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Midterm

SOAN 2120 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Scatter Plot, Univariate


Department
Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2120
Professor
D Walters
Study Guide
Midterm

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
Chapter1:DoingSocialResearchJanuary12th2016
● Socialresearchisaprocessinwhichpeoplecombineasetofprinciples,outlooks,and
ideaswithacollectionofspecificpractices,techniques,andstrategiestoproduce
knowledge
○ Fewererrorsthanalternatives
○ Notalwaysperfectknowledge
○ Problemwithrelyingoninformationfromauthorities
● HaloEffect:whenweovergeneralizefromwhatweacceptasbeinghighlypositiveor
prestigiousandletitsstrongreputationorprestige“ruboff”ontootherareas
● ScientificMethod:referstoideas,rules,techniquesandapproachesofthescientific
community;focusesonmeritsofresearchandnotthepeopleinvolved
● Quantitative:expressedthroughnumbers
● Qualitative:expressedthroughwords,sounds,objects,etc.
● EmpiricalEvidence:referstoobservationsthatpeopleexperiencethroughtheirsenses
● StepsintheResearchProcess:
1. Selectatopic
2. Focusquestion
3. Designstudy
4. Collectdata
5. Analyzedata
6. Interpretdata
7. Informothers
● BasicSocialResearch:focusesonrefutingorsupportingtheoriesthatexplainhowthe
socialworldoperates,whatmakesthingshappen,whysocialrelationsareacertainway,
andwhysocietychanges;advancesfundamentalknowledgeaboutthesocialworld
● AppliedSocialResearch:isdesignedtoaddressaspecificconcernortooffersolutions
toaproblemidentifiedbyanemployer,club,agency,socialmovement,ororganization;
rarelyaretheyconcernedwithbuilding,testing,orconnectingtoalargertheory,
developingalongtermgeneralunderstanding,orcarryingoutalargescaleinvestigation
thatmightspanyears;insteadtheyusuallyconductaquick,smallscalestudythat
providespracticalresults
● TypesofAppliedResearch:
1. Evaluation:findoutifanewprogram/wayofdoingsomethingiseffective;doesit
work?
a. Example:marketingcampaigns
2. Action:treatsknowledgeasaformorpowerinpoliticalaction
3. SocialImpactAssessment:estimateslikelyconsensusofplannedinterventionor
changetooccurinthefuture
● PurposeofaStudy:
1. Exploration:researcherexaminesanewareatoformulatequestionsthatcanbe
addressedinthefuture
2. Description:presentsapictureofthespecificdetailsofasituation

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3. Explanation:buildsonexplanatoryanddescriptiveresearch
● TimeDimensioninResearch:
○ CrossSectionalResearch:examineasinglepointintimeoronetimesnapshot
approach
■ Advantages:leastcostly,simple
■ Disadvantages:cannotcapturesocialprocessesorchange
○ LongitudinalResearch:examinesfeaturesofpeopleovertime
■ Advantages:morepowerfulandinformative
■ Disadvantages:morecomplexandcostly
■ ThreeMainTypesofLongitudinalResearch:
● TimeSeries:researchergathersthesametypeofinformation
acrosstwoormoretimeperiods,theycanobservethestabilityor
changeinthefeaturesoftheunitsorcantrackconditionsover
time
○ Observedifferentpeopleatmultipletimes
● Panel:researcherobservesexactlythesamepeople/group,or
organizationacrossmultipletimepoints
○ Observetheexactsamepeopleattwoormoretimes
● Cohort:focusesonacategoryofpeoplewhoshareasimilarlife
experienceinaspecifiedtimeperiod
● Case:researcherexamines,indepth,manyfeaturesofafew
casesoveradurationoftimewithverydetailed,variedand
extensivedata,ofteninqualitativeform
● QuantitativeDataCollectionTechniques:
1. Experiments
2. Surveys
3. ContentAnalysis:atechniqueforexamininginformation,orcontentinwrittenor
symbolicmaterial
a. Researcherfirstidentifiesabodyofmaterialtoanalyzeandthencreates
asystemforrecordingspecificaspectsofit
4. ExistingStatistics:researchinglocatespreviouslycollectedinformation(e.g.
governmentdocuments)thenreorganizesorcombinestheinformationinnew
waystoaddressaresearchquestion
● QualitativeDataCollectionTechniques:
1. FieldResearch
2. HistoricalComparativeResearch:examinesaspectsofsociallifeinapast
historicaleraoracrossdifferentcultures
● GroundedTheory:aqualitativeresearchmethodthatusesasystematicsetof
procedurestodevelopaninductivelyderivedtheoryaboutaphenomenon
Chapter2:TheoryandSocialResearchJanuary19th2016

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● Smallscalesocialtheory:mostraciallyprejudicedpeoplelearnracistbehaviourfrom
friends,family,closeandimmediatepeople
● Theoryhasimportantroleforresearch,sometypeoftheoryispresentinmostsocial
research
● Researchersinterweaveastoryabouttheoperationofthesocialworld(thetheory)with
whattheyobservewhentheyexamineitsystematically(thedata)
● Howsocialscientifictheorieswork:
1. Socialtheoriesexplainreoccurringpatterns
2. Socialtheoriesareexplanationsforaggregates(aggregates:collectionsofmany
people,cases,businesses,cities,etc)
3. SocialtheoriesstateaprobabilityorchanceforeventstooccurOPPOSEDto
stating1evenmustfollowanother
WhatisTheory?
● Socialtheory:systemofinterconnectedabstractionsorideasthatcondensesknowledge
aboutsocialworld
● Classicaltheorists(Durkheim,Weber,Marx,Tonnies)playedimportantroleinmaking
ideas
BlameAnalysis
● Blameanalysis:atypeofcounterfeitargumentpresentedasifitwereatheoretical
explanation
● Blamebelongstotherealmofmakingmoral,legal,orideologicalclaims
● Itimpliesanintention,orresponsibilityforasituation
● Shiftsfocusfrom‘Whydiditoccur?’à‘Whoisresponsible?’
● Blameanalysisassumesthere’sasourcetowhichafixedamountofresponsibilitycan
beattached
● Itclouds(makeslessvisible)discussionb/citconfusesblamewithcause…itgivesan
account(story)insteadoflogicalexplanations
PartsofTheory:Concepts
● Concept:ideaexpressedasasymbol,orinwords
● Mostsocialscienceconceptsareexpressedaswords
● Conceptshave2parts:a‘symbol’(word,term)and‘definition’
● Socialscientiststakeconceptsfromeverydayculture/society,refiningandaddingto
them(conceptslikesexism,peergroup,urbansprawl,lifestyleandsocialclassstarted
aspreciseconceptsbuthavediffusedintothelargerculturesandbecamelessspecific)
● Wemakeconceptsfrompersonalexperience,thought,observation…
● Weusesomeconceptstodefineotherconcepts
○ Ex:definesheightasdistancesbetweentopandbottom.Top,bottomand
distanceareallconcepts.Combinedsimpleconceptstoexplainothers
● Abstractconcepts:aspectsoftheworldwedon’tdirectlyexperience
● Scientificconceptsaredefinedmoreprecisely
● Socialtheoryrequireswelldefinedconceptsaswell
● Avaluablegoalofexploratoryresearchistoclarifyandrefineconcepts
ConceptClusters
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