Chapter 1

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Department
Health Studies
Course
HLTD04H3
Professor
Toba Bryant
Semester
Winter

Description
HLTB10 Ch 1 General Research OrientationsChapter Overview The relationship between theory and research inductive vs deductive approach Epistemological issues such as whether a natural science model like the one in chemistry is suitable for the study of the social world Ontological issues such as whether the social world should be regarded as a reality external to individuals over which they have little or no control or as something that social actors may fashion into their personal realities The ways values and practical issues impinge on the research processIntroductionth Often research is driven a pressing social problem For example the discipline of sociology came into being in the 18 thand 19 centuries partly as a way of understanding the social crises associated with modern lifeReasons for research assess the adequacy of a social theory gather information to create theories pressing social problems and personal experiencesTheory and ResearchThe connection between theory and research is complicated two issues at stake are the form of the theory and the relationship between data and theoryDegree of Abstraction Theoryan explanation of observed regularities or patterns such as the finding that schizophrenia is more common in the working class than in the middle classTheories are made up of interrelated and verifiable statements or propositions Common components of a theoryDefinitions which specify what the key terms in the theory mean Ex crimeDescriptions of the phenomenon of interest Ex description of when and where arson occurs Relational statements which connect two or more variables knowing the value of one variable conveys information about the other Ex as the economy goes down arson rates increase They can take 2 formsDeterministic where the variables go together all the time Ex A 1 rise in Aa 5 rise in B If there is a case where the variables are not related in this way the relational statement must be changedProbabilistic where the two variables go together with some degree of regularity but the relationship is not inevitable Ex A is more likely to occur when B occurs Finding a case that does not fit the pattern does not lead to a rejection of the theoryit is just one of the times they are not related in that way There are different types of theoriesTheories of the middle range are more limited in scope and can be tested directly by gathering empirical evidence Ex Durkheims theory of suicide which states that suicide if a function of the level of social integration of a person To test it you can compare suicide rates for married people with those for singleGrand theories are more general and abstract they include theories such as structuralfunctionalism symbolic interactionism critical theory poststructuralism and so on They offer few direct indications of how to collect evidence to test them Usually then it is not grand theory that directly guides social researchmiddle range theories are much more likely to be the focus of empirical inquiry Mertons anomie theory suggests that crime is more common when a society instills a desire for wealth in everyone but provides insufficient means for all to achieve it is an example of a theory of the middle range Deductive and Inductive Approaches Deductive reasoning where the researcher comes up with a theory that seeks to explain a phenomenon and then deduces specific hypotheses from it that are tested with empirical data and the hypothesis is rejected or confirmed If the data gathered does not support the researchers hypotheses the theory has to be revised or rejected
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