Study Guides (390,000)
CA (150,000)
U of G (8,000)
SOAN (200)

SOAN 2120 Chapter's 1,2,3,4


Department
Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2120
Professor
Scott Schau

This preview shows pages 1-2. to view the full 8 pages of the document.
Fundamentals of Social Research
Chapter 1 - Human Inquiry and Science:
We know these things because somebody told us and because we believed them
Most of what you know is a matter of belief and agreement
Also can learn things through direct observation and personal experience
Reality
Scientific assertion must have both logical and empirical support
Epistemology the science of knowing
Methodology the science of finding out
Ordinary Human Inquiry
Generally recognize that future circumstances are caused by present ones
The attempt to predict comes from knowledge and understanding
Human inquiry aims at both answering what and why
Tradition
May hinder human inquiry if we seek and understanding of something everybody
already understands
Authority
New knowledge appears everyday
We benefit throughout our lives through new discoveries and understandings produced
by others
More likely to believe a doctor over the average joe
Biological knowledge changes over time
Errors in Inquiry and Some Solutions
Tradition and Authority provide us with a starting point for our own inquiry but they can lead
us to start at the wrong point and push us off in the wrong direction
a. Inaccurate observations
b. Overgeneralization
c. Selective observation
d. Illogical reasoning

Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Replication repetition of a research study in order to either confirm the findings of a
previous study or bring them into question
What’s really real?
a. The premodern view
b. The modern view
c. The postmodern view
Theory- a systematic explanation for the observations that relate to a particular aspect of
life: juvenile delinquency, for example, or perhaps social stratification or political revolution
Two pillars of science: logic and observation
1. Must make sense
2. Correspond to what we observe
Three major aspects of the social scientific enterprise:
1. Theory
2. Data collection
3. Data analysis
Today social theory has to do with what is not with what should be
Scientific theory cannot settle debates about values
Our most natural attempts at understanding come from : language
Attributes- characteristics of people or things
Variables- logical groupings of attributes the variable gender is made up of the attributes
male and female
Independent variable- a variable with values that are not problematical in an analysis but
are taken as simply given. An independent variable is presumed to cause or determine a
dependent variable
Dependent Variable- a variable assumed to depend on or be caused by another (called ind.
Variable). If you find that income is partly a function of amount of formal education income,
is being treated as a dependent variable
Idiographic- an approach to explanation in which we seek to exhaust the idiosyncratic
causes of a particular condition or event. Imagine trying to list all the reasons why you
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

chose to attend your particular university. Given all those reasons, its difficult to imagine
your making any other choice.
Nomothetic- an approach to explanation in which we seek to identify a few casual factors
that generally impact a class of conditions or events. Imagine the two or three key factors
that determine which universities students choose such as proximity, reputation and so
forth.
Induction- the logical model in which general principles are developed from specific
observations. Ex. Having noted that Jews and Catholics are more likely to vote Liberals than
Protestants are, you might conclude that religious minorities in Canada are more affiliated
with the Liberal party and explain why.
Deduction- the logical model in which specific expectations of hypotheses are developed on
the basis of general principles. Starting from the general principle that all deans are meanies
you might anticipate that this one wont let you change courses. This anticipation would be
the result of deduction
Quantitative and Qualitative Data
Distinction between numerical and non numerical data
- Both datas are useful for different purposes
Main Points:
Science seeks to protect against mistakes we make in day-day inquiry
Sometimes we jump to general conclusions on the basis of only a few observations
scientists seek to avoid overgeneralization by committing themselves to sufficient
number of observations and studies
Inquiry is a natural human activity
Knowledge comes from agreement rather than experience
Two important sources of agreed-upon knowledge are tradition and authority
Theory should not be confused with philosophy or belief
Social scientists are interested in explaining humans not individuals
Social theory attempts to discuss and explain what is not what should be
Chapter 2 Paradigms, Theory and Research:
Paradigm - a model or framework for observation and understanding which shapes both what
we see and how we understand it. The conflict paradigm causes us to see social behaviour one
way; the interactionist paradigm causes us to see it differently.
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version