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Midterm

Textbook & Lecture Notes for Midterm

17 pages77 viewsWinter 2011

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA02H3
Professor
Malcolm Mac Kinnon
Study Guide
Midterm

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Sociology Midterm Notes
Lecture #1 Jan 13th
Ultimate Questions
Are all ways of life equally futile, or is it possible to live a meaningful life
- Experience filters perception
- Culture is selective perception
Four Stages of filtering in sociological research
Decide which problems are worth investigating
Lead researchers to formulate and adopt favoured theories for interpreting and explaining those problems
Interpretations are influenced by previous research
Methods used to gather data mould researchers perception
A sociologists values may reflect the typical perceptions
Biases easily influence observations
Biases often lead us to draw incorrect conclusions
Sociologists have tried to develp[ ways of collecting, observing, and thinking about evidence
Descriptive studies -> tells you what happened, descriptive
Descriptive -> Describing during a period of time
Static Descriptive -> describing something in a specific time (ex. 2008)
Explanatory Studies -> why things happen, ask why ?
1946 -> Baby Boom. 2nd World War
Building Blocks of Sociological Research Micro vs. Macro
Concepts label used to identify different things.
Alienation I have become comfortably numb
Powerlessness
Meaninglessness
Self estrangement
Social Isolation
Social Class
Education
Occupation
Income
You cant do research unless you vary the concept
Methodological Problems
Measurements researchers use mental concepts/constructs (race, gender) some concepts have more than one value
(variables, height, wealth)
Hypotheses are tentative/provisional -> clear and precise
Imperial Generalization
Social Integration -> social solidarity -> need to feel apart of something (DIRKHEIM)
Social Solidarity is weak in cities and strong in rural areas. Strong in traditional times, weak now a days.
Research Cycle = 1. Formulate Question -> 2. Review Literature -> 3. Select Method -> 4. Collect Data -> 5. Analyze
Data -> 6. Report Findings.
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Independent variable Presumed cause (age) in cause-and-effect relationships
Dependant variable Presumed effect (health problems) in cause-and-effect relationships
Lecture #2 Jan 20th CHAPTER 2 METHODS
Main Methods of Sociology
Field Methods (participation) observation of people in their natural setting
use detatched observation -> classifying behaviour of interest according to pre determined scheme (age, race)
Experiments
Surveys
Analysis of existing documents and official stats
Interval Data (Quantitative) ->number represents actual reality (1:1 correspondence)
Ordinal Data (Qualitative, Nominal) -> Categorical/Qualitative data (not a number ethnic, race, religion)
Religiosity -> how religious one is
Methodoligical Issues
Reliability degree to which a measurement procedure yields consistent results (do over again and get same)
Validity degree to which a measure actually measures what it intends to measure
Generalizability when research findings apply beyond specific case examined
Causality accessing cause and effect relations among variables
Surveys are most common used form of research -> want a background of you.
Sampling
Ask questions about knowledge, behaviour, face-to-face, telephone
Sample (part of a group)
Sampling frame (list of all people in a population of interest)
Population (whole group of interest)
Probability sample with these characteristics (chosen by chance, maintain randomness)
Random Sampling is needed for generalizability . Over sample = bias
Stratified Random Sample
Issues on validity does the instrument measure what you want to measure
Maximize Validity:
Undercounting some categories of population because of an imperfect sampling frame
Non-response refusal to participate
Response bias inaccurate answers
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Wording effects the way questions are phrased or ordered can influence and invalidate a response (minimal)
Questions need to be worded in a neutral way to avoid bias
Law and Order Moral Values
Globalization = multi dimensional
What produces globalization? Development of globalization & communications
global communications
global commodity chain
global political institutions = world governments
Charles Lindberg -> 1927 cross the Atlantic ocean
Emilia longheart -> world famous aviator, aviatrix.
Objectivity reality check (most of this chapter)
Subjectivity what aspects of reality are worth checking on in the 1st place
Weber: we choose to study only those segments of reality which have become significant to us due to value relevance
Scientific vs. Unscientific Thinking
Traditions passed down from one generation to the other (chicken noodle soup for colds)
Authority reading or seeing something from a authoritative source (newspaper)
Casual observation seeing is believing
Overgeneralization numerous cases have happened before so must be true
Selective observation I am right because I cant think of anything else that is right
Qualification exceptions to general rules
illogical reasoning expect the same result without reasonable cause
ego-defence they have put too much time and energy into the research that they cant be wrong
premature closure of inquiry coming to a conclusion from similar gathered data
mystification no rational explanation, simply a phenomenon
Ethical Consideration researcher must be mindful of subject rights:
1safety right to decision
2whether the subjects attitudes and behaviours may be revealed to public
3confidentiality subjects shouldn't be able to be traced
4judge the degree of personal risk of asking questions and must be told how the info is to be used
52 Problems with direct observation (detached)
61. presence of researcher may itself affect the behaviour of the people studied (hawthrorne effect).
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