SOCA02H3 Chapter Notes -Quality Circle, Barter, Tertiary Sector Of The Economy

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SOCA02 Lecture 1 Chapter 2: Research Methods in Sociology
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Ultimate Questions t are beyond capability of science to answer, science is empirical (facts)
1) ooÁÇ}(o](µooÇ(µ]oU}]]}]o}o]À^uv]vPo_o](M
2) Is there an unmoved mover? t Aristotle, the creator is the first cause of big bang
3) What happens to us when we die? Stephen Hawkins
4) Why is there something instead of nothing?
5) Do we have a soul and is that soul immortal?
(b) EXPERIENCE AND BIAS
- Single biggest problem for sociological research is that experience filters our perceptions, how we see
the world
- Conservative t functionalism
- Liberal t conflict theory
2. TWO TYPES OF SOCIOLOGICAL STUDIES
How Research Filters Perceptions:
Values -> Theories -> Previous research -> Methods -E^Zo]Ç_
There are four stages to filtering in sociological research:
^PKvWZZ[ÀZoZu]ÁZ]Z}oms are worth investigating
Stage Two: Values lead researchers to formulate and adopt favored theories for interpreting and
explaining those problems
^PdZWZZ[]v]}v]v(oµvÇÀ]}µZ
Stage Four: Methods used to gZu}µoZ[]}v
(a) DESCRIPTIVE t describe, tells you what exists
- ex: descriptive statistic studies, trend studies,
(b) EXPLANATORY t tells you why something exists
Explanatory Studies
1) The children of upper income parents are more likely to attend university
2) ^hv]_u}o]loÇ}}uu]µ]]Zv^µo]_
3) Government funding for healthcare causes infant mortality rates to decline
4) Does the death penalty cause murder rates to decline
5) Does the economy influence rates of common crime
(c) SOCIAL ACCOUNTING t studies are used to develop policies by legislators
- trend analysis, census
- baby boomers
3. THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH
(a) CONCEPTS
Concepts and Sub-concepts:
Alienation
1) Powerlessness (General)
2) Meaninglessness (sub)
3) Self-estrangement
4) Social isolation
Social Class (general)
1) Education (sub)
2) Occupation (sub)
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3)
4) Income (sub)
Norm Status
(b) VARIABLES t varying concepts, able to manipulate concept
- ex: age, gender,
- Operationalization t procedure by which researchers establish criteria for assigning values to variables
(c) HYPOTHESES t tentative, are there to be disproved
(d) EMPIRICAL GENERALIZATIONS t hypothesis confirmed several times, found to be true multiple times,
however are still tentative but have more confidence in them than in hypothesis
(e) THEORY t macro event, gives you a deeper/more comprehensive understanding
(i) GOOD THEORY G/s^^WZ_yW>Ed/KE
(ii) GOOD THEORY GIV^DKZ^KDWZ,E^/s_EXPLANATION t account for other findings
David Reisman - The lonely crowd t weak social solidarity
Instrumentalism t interact with people because you need them for something (buy/sell)
By-stander effect t do nothing
4. THE ANALYSIS OF VARIABLES
(a) INDEPENDENT VARIABLES (ex: marital status)
(b) DEPENDENT VARIABLES (ex: teen pregnancy)
(c) A RESEARCH EXAMPLE: DIVORCE & TEEN
PREGNANCY
Martial Status: Four-cell table/Contingency Table
Married
Divorced
Teen Pregnancy
25%
75%
Yes
75%
25%
No
(d) STATISTICAL CORRELATION:
(i) POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP
(ii) NEGATIVE CORRELATION
(iii) NO RELATIONSHIP
(iv) SPURIOUS CORRELATION t third variable problem, not really related
Ex: research reveals that more people die in hospitals than at home, do hospitals cause death?
Must control for confounding factors, different populations in hospitals and homes
Ex: Warming & CO2
Hypothesis: higher CO2 = higher global temperatures
From 1970-1995 time period is spurious, other factors other than CO2 are responsible for
temperature change (ex: sun spots)
(v) CAUSALITY & ASSOCIATION
5. SURVEY RESEARCH
(a) RELEVANT VARIABLES
(i) INTERVAL DATA t number that represents actual reality, 1 to 1 correspondence
(ii) ORDINAL DATA t relationship b/w number and what you are measuring is arbitrary
Does beauty = success?
I and II are both quantitative
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(iii) NOMINAL DATA - qualitative, categorical variable, ex: Ethnicity, Race, Religion, Political
Party, Gender, Names, Religiousity t how strong you believe in your religion
(b) GENERALIZEABILITY & VALIDITY t can be generalized to greater public
Reliability t test and retest
Validity t degree to which a measure actually measures what its suppose to
Generalizability t when research findings apply beyond specific cases examined
Causality t assessing cause and effect relations among variables
(i) SAMPLING t identify a population and select only a few people
- RANDOM SAMPLING- probability sample, randomly select the group, you can generalize to the
population
- SYSTEMATIC SAMPLING t ex: every 10th person, cannot be generalized
- STRATIFIED RANDOM SAMPLING t ex: identify the population/category/group then random sample
within those categories
Neilson Ratings t rates TV programs, by sampling TV viewers
(ii) VALIDITY ISSUES t does measure actually measure what ][ suppose to
- REPRESENTATIVENESS t does it represent the overall population?
- ITEM VALIDITY t do the questions target the issue? Response rate?
- NEUTRALITY t no bias
- v}vµoÆuoW^Áoolv}ÁY_
Survey Questions and Validity:
To maximize validity, researchers must guard against the following:
1) Undercounting: This occurs for some categories of population because of an imperfect sampling
frame (e.g., under-representativeness of sample when Internet surveys are used).
2) Non-response: This is refusal to participate.
3) Response Bias: Inaccurate answers.
4) Wording Effects: The way questions are phrased or ordered can influence and invalidate
responses (make sure you use the simplest wording and reduce the use of negatives)
- Reduce wording effects: pretest, panel of judges
Motherhood Issues t Attitude behavior gap - do you actually believe what you say and do as you say? Or
are you trying to }iZ^]oo(_
Entitlement t ^/ZÀ]PZ}uÇ_ÇZÇÁ]ooP]ÀµZ]µÁ}v[µooÇP]ÀµZ]
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