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Chapter 1

CMN 3103 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Logical Positivism, Herbert Blumer, Symbolic Interactionism

Course Code
CMN 3103
Peruvemba Jaya

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Chapter 1 Introduction
Qualitative Methods
- Qualitative research refers to the meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols,
and descriptions of things
- Quantitative research refers to counts and measures of things, the extents and distributions of our
subject matter: how large of a thing is, how many of them there are, or how likely we are to encounter
- The meanings that we give to events and things come from their qualities. To understand our lives, we
need qualitative research
- We can study and measure qualities as collections of meanings, as a spectrum of states of being, but not
as precise solid objects
- Qualitative and quantitative methods give us different, complementary pictures of things we observe
- All qualities can be quantified up to a point, just as all quantitative data have qualitative aspects
- One popular and important area of research concerning social norms the normatively expected and
informally enforced patterns of behavior that are widely shared within any given society
- Norms are vital to daily life in a given society, as well as highly revealing about that society
- According to Garfinkel, one of the most immediate and effective ways to demonstrate the existence of
norms is to violate them and observe the results: expectations reveal the norms, and objections to their
violation reveal the expectations
- The existence of specific social norms maybe demonstrated through the qualitative analysis of what we
call social artifacts things produced or performed by people in the normal course of their lives
- Not describing the single event as evidence of social values but rather a regular and familiar pattern of
- These cases reveal the existence of specific norms and not the number of people who adhere to them
Use of Triangulation
- Most researchers have at least one methodological technique they feel most comfortable using, which
often becomes their favorite or only approach to research
- Because of this, they fail to recognize that methods impose certain perspectives on reality
- By combining several lines of sight, researchers obtain a better more substantive picture of reality; the
use of multiple lines of sight is frequently called triangulation
- Used largely to describe multiple data collection technologies designed to measure a single concept or
- Lines of action characterizes the use of multiple data collection technologies, multiple theories, multiple
researchers, multiple methodologies, or combinations of these four categories of research activities
- For many researchers, triangulation is restricted to the use of multiple data gathering techniques, this is
interpreted as a means of mutual confirmation of measures and validation of findings
- Denzin outlined more detailed subgrouping of Time and place, social setting, theoretical perspective, and
mixed methods
- Triangulation as a model for research requires researchers to be fluent in multiple methods
- Qualitative research also includes such methods as observation of experimental natural settings,
photographic techniques, historical analysis, document and textual analysis, sociometry, and similar
ethnomethodological experimentation
Qualitative Strategies
- We do not conduct research only to amass data. The purpose of research is to discover answers to
questions through the application of systematic procedures
- Qualitative research properly seeks answers by examining various social settings and the groups or
individuals who inhabit each setting
- Interested in how humans arrange themselves and make sense of their surroundings through symbols,
rituals, social structures, and social rules
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