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Canada (162,403)
Sociology (1,062)
SOCA02H3 (310)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - Research Methods

8 Pages

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Malcolm Mac Kinnon

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Chapter 2 How Sociologists Do Research Science and Experiencey Robert Brym social scientist who was stumped by his daughter and realized that experience helps determine how we perceive reality including what patterns we see and whether we are able to see patterns at all experience can BLOCK us from seeing thingsperceptions is the single biggest problem for sociological research y The fact that experience filtersy This filter happens in 4 stages o The real life experiences and passions of sociologists motivate much researchOur values help us decide which problems are worth investigatingThese values may reflect the typical outlook of our class race gender region historical period etc o Our values lead us to formulate and adopt favoured theories for interpreting and explaining those problems o Sociologists interpretations are influenced by previous research which we consult to find out what we already know about a subject o The methods we use to gather data mould our perceptions o ValuesTheoriesPrevious researchMethodsReality y Therefore we are right to conclude that we can never perceive society in a pure or objective form y Using techniques of data collection that minimize bias and describing the filters that influence our perceptions enables us to eliminate obvious sources of bias y But we can also say that although objectivity is a reality check subjectivity leads us to define which aspects of reality are worth checking in the first place y 10 forms of unscientific thinking y Knowledge based on tradition it worked for my grandparents and it works for me y Knowledge based on authorityI read all about it in the newspaper y Knowledge based on casual observation I was going for a walk last night and saw the accident y Knowledge based on overgeneralization If you work hard you get aheadI know because it happened to my friends parents y Knowledge based on selective observation Im right because I cant think of any contrary cases y Knowledge based on qualification people with disabilities are the only exception to the rule that if you work hard you can get ahead y Knowledge based on illogical reasoning The blue jays win 50 of their games but 65 on ThursdaysSince they win so much on Thursdays theyll probably win this Thursday y Knowledge based on egodefense I just cant be wrong
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