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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Notes .docx

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SOC 1100

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thChapter 2 Notes Sept 13 2012Sociological investigation starts with two simple requirements 1 applying the sociological perspective this point of view reveals curious patterns of behaviour all around us and can further the study and 2 to be curious and ask questionsSeeing the world sociologically and asking questions are fundamental to sociological investigationIn order to understand the kind of insights that sociology has to over we must understand that there are various kinds of truthThree kinds of truth 1 knowing or belief 2 pronouncement of some recognized expert 3 simple agreement among ordinary peopleScientific knowledge rests on empirical evidenceScientific evidence sometimes challenges our common senseThree ways to do research include scientific sociology interpretive sociology and critical sociologyScientific sociology is the study of society based on systematic observation and social behaviorThe scientific orientation to know is called positivism which assumes that an objective reality exists out thereThe job of the scientist is to discover this reality by gathering empirical evidenceVariables as well as concepts are a basic element of science society as well as the structural components of society are all concepts The use of variable depend on measurement some variables are easy to measure but measuring sociological variables can be much more difficultAlmost any variable can be measured in more than one way a problem occurs when measuring variables when dealing with huge numbers of people this is why sociologists use statistical measure mean median etc to describe people or communitiesGood research requires that sociologists operationalize a variableIn order for a measurement to be useful it must be reliable and valid a measurement is reliable if repeated measurements give the same result time after time although consistency does not guarantee validityThe scientific ideal is cause and effect the variable that causes the change is the independent variable whereas the variable that changes is the dependent variableA correlation can sometimes be found between these two variables or a spurious correlation which requires a technique called controlIn order to establish cause and effect three requirements must be met 1 a demonstrated correlation 2 an independent or casual variable that occurs before the dependent variable 3 no evidence that a third variable could be causing a spurious correlation between the twoSocial scientists need to study reality without changing it in any way striving for objectivity this is an ideal rather than a realitySociologists do their best to ensure that conscious or unconscious biases do not distort their findingsOne way to limit distortion caused by personal values is replicationLimitations of scientific sociology include
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