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Study guide


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC101Y1
Professor
Crust

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CHAPTER 1
Qualitative VS. Quantitative
oQualitative methods are usually dismissed as unscientific and inaccurate
because it seems like it involves a lot of subjectivity, it takes longer, and research
methods and analytical strategies can not be analyzed by high technology means.
Qualitative as unscientific arises from the notion of empiricism is
quantification
oQuality - essential to the nature of things (what, how, when, where)
Refers to the meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics,
metaphors, symbols and descriptions of things
oQuantity - is elementally an amount of something (counts and measures of
things)
oData gathering techniques are intentionally coupled with theoretical
perspectives, linking method to theory.
oTherefore, data gathering is not distinct from theoretical orientations
oSeven ways to collect qualitative data:
1. Interviewing
2.Focus groups
3.Ethnography
4.Sociometry
5.Unobtrusive measures
6.Historiography
7.Case studies
oAction research (participatory research studies)
Examination of the basic theoretical assumptions of each technique
and advice on how to start each procedure and how to resolve problems that
may arise
TRIANGULATION
oObservations made by researchers are deeply affected by the actions of all
participants, including themselves.
oResearchers need to use different methods so they can observe from different
perspectives directed at the same point.
oThrough this can obtain a better and more substantive picture of reality.
oThe use of multiple lines of sight is called triangulation. (three sighting lines
intersect forming a small triangle called the triangle of error - true location of the
object is the centre of the triangle, and the three lines are about equal in error.)
oLines of action (Denzin) - the use of multiple data collection technologies ,
multiple theories, researchers, methodologies, or combinations of these four
categories.
oTriangulation - use of multiple data- gathering techniques (usually 3) to
investigate the same phenomenon
Means of mutual confirmation of measures and validation of findings.
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oDATA TRIANGULATION:
Subtypes
Time
Space
Person
Aggregate
Interactive
Collectivity
Multiple observers of the same object
Multiple perspectives to the same objects
Within-method and between method triangulation
o*** triangulation - multiple data collection procedures, theoretical
perspectives, and analysis techniques will increase the depth of understanding
an investigation can yield
Qualitative strategies (defining an orientation)
oThe purpose of research is to discover answers to questions through the
application of systematic procedures
oQualitative research is interested in how humans arrange themselves in
their settings and how they make sense of themselves, others, and their
surroundings through symbols, rituals, social structures and roles, etc.
oReproduction and reproducibility is important for qualitative research
From a symbolic interactionist perspective
oExplains and describes certain aspects of human behavior (what they say and
do depends on how they interpret their social world, not so much biological
instinct)
oSymbolic interactionism sees meanings as social products formed through
activities of people interacting
oMeanings allow people to produce various realities that constitute the
sensory world
1.Human interactions form the central source of data
2.Participant's perspective and empathy are key to formulating theories of
symbolic interaction
3.How inhabitants define their situation determines the nature of their actions
TST (twenty-statement test)
oUsed to identify self-designations that result from social roles rather than
from personal concepts
oUsed for a rough assessment of an individual's identity
What makes humans unique are their ability to use symbols
CHAPTER 2 - DESIGNING QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
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Theory and concepts
oTheory
Statements and propositions that explain relationship between two or
more variables ( objects, concepts, phenomenon, characteristics, etc.)
Educated guesses that may be used to predict future events
oConcepts
Building blocks of theories and foundation of communication and
thought
Symbolic and abstract, representing objects, properties, features,
processes or phenomenon
2 parts:
Symbolic (word/term/symbol)
Definitional (intended meaning)
Allows for people to let other know what they are thinking and share
these ideas
Conveys intended meaning
oConcept clusters/propositions
Relationships between concepts
Statements that make up theories
Theories and ideas
oTheory before research model
Idea and theory must come before empirical research
Conjecture to refutation
oResearch before theory
Research must come before theory and research plays an active role in
shaping theory
oIn both models, research is seen as progressive, wherein the completed stage
is left behind
(idea-theory-design-data collection- analysis-findings)
oSPIRALING RESEARCH APPROACH
Begins with idea, gather info, then reconsider and revise idea,
examine possible designs, then reexamine theoretical assumptions and
possibly refine them
You dont really leave a stage behind, because when you take two
steps forward you take on eor two steps backward
Reviewing literature
oExamining what other have thought and researched about the topic
oAvoid being too restrictive about the topic when searching for references
oDon't be too computer dependent
oConsider legitimacy of info from the web
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