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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Research, Methodology, and Ethics.docx

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SOC 103
Tonya Davidson

SOC103 How Society Works CHAPTER 2 Research, Methodology, and Ethics MODULE 2.1 – Connecting Theory and Research  Functionalist perspective is interested in the smooth functioning of society o The functions of families within society, such as how families teach their children about future roles like parenthood  Theoretical perspective, conflict theorist interested in the struggle over scarce resources by different groups in society and how elites use power to control the less powerful  Symbolic interactionists are interested in face-to-face encounters and the meanings that people use to facilitate social life METHODOLOGICAL APPROACHES: QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE RESEARCH  Quantitative: regarding numerical data o Involves converting some aspect of social life to numerical data and testing if there is significant relationship between sets of data o Variables: characteristics of objects, people, or groups of people that can be measured  Qualitative: regarding non-numerical data; the researcher is the research instrument o Focuses on social behaviours that cannot be easily counted or measured Quantitative Research Qualitative Research Numerical Non-numerical Large sample size Small sample size Statistical trends Behaviours and patterns Less expensive More expensive Less time-consuming More time-consuming Survey method Observation, interviews, surveys Inductive reasoning Deductive reasoning SYSTEMS OF REASONING: INDUCTIVE AND DEDUCTIVE LOGIC  Inductive logic: a way of reasoning that moves from data to the formation of a theory Select/define research problem → develop research design → collect data → analyze data → review literature → formulate hypothesis/draw conclusions/report findings  Deductive logic: a way of reasoning that moves from theory to the formulation of hypotheses for testing Select/define research problem → review literature → formulate hypothesis → develop research design → collect data → analyze data → draw conclusions/report findings MODULE 2.2 – Steps in the Research Process THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD  Scientific method: a systematic approach researchers follow in their quest for answers to a research problem o With a systematic approach, sociologists create openness to their work that allows others to analyze both their approach to the topic and the merit of their results  7 steps in the research process (for deductive reasoning): 1. Select/define the research problem  Refining the research problem from a general topic to a specific problem 2. Review the literature SOC103 How Society Works  Extensive examination of all reputable research that has been conducted on a subject for analysis and cross-referencing to develop conceptual framework of own research 3. Formulate the hypothesis  Hypothesis: tentative statement about a particular relationship that can be tested empirically; used on quantitative research only  Independent variable: variable that researchers manipulate to create some change in the dependent variable  Dependent variable: variable whose condition is reliant on the nature of the independent variable  Operational definition: description of how a variable is measured 4. Develop the research design  Research method based on theoretical perspective and questions they seek to answer  Survey, interviews, participant observation, secondary analysis, participatory action research, mixed methods 5. Collect data  Direct observation, interviewing sample, having the sample respond in writing to questions, or undertaking an analysis of existing, publically accessible information 6. Analyze data  Coding (quantitative research): involves assigning a numerical value to the answer of a particular question  Three tools used in analysis of qualitative research o Coding (qualitative research): involves classifying or categorizing data o Memoing: writing brief notes on arising themes in the data  Allows to cross-reference ideas and may become basis for final report o Concept mapping: process of developing visual diagram of key concepts discovered and their relationship to each other 7. Drawing conclusions MODULE 2.3 – Research Methods in Detail SURVEYS  Survey: research method in which respondents answer pre-set questions o Suited for large-scale research projects that ask about what people do or think but not as helpful in answering why people do particular things or think a certain way o Three main types: 1. Closed-ended questions: questions that list several possible answers  Used mainly in quantitative research  Census responds to changing societal context and issues and introduces new question areas or makes modifications to existing questions to account for these changes 2. Telephone surveys  Questions can be closed-ended, open-ended, or on a scale  Advantage is that respondents can ask re
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