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SOCI 1010 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Grounded Theory, Operationalization, Dependent And Independent Variables

Course Code
SOCI 1010
Timothy Mc Cauley
Study Guide

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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
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
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