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SOAN 2120 (129)
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Soan 2120 Chapter Notes.docx

24 Pages

Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2120
D Walters

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Soan 2120 Chapter Notes 09102012 74100 PM Chapter 1Doing Social ResearchSocial Research a process in which people combine a set of principles outlooks and ideas with a collection of specific practices techniques and strategies to produce knowledgeAlternatives to Social ResearchAuthority you accept something as being true because someone in a position of authority says it is true or because it in an authoritative publication you are relying on authority as a basis for knowledge o Limitations it is easy to overestimate the experience of people authorities may not agree authorities may not be equally dependable Sometimes organizations or individuals give an appearance of authority so they can convince others to agree with something that they might not otherwise agree toTradition tradition means you accept something as being true because its the way things have always been o Limitations even if traditional knowledge was one true it can become distorted as it is passed on and soon it is no longer true People may cling to traditional knowledge without real understanding they assume that because something may have workedbeen true in the past it will continue this wayCommon Sense you rely on what everyone knows and what just makes sense o Limitations allows logical fallacies to slip into thinking Common sense can originate in tradition It is useful and sometimes correct but it also contains errors misinformation contradiction and prejudiceMedia Myths Television shows movies and newspapers are important sources of information o Limitations they do not accurately reflect social reality Tend to perpetuate the myths of a culturePersonal Experience seeing is believing Has a strong impact and is a powerful source of knowledge o Limitations personal experience can lead you astray something similar to an optical illusion can occurOvergeneralization occurs when some evidence supports your belief but you falsely assume that it applies to many other situations tooSelective Observation occurs when you take special notice of some people or events and tend to seek out evidence that confirms what you already believe and ignore contradictory informationPremature Closure occurs when you feel you have the answer and do not need to listen seek information or raise questions any longerHalo Effect when we overgeneralize from what we accept as being highly positive or prestigious and let its strong reputation or prestige rub off onto other areas How Science WorksSocial research involves thinking scientifically about questions about the social world and following scientific processesData the empirical evidence or information that one gathers carefully according to rules or proceduresQuantitative expressed as numbersQualitative expressed as words visual images ages sounds or objectsEmpirical Evidence refers to observations that people experience through the senses touch sight smell hearing tasteScientific Method refers to the ideas rules techniques and approaches that the scientific community usesResearch Process Social research proceeds in a sequence of steps most studies follow seven steps o Select Topic o Focus Question o Design Study o Collect data o Analyze Data o Interpret Data o Inform others Dimensions of ResearchUse of Research how research is used between applied and basic research o Basic Research basic social research advances fundamental knowledge about the social world focuses on refuting or supporting theories that explain how the social world operates what makes things happen why social relations are a certain way and way society changes
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