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Chapter Summaries

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University of Toronto St. George

Ch. 1 Qualitative Research - Qualitative and quantitative are not distinct. Dabbs (1982) - Qualitative research methods are to demonstrate the fruitfulness and often the greater depth of understanding we can derive from qualitative procedures. There are significant lasting contributions of qualitative research. - Qualitative research refers to the meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols, and descriptions of things (In contrast, quantitative research refers to counts and measures of things) - Participation observation, including interviewing, uses methods as observation of experimental natural settings, photographic techniques (including videotaping), historical analysis (histography), document and textual analysis, sociometry, sociodrama, ethnographic research, and unobtrusive techniques. Use of Triangulation in Research Methodology - Each qualitative method researchers use tend to impose certain perspectives on reality, and thus reveals slightly different facets of the same symbolic reality. We can improve this by combining several lines of sight and produce a better, more substantive picture of reality - See figure 1.1. Diagram (Multiple Lines of Action in Triangulation) p. 6 - Triangulation: three known points or objects are used to draw sighting lines toward an unknown point or object, as these three lines intersect, creates triangle of error. What we focus on is the centre of the triangle, the best estimate of the true object, or perhaps, an idea. - Triangulation is mostly restricted to the use of multiple data gathering techniques (usually three) to investigate the same phenomenon looking for mutual confirmation of measures and validation of findings. - Important in triangulation: to relate the different kinds of data so as to counteract the threats to validity identified in each - Denzin: 4 categories of triangulation - 1. Data triangulation has three subtypes - (a) time, (b) space, and (c) person, which has three levels; -aggregate, -interactive, -collecctivity - 2. Investigator triangulation: multiple observers rather than single observer of the same object - 3. Theory triangulation: use multiple rather than simple perspectives in relation to the objects. - 4. Methodological triangulation: within-methodbetween-method triangulation - Use of Triangulation: to refine, broaden, and strengthen conceptual linkages, and offer varied perspectives other than their own - Using two or more methods of data collection to test hypotheses and variables is the essence of triangulation - It turns out, however, this use of triangulation is limited, and no single method will ever meet the requirements of interaction theory (Denzin) - Nonetheless, using ethnography (broad umbrella), for example, includes a variety of methods such as direct observation, various types of interviewing, listening, and document analysis and so on. The use of multiple research design strategies and theories increases the depth of understanding an investigation can yield. Qualitative Strategies - Qualitative research seeks answers to questions by examining various social settings and the individuals who inhabit these settings. - Interested in how humans arrange themselves and their settings and how inhabitants of these settings make sense of their surroundings www.notesolution.com - Research methods on human beings affect how these persons will be viewed. - Provide a means of accessing unquantifiable facts about the actual people or people represented by personal traces - Allow researchers to share the understanding and perceptions of others and to explore how people structure and give meaning to their daily lives - Good qualitative research should be very rigorous. It should be extremely systematic and can be reproduced by other researchers. Symbolic interactionist perspective is central to qualitative methodology - Symbolic interaction: focus on subjective understandings and the perceptions of and about people, symbols, and objects. - A set of related propositions that describes and explains certain aspects of human behavior. What humans say and do are the results of how they interpret their social world. - People create their realities differently because these realities are related to how people create meanings, reality becomes an interpretation of various definitional options. Why Qualitative methods? - Nonscientific: not like empirical with quantification, which holds a positivist view on life-worlds, and utilize empirical methods by providing rigorous, reliable, and large aggregates of data and statistical testing and so on. - Life-worlds, in qualitative point of view, include emotions, motivations, symbols and their meanings and other subjective aspects within individuals and groups, which can also explain human behavior, experiences and natural settings. Such approach to social issues is also critical. Ch. 2 Theory: general and more or less comprehensive set of statements or propositions that describe different aspects of social phenomenon. - Theory as interrelated ideas about processes, relationships, or events - Theory as a system of logical statements that explain the relationship between two or more objects, concepts or phenomena. - Concepts: smaller components of theory that are symbolic or abstract, and are basic building blocks of theory - Even a fairly common concept have multiple meanings, such as honesty. - Vague or unclear definitions create enormous problems. - Specificity is critical when conducting research. - Concepts rarely occur in isolation Concept Clusters: one can connect different concepts or conceptual thoughts to each other through propositions. Propositions are relationships between concepts. Ideas and Theories - From some broad curiosities, you can begin thinking about how some questions can be explored, or answered, and how you might research these phenomena. - First, ideas promote potential research endeavors. Second, world is a research laboratory and there is a sensory reality that surrounds all of us where you can find numerous ideas for research. Theory-before-research Model: one begins with ideas and then attempts to disprove or refute them through tests or empirical research Research-before-theory Model: do research first, which initiates, reformulates, defects and clarifies theory. Normally the formation of research design goes like this Idea theorydesigndata collectionanalysisfindings The author suggests this www.notesolution.com
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