Textbook Notes (369,072)
Canada (162,366)
Sociology (1,816)
Chapter 14

Sociology 2206A/B Chapter 14: Chapter 14 - Nonreactive Qualitative Research

8 Pages

Course Code
Sociology 2206A/B
Stephen Lin

This preview shows pages 1,2 and half of page 3. Sign up to view the full 8 pages of the document.
CH. 14 – Nonreactive Qualitative Research HISTORICAL RESEARCH - Use of historical method (social change, political sociology, social movements, social stratification) Research Questions Appropriate for Historical Research - Historical research powerful method for addressing big questions – ex. Questioning how major social institutions have developed and changed over centuries - Suited for examining the combinations of social factors that produce a specific outcome - Appropriate for comparing entire social systems to see commonalities - Can strengthen conceptualization and theory building - Need knowledge of past or other cultures to fully understand them The Logic of Historical Research and Quantitative Research Quantitative versus Historical Research: - Positivist, quantitative researchers may reject the idea that there is a distinct historical method  They see no fundamental difference between quantitative social research and historical research - Historical research can be organized along three dimensions: 1) is the focus on one nation, small set of nations, or many nations? 2) Is the focus on single period in the past, across many years, or a recent time period? 3) Is the analysis based primarily on quantitative or qualitative data? The Logic of Historical Research and Interpretive Research - Historical research is an intensive examination of limited number of case studies in which social meaning and context are critical – case studies can elaborate on historical processes and specify concrete historical details  Positivist approach criticizes the historical approach – say it is inadequate because it rarely produces generalizations - H.R. focus on culture and examining individuals or groups – each social setting is unique and comparisons are impossible A Distinct Historical Approach Similarities to Field Research CH. 14 – Nonreactive Qualitative Research - Both recognize that researcher’s point of view is unavoidable part of research, both involve interpretation - Both examine a great diversity of data – gain empathic understanding, capture subjective feelings, examine rituals and symbols that dramatize culture - Both use grounded theory (theory emerging during data collection process) - Both researcher’s meaning system frequently differs from the people they study, but they try to penetrate and understand the population point of view - Both focus on process and sequence – both are sensitive to the tension between agency and structure - Generalizations and theory are limited in both Unique Features of Historical Research - Relies on limited and indirect evidence – reconstruct what occurred from evidence (this evidence depends on the survival of data from the past; not absolute confidence) - Evidence must be interpreted and reflected upon - Historical researchers recognize the capacity of people to learn, make decisions, and act on what they’ve learned to change the course of events - Integration of micro and macro levels - Researcher examines specific contexts, notes similarities and differences, then generalizes STEPS IN A HISTORICAL RESEARH PROJECT Conceptualizing the Object of Inquiry - Begins by becoming familiar with the setting a conceptualizing what is being studied - Provisional concepts contain implicit assumptions and guide a search through evidence - Orientation reading if researcher is not familiar with historical era - It is impossible to begin research without a framework of assumptions, concepts, and theory Locating Evidence - Locates and gathers evidence through extensive bibliographic work - For comparative research, this means focusing on specific nations or units and on particular kinds of evidence within each CH. 14 – Nonreactive Qualitative Research - Adjusting initial concepts, questions, or focus on the basis of what he or she discovers in the evidence – reports at different levels of analysis Evaluating Quality of Evidence - Two questions whether gathering evidence: 1) How relevant is the evidence to emerging research questions and evolving concepts? 2) How accurate and strong is the evidence? - With the shift of research, evidence not relevant becomes relevant and new avenues may be stimulated - Researcher reads evidence for three things: the implicit conceptual frameworks, particular details, and empirical generalizations - Evaluations of alternative interpretations of evidence and where it fails to address an event, topic, or issue Organizing Evidence - Begin a preliminary analysis by noting low-level generalizations or themes - Then organize evidence using theoretical insights to stimulate new ways to organize data and new questions to ask for evidence - Examination of evidence to develop new concepts by critically evaluation the evidence based on theory - Using the formulation of new concepts to re-examine the evidence Synthesizing - Refining concepts, creating new ones, and moving towards a general explanatory model - Looking for patterns to draw out similarities and differences with analogies - Organizing events into sequences - Synthesis links specific evidence with an abstract model of underlying relations or causal mechanisms Writing a Report - Crucial step - Distilling evidence into exposition and prepares extensive footnotes - Weaving together evidence and arguments to communicate a coherent picture to “tell a story” DATA AND EVIDENCE IN HISTORICAL EVIDENCE CH. 14 – Nonreactive Qualitative Research Types of Historical Evidence - History means events of the past, a record of the past, and a discipline that studies the past - Historiography the method of doing historical research or of gathering and analyzing historical evidence - Traditional historians rely heavily on primary sources Primary Sources - Come from those who lived in the past that have survived to the present - Letters, diaries, movies, novels, photographs, etc. - Published and unpublished written documents are the most important type of primary source – helpful for studying societies and historical periods  Written word was main medium  Thought that only elite were only writing and that views of illiterate went unrecognized - Have realism and authority Secondary Sources - Writing of specialist historians who have spent years studying primary sources Running Records - Consist of files or existing statistical documents maintained by organizations
More Less
Unlock Document

Only pages 1,2 and half of page 3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Unlock Document
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Unlock Document

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.