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SOC 221 Final Exam.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC221H5
Professor
Jayne Baker
Semester
Winter

Description
SOC 221 Final Exam Chapter 13 – Field Research ETHNOGRAPHY - Ethnography – uses field research as just one technique, often combined with qualitative interviews  Describes a culture and understanding another way of life from the native point of view  Usually obtains and analyzes other forms of data, like qualitative interviews and archival documents  Considered a methodology rather than a method, which means it is a collection of methods that are tied together by an underlying theoretical orientation  Methodology – a collection of data collection and analysis approaches that are linked together through an overarching theoretical orientation  Assumes people make inferences, go beyond what is seen or said to what is meant or implied  People display their culture (what people think, ponder, or believe) through behaviour (speech and actions) in specific social contexts  Displays of behaviour do not give meaning, meaning is inferred  Moving from what is heard or observed to what is actually meant is at the centre of ethnography  Ex. The word kegger - Culture knowledge includes both explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge  Culture knowledge – what we know and talk about, includes social event (kegger)  Tacit knowledge – includes the unspoken cultural norm for the proper distance at which to stand from toehrs THE KNOWLEDGE OF FIELD RESEARCH WHAT IS FIELD RESEARCH? - Field research is based on naturalism  Naturalism – involves observing ordinary events in natural settings - A field researchers goal is to examine social meanings and grasp multiple perspectives in natural social settings SELECTING A FIELD SITE AND GAINING ACCESS TO IT - field site – the one or more natural locations where a researcher conducts field research  a site is the context in which events or activities occur, a socially defined territory with shifting boundaries - 3 factors are relevant when choosing a field research sites: 1. Richness of data 2. Unfamiliarity 3. Suitability ENTERING THE FIELD AND ESTABLISHING SOCIAL RELATIONS WITH MEMBERS Level of Involvement - The field researchers level of involvement depends on negotiations with members, specifics of the field setting, the researchers personal comfort, and the particular role adopted in the field - Complete observer – the researchers role is limited to simple observation, without any participation in the activities of his/her group  Can facilitate detachment and protect the researchers self identity - Complete participant – the researcher fully participates in all aspects of the study groups activities as though a member  The goal of fully experiencing the intimate social world of a member is achieved  Researchers reports may be questioned, data gathering is difficult, there can be a dramatic impact on the researchers self, and the distance needed for analysis may be hard to attain - Semi participant – researchers who participate to some extent with the activites of the group but who do not immerse themselves completely in the groups culture, giving priority to their roles as a social researcher Strategy for Entering - Planning:  Because the specific focus of research may not emerge until later in the research process or may change, it is best to avoid being locked into specifics by gatekeepers  Gatekeepers – someone with the formal or informal authority to control access to a site  A gatekeeper can shape the direction of research - Negotiating:  The researcher expects to negotiate and explain what he/she is doing over and over in the field - Disclosing :  Covert observer - no one in the field is aware that research is taking place  Overt observer – everyone knows the specifics of the research project  Researchers disclose the project to gatekeepers and others unless there is good reason for not doing so, such as the presence of gatekeepers who would seriously limit or inhibit research for illegitimate reasons ADOPTING A SOCIAL ROLE AND LEARNING THE ROPES - Field research in familiar surrounding is difficult because of a tendency to be blinded by the familiar - Studying other cultures, researchers encounter dramatically different assumptions about what is important and how things are done - Confrontation of cultures of culture shock, has 2 benefits 1. Makes it easier to see cultural elements 2. Facilitates self discovery - Attitude of strangeness – involves questioning and noticing ordinary details and looking at the ordinary through the eyes of a stranger  Strangeness helps a researcher overcome the boredom of observing ordinary details ROLES IN THE FIELD - Limits of the rolse chosen:  Many roles are sex-typed, gender is an important consideration  Females researchers often have more difficulty when the setting is perceived as dangerous or seamy and where males are in control  Go native – what happens when a research gets overly involved, loses all distance or objectivity, and becomes like the people being studied - Normalizing social research – make the people being studied feel more comfortable with the research process and to help them accept the researchers presence MAINTAINING RELATIONS - Researcher must balance social sensitivity and the research goals - Exchange relations – small tokens or favours are exchanged, a researcher may gain acceptance by helping out in small ways - 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 actually uninterested or very bored OBSERVING AND COLLECTING DATA 1. Observing 2. Listening 3. Taking notes – full field notes can contain maps, diagrams, photographs, tape recording, videotapes, memos, artifacts, or objects from the field, notes jotted in the field, and detailed notes written away from the field  Types of field notes:  Jotted notes – are written in the field. Are short, temporary memory triggers  Direct observation notes – attempt to include all details and specifics of what the researcher heard or saw in a field site. They are written in a way that permits multiple interpretations later.  A researchers record what was actually said and does not clean it up, notes include ungrammatical speech, slang, etc  Concrete details, not summaries  Researchers inference notes – researcher listen without applying analytical categories, compares what is heard to what was heard at other times and to what others say, then the researcher applies their own interpretation to infer or figure out what it means  A researcher records inferences in a separate section that is keyed to direct observation  Analytic notes – part of the theoretical notes, they are systematic digressions into theory, where a researcher elaborates on ideas in depth, expands on ideas while still in the field, and modifies or develops more complex theory by rereading and thinking about the memos  Personal notes – researcher keeps a section of notes that is like a personal diary  Serves 3 functions: 1. Provide an outlet for a researcher and a way to cope with stress 2. Are a source of data about personal reactions 3. Give him/her a way to evaluate direct observation or inference notes when he notes are later reread - Maps and diagrams – field researchers find 3 types of maps helpful: spatial, social, and temporal 1. Spatial – locates people, equipment 2. Social – shows the number or variety of people and the arrangement among them of power, influence, friendship, etc 3. Temporal – shows the ebb and flow of people, goods, services and communications or schedules DATA QUALITY - Credibility – one aspect of trustworthiness, which relates to how much truth value the results of a qualitative study have  Member checking – means that we ask members of the group we are studying if they agree with out interpretation and conclusions  Prolonged engagement – a researcher stays in the filed long enough to be able to make informed conclusion and interpretations about what they are studying  The researcher will be exposed to a variety of different settings and group interactions and develop rapport with members  Negative case analysis – involves identifying data or cases that differ from the general pattern of findings and making attempts to explain these contradictory cases  Participatory Action Research – people who are being studied are included as active members of the research process, they are involved in aspects of research design, data collection, and interpretation of results - Transferability – concerns the extent to which the findings of the study can be applied to other contexts  Transferability of a study can be established through thick description  Thick description – the researcher keeps very detailed account of their study - Dependability – closely associated with the quantitative idea of reliability, concerns how consistent our results would be if the study were repeated under similar conditions  Established through external audit  External audit – involves having the researchers materials examined by an external evaluator in order to see if they would draw the same conclusions from the data as the original researcher did - Confirmability – concerns the extent to which the researcher is neutral and is not simply the product of the researchers biases or motivations  Can be established through an external audit  Audit trail - Researcher should be transparent about their research techniques, keeping detailed notes and fully transcribed interviews  Reflexivity – being self aware of the researchers role in the process of knowledge construction ETHICAL DILEMMAS OF FIELD RESEARCH - Deception – the research may be covert, it may assume a false role, name or identity, or it may mislead members in some way - Confidentiality – research as a moral obligation to uphold the confidentiality of data, includes keep information confidential from others in the field and disguising members names in field notes, sometimes a field researcher cannot directly quote a person - Involvement with deviants  Guilty knowledge – researcher learns of illegal, unethical, or immoral actions by the people in the field site that is not widely known - Publishing field reports – does not publicize member secrets, violate privacy, or harm reputations Chapter 14 – Nonreactive Qualitative Research DATA AND EVIDENCE IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT - Historiography – the method of doing historical research or of gathering and analyzing historical evidence - Researchers draw on 4 types of evidence or data: primary sources, secondary sources, running records, and recollections 1. Primary sources – letters, diaries, newspapers, movies, etc, those who lived in the past that have survived to the present  Evidence about past social life or events that was created and used by the persons who actually lived in the historical period  External criticism – evaluating the authenticity of a document itself to be certain that it is not a fake or forgery  Internal criticism – an examination of the documents contents to establish credibility 2. Secondary sources – information about events or settings is documented or written later by historians or others who did not directly participate in the events or setting  Uses and limitations :  Limitations include problems of inaccurate historical accounts and a lack of studies in areas of interest 3. Running records – type of existing statistics research used in historical research because the files, records, or documents are maintained in a relatively consistent manner over a period of time 4. Recollections – the words or writings of people about their life experiences after some time has passed. The writings are based on a memory of the past, but may be stimulated by a review of past objects, photos, personal notes, or belongings  Oral history – a types of recollection in which a researcher interviews a person about the events, beliefs, or feelings in the past that were directly experienced - In quantitative content analysis, one might examine how often illicit drug use is portrayed in prime time televisions, while in qualitative content analysis, the focus would shift to a broader issue such as the meanings attributed to illicit drug us on television THE MAJOR DIFFERENCES B/W QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE CONTENT ANALYSIS - Qualitative content analysis – an approach to analyzing text which involves the coding of themes their patterns and linkages  Revealing implied meanings or motives  Examine entire text at once for their meaning  Identify general themes that run through the different texts and to organize and link these general themes into a coherent theory about social life  3 different approaches that researchers use when undertaking this method of social research 1. Summative content analysis – uses both manifest and latent content. The appearance of words or particular content in textual material is recorded for frequency and these codes are determined before data analysis occur  Equal attention paid to latent (implied) meaning and the development of codes in the data analysis process 2. Conventional content analysis – codes are developed only during data analysis and are derived from the data , several stages in the coding process, patterns are detected and linkages among the codes are identified in order to generate a theory 3. Directed content analysis – had a deductive approach to theory, uses predetermined codes that are derived from theory, additional codes are added if they do not fit into the pre-existing coding frame that is suggested by the theoretical framework that is being test - Quantitative content analysis – manifest (clearly observable) content is usually the focus , uses segments of text to identify instances of a code (how many time it appears)  Presented through the use of statistical tables and
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