The researcher monitors how their actions and appearance affect members. Must
be able to develop and form relationships as well as break them off ** must maintain relation ship with
Key informant : In qualitative research, it’s a member of a group who has first hand information about a
community and can reliably report on their activities.
2. Small Favours : Exchange relationships: Relationships that develop in the field, in which small
tokens or favours, including deference and respect, are exchanged. Helps with access to sensitive issues
is limited.
3. Conflicts in Field: can erupt in field or research on opposing postions where researcher tries to stay
neutral. Other conflicts could be illegal activities, causing a ethical obligation.
4.Appearance of Interest : researchers maintain relations in a field site by pretending to be interested
and excited by the activities of those studied, even though they are uninterested or very bored. Selective
inattention is used in the field as well.
Watching and Listening
Observing: all senses to absorb information, lots of details unconscious subtle signals influence human
behaviour ( smells, mod lighting). Behaviour expresses information through nonverbal communication.
Often interact differneyl depending on sex, age, race and stature. Serendipity : looking back on research,
keen observation
Listening: what is said, who it is said, and how it is implied
Chapter 7
Random Assignment
Why Randomly Assign
Random assignment
dividing subjects into groups ate the beginning of experimental research using a
random process, so the experimenter can treat the groups as equivalent
the assignment is automatic
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