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Research methods test review #1.docx

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York University
SOCI 2030
Jennifer Steeves

Chapter 1: Doing social research Alternatives to social research: Authority accept something as true because someone of authority says its true Tradition authority of the past. Accept something as true because it is the way “things always have been” Common sense You rely on what everyone knows and what “just makes sense” Media myths television portrayals of crime, and of many other things do not accurately reflect social reality Personal experience If something happens to you, you personally see it as an experience, you accept it as true. FOUR ERRORS OF PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: -Overgeneralization: when some evidence supports a belief, but a person falsely assumes that it applies to many other situations too -Selective observation: tendency to take notice on certain people or events based on past experience or attitudes - Premature closure: person feels he/she has the answers and does not need to listen, seek information, or raise questions any longer - Halo effect: When a person overgeneralizes from what he/she accepts as being highly positive or prestigious and lets its strong reputation “rub off” onto other areas Foundations of social science: logic and systematic observations 1- Social regularities: find patterns in social life 2- Aggregates: Not individuals- the collective actions and situations of MANY individuals Steps of sociological research 1- Select a topic and define the problem 2- Review the literature 3- Specify your focus question hypothesis 4- Choose a research method to answer questions and test hypothesis 5- Collect data 6- Analyze data and results 7- Share results Types of social research Quantitative: Numerical Questionnaires - Do not talk about individuals - describes events in numbers - Includes: experiments, surveys, content analysis and existing statistics Qualitative: non-numerical data - Observing and talking to people - collect in form of words - Visual information, sounds - not intended in numbers - Includes: interviews, focus groups, field research, historical-comparative research, content analysis Time dimensions in research Cross sectional: Single point in time-> what happens on the spot Longitudinal: Multiple points in time -> see if anything changes Variables: Characteristics of people/Varies/ General Ex: Age, sex, occupation, race, social class, etc Attributes: personal/characteristics/description Ex: Age, male, female, upper class, middle class, lower class, conservative, liberal Hypothesis: a basic statement in research typically states a relationship between two variables Independent variable: Causes an effect on the other variable Dependent variable: Result of the test Example: “the uneducated people are more prejudice than the educated.” Independent variable: education Dependent variable: prejudice (How education level effects prejudice) Example: “the greater the level of education, the greater the income.” Independent variable: education Dependent variable: income Chapter 2: Theory and research Theory: a logical explanation of any aspect of social life, reality, etc 1- Explanation of observed “regularities” or “patterns” 2- How concepts relate to each other 3- Theories shape and direct research Therefore, NO RESEARCH- NO THEORY What is the relationship between theory and research? Research: gives you the base/frame to collect data and test it - you modify the theory - use theories to guide your studies and interpret results Theory: is confirmed and revised by research - theory is not fixed, it changes in time by research Direction of theorizing: Deductive vs inductive Deductive theorizing: begins with a theory (quantitative) -build a theory - go out to the world and test it - formulate a hypothesis after forming a theory - collect data and look at findings - Hypothesis is confirmed or rejected theory-> observations Inductive theorizing: begins by “gathering” or “examining” (qualitative) -data - no theory or hypothesis is formulated in the beginning - theory emerges in time during the process of research observations-> theory Grounded theory: emerges from looking at data after it has been collected Levels of theories in science 1- Macro perspective: (big picture) -> institutional/national/ or global level of society -> Class/structural level -> patterns or trends in big picture/national relations -> culture. Interactions amongst society 2- Meso-level: (Middle picture) -> look at levels BIGGER than micro, smaller than macro ->social movements, organizations Ex: relationship between Chinese and Korean -> Not national level but their interaction amongst each other Paradigms in social sciences Paradigm: set of assumptions, beliefs, models of doing good research and techniques for gathering data 1- Positivism: Natural science methods - Structural functionalism - Empiricism: knowledge must be based on information gathered through senses - Deductive (hypothesis testing) - Scientific statements (Objective) NOT subjective - NO JUDGEMENT or VALUES attatched 2- Interpretivism: Values/symbolic/exchange - inductive methods - Subjective meanings of peoples actions - Do not start with theory as to what people think or feel - Subjective BECAUSE OF HUMAN BEINGS - Humans are NOT value free - Not objective - Point of view of social actors/ what their perspectives are/ understand them - empathize with people 3- Critical Approach: Research is not value free (work with people and for people) - Conflict theory/ feminist theory - Put it to action -> they work to advance in social justice - To work and empower humanity - Act on social problems Major theories in sociology 1- Structural functionalism Macro level- bigger picture/social structure -Human behavio
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