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Chapter 2

Chapter note from Sociology in Our Times 5th Canadian Edition: Chapter 2

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Ryerson University
SOC 103
Sal Guzzo

Chapter 2: Sociological Research Why Is Sociological Research Necessary? Common-sense beliefs about society are often wrong Five Ways of Knowing the World Personal experience Tradition o everyone knows it to be true Authority o Experts Religion Science o Controlled, systematic observation Personal experience, tradition, authority, and religion are valid sources of understanding But hard to resolve differences in these, because people believe in diff things Science allows scientists to resolve differences in their understanding of the social and physical world Science uses Empirical approach Empirical approach: scientific findings are based on the assumption that knowledge is best gained by direct, systematic observation Normative approach: uses religion, tradition, or authority to answer important questions, based on strong beliefs about what is right and wrong, and what is desirable in society Scientific knowledge is systematic and public Scientific knowledge has a built-in mechanism for self-correction, scientists never say their findings represent eternal truths www.notesolution.com Hypothesis: tentative statements of the relationship between two or more concepts of variables Science is objective Objective: scientists try to ensure that their biases and values do not affect their research Researchers must be careful of bias they have Cant be completely objective, Weber said that section of research problems is influenced by the researchers values Weber: sociology was fundamentally concerned with the subjective meaning of social action primary task of the sociologist is to understand the meaning an act has for the actor himself, not for the observer Kirby and McKenna, how someone sees and how we go about constructing meaning is a matter of interpretation Descriptive and Explanatory Studies Descriptive studies: attempt to describe social reality or provide facts about some group, practice or event Explanatory studies: attempt to explain relationships and to provide information on why certain events do or do not occur The Theory and Research Cycle Theory and research is a continuous cycle www.notesolution.com
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