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Chapter 2 From Sociology: Compass.....3rd Cdn Ed is a summary of all the important concepts + material that was on the midterm.

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York University
SOCI 1010
Timothy Mc Cauley

1 Chapter 2: How Sociologists do Research Conducting Research 1. Formulate a Research Question: must be stated so it can be answered by systematically collecting and analyzing sociological data 2. Review the Existing Research Literature: elaborate research questions in light of what other sociologists have already debated and discovered 3. Select a Research Method 4. Collecting Data by observing objects, interviewing them, reading documents, etc. 5. Analyzing the Data: data confirms some of your expectations and confound others 6. Publish the Results: publication allows other sociologists to scrutinize and criticize research Ethical Considerations: - Treatment of their subjects: 1. Right to safety 2. Right to decide whether their attitudes and behaviours may be revealed to the public 3. Right to privacy – right to confidentiality 4. Right to informed consent – subjects must be told how the information will be used Main Methods of Sociology Field research: research based on the observation of people in their natural settings - Detached observation: involves classifying and counting the behaviour of interest according to the predetermined scheme - Two main problems with direct observation: 1. Presence of the researcher may affect behaviour of people being observed (Hawthrone effect) 2. Meaning of observed behaviour may remain obscure to researcher - Ethnographic researcher spends months or years living with people to learn their language, values, mannerisms – entire culture – and develop an intimate understanding of their behaviour Participant Observation: carefully observing people’s face-to-face interactions and participating in their lives over a long period of time, thus achieving a deep and sympathetic understanding of what motivates them to act in the way they do - Exploratory research: attempt to describe, understand, and develop a theory about a social phenomenon in the absence of, or with little, previous research on the subject - Hypothesis: unverified but testable statements about the relationship between two or more variables - Grounded theory: explanation of a phenomenon based not on mere speculation but on the controlled scrutiny of subjects 2 Chapter 2: How Sociologists do Research Methodological Problems: - Measurement: o Variables: concept that can take on more than one value o Operationalization: procedure by which researchers establish criteria for assigning values to variables - Reliability, Validity, Generalizability, Causality: o Reliability: degree to which a measurement procedure yields consistent results; would another researcher interpret or measure things in the same way
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