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SOAN 2120 (129)
Chapter 1-5

Textbook Notes Chapters 1-5

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University of Guelph
Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2120
Scott Schau

Reading NotesBasics of Social ResearchChapter OneDoing Social Research y Social research is a process where a specific methodology principles ideas is combined with a specific method of inquiry practices strategies to produce knowledge a systematic method of producing K y Alternatives to social research other ways to produce knowledgeo AuthorityTrust persons in authority t provide accurate infoLimited Authorities may not agree perhaps not to be trusted o TraditionThe authority of the past o Media MythsMay not accurately represent reality o Personal ExperienceNot always accurate subject to distortions of cultural and social frameworkTypically 4 errorsy Overgeneralization y Selective observation y Premature closure jumping to conclusions y Halo effect a form of over gen where we assume prestige or highly positive views translate to or rub off on other areas y Steps in the Research Process o 1 select topic o 2 narrow down topic into a specific focus question oto narrow your focusyou review past literature develop a hypothesis theory is important at this stage o 3 develop a detailed research plandetails practical aspects of conducting research ex Quantqual Temporal limits ect o 4 Collect data o 5 Analyze Data o 6 Interpret Data o 7 Publish data o Note that the steps bleed into one another and inform the next one may cause you to rethink and modify a past stepnot a linear process o See diagram page 10 y Use of Research o Basic ResearchLacks practical application but advances knowledge about out world that increases our understandingDisseminated in the academic worldjudged by fellow sociologists o Applied ResearchDesigned to address a specificconcern it is practical This research not available widely as usually contracted by for example a union or institutionproblematic as findings are rarely judged by other researchers judged by paying sponsorsUsually quick small scale studies o Types of Applied researchEvaluation y Concerned with finding out if a policy or other theoretical plan will function in reality y Major difference here is that the scope and goals of the study are not defined by the researchers but by those funding the studyAction Research y Treats knowledge as a form of power and does not acknowledge a distinction bw creating knowledge and using it for power specifically political action y Research subjects participate in study y Incorporates pop Knowledge y Seeks to raise awareness y Tied directly to a plan of action or mvmt y ex most feminist researchSocial Impact Assesment Research y Estimated the impact of a planned change in the future y Forcasts how this change will impact the populationsociety and suggests ways to avoid the negative impacts y Purpose of Study o ExploratoryFormulate questiond for future researchDiscover new ideas hypothesesDevelop techniques for measuringlocating future dataNo conclusionsexploring o DescriptiveProvides a detailed description of the state of affairsLocate new dataClassificationClarification of past understandingsDocument processes o ExplanatoryTest a theorySeek to further understand of prove a previous theoryComes to conclusions y Time Dimensions In Research o Cross sectional researchSingle point in time take a snapshotCant capture processes or changeSimple and inexpensive to conduct o Longitudinal ResearchOver long periods of timeThree major types y Time series o Gathers the same information across time periods o Individuals may change but maintain group o Ex I study McGill students in 1950 1960 1970
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