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Ten Steps in Sociological Investigation.docx

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SOC 1100

Ten Steps in Sociological Investigation Sept.14 2012 1. What is your topic? Being curious and applying the sociological perspective can generate ideas for social research at any time and in any place. 2. What have others already learned? You are probably not the first person with an interest in the issue you have selected. Review the literature to determine the theories and methods that other researchers have applied to your topic. 3. What, exactly, are your questions? Are you seeking to explore the unfamiliar social setting? To describe some category of people? To investigate cause and effect among variables? If your study is exploratory or descriptive, identify whom you wish to study, where the research will take place, and what kinds of issues you want to explore. If your study is explanatory, you also must formulate the hypothesis to be tested and operationalize each variable. 4. What will you need to carry out research? How much time and moey are available to you? Is special equipment of training necessary? Can you do the work yourself? 5. Are there ethical concerns? Not all research raises serious ethical questions, but you must be sensitive to this possibility. Can the research cause harm or threaten anyone’s privacy? How can you minimize the likelihood of injury? How will you ensure the anonymity of your subjects. 6. What method(s) will you use? Consider all major research strategies, as well as combinations of approaches. Keep in
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