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Chapter 14

Research Methods - Chapter 14.doc

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Western University
Sociology 2206A/B
Neil Holt

Research Methods Chapter 14: Historical-Comparative Research [Introduction] - Collection of techniques; some blend into traditional history, other quantitative research - Suited for examining combinations of social factors - Good for comparing entire social systems - Can strengthen conceptualization and theory building - Difficulty: needs knowledge of past and other cultures [Logic of Comparative Research] - Appropriate when asking big questions - See no difference between HC and quantitative – both measure variables, test hypotheses, analyze quantitative data and replicate research data - Differs from interpretive approach - Criticized for small sample sizes - Similar to field research because: - Both recognize researcher’s point of view is unavoidable - Both examine great diversity of data - Both use Grounded Theory: theory emerges during process of data collection - Both research meaning differs from that f people she is studying - Both focus on Process and Sequence - Both generalization and theory are limited in research - Unique because it relies on limited and indirect evidence - Must also interpret evidence –everyone will have a different interpretation - Recognizes capacity of people to learn, act on what they learn and modify the course of events - Unique because integrate micro and macro levels [Steps in Historical Research Project] - Conceptualizing object of inquiry - Locating evidence - Evaluating Quality of Evidence - Organizing Evidence - Writing Report [Data and Evidence in Historical Context] - Historiography: method of doing historical research or of gathering/analyzing historical evidence - Primary Sources: Items belonging to those in the past that have survived to the present - Secondary Sources: writings of specialist historians who have spent time studying primary sources - Running Records: files or existing statistical documents maintained by organizations Research Methods Chapter 14: Historical-Comparative Research - Recollections: words or writings of individuals about past lives or experiences based on memory - Oral Histories: pass on information not by written by words - Research with secondary sources limit chances of acc
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