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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 textbook

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC101Y1
Professor
Crust
Semester
Winter

Description
In this Chapter: Various ways of thinking about and designing research Relationships among ideas and theory, concepts, and operationalization Strategy for conducting literature reviews Explains the importance of carefully designing and planning research in advance CHAPTER 2 DESIGNING QUALITATIVE RESEARCH THEORY AND CONCEPTS In the natural sciences, there are certain patterns of relationships between things that occur with such regularity that they are deemed laws: occurrences of universal certainty There are no such laws found in the social sciences However, social life operates within fairly regular patterns Social scientific research is to make sense from those various patterns This is accomplished by creating, examining and testing, and refining theory What then is theory? Theory is a comprehensive set of statements or propositions that describe different aspects of some phenomenon Theories can be understood as interrelated ideas about various patterns, concepts, processes, relationships, or events. Theory might also represent attempts to develop explanations about reality or ways to classify and organize events, describe events, or even to predict future occurrences of events Social scientists usually define theory as a system of logical statements or propositions that explain the relationship between two or more objects, concepts, phenomena, or characteristics of humans www.notesolution.comHow to construct a theory: Need some smaller components or the basic building blocks of theory, (i.e. concepts) First, define relevant concepts that will be used in a given research project Concepts are symbolic or abstract elements representing objects, properties, or features of objects, processes, or phenomenon May communicate ideas, introduce particular perspectives, or be a means for casting a broad generalization In terms of ideas, concepts are important because they are the foundation of communication and thought Concepts provide a means for people to let others know what they are thinking, and allow information to be shared Ex. Describing a youth who is involved with drugs andor crime, truancy, or problems with parents and other adults Use the concept of delinquent to communicate these same elements (ideas) Whenever a concept is used, it is important that the researcher makes clear what meaning is being attached to that term; in other words, what ideas are being attached (Operationalization) IDEAS AND THEORY Every research project has to start somewhere; typically, the starting point is an idea Ideas promote potential research endeavors The world is a research laboratory, and that you merely need to open your eyes and ears to the sensory reality that surrounds all of us to find numerous ideas for research Some ideas will be more difficult to investigate than others Those who control access to a given location (gatekeepers) or the subjects themselves may be reluctant or resistant to cooperate Some ideas may initially seem extremely interesting, but become rather plain or uninspiring upon further investigation So, you begin with an idea... But how is this related to theory? Theory-before-research model: ideas and theory must come before empirical research One begins with ideas (conjectures) and then attempts to disprove or refute them through tests of empirical research (refutation) You begin with an idea, gather theoretical information, design a research plan, identify a means for data collection, analyze the data, and report findings. This may be diagramed as follows: Idea->Theory ->Design-> DataCollection->Analysis->Findings Research-before-theory: research must occur before theory can be developed www.notesolution.com
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