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Chapter 2

chapter 2 notes

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Western University
Sociology 2206A/B
Ryan Broll

Chapter 2theory and social research INTRODUCTION y How social scientific theories work o Explain recurring patterns not unique or onetime events o Are explanations for aggregates collection of many indivs cases or other units not particular indivs o State a probability chance or tendency for events to occur rather than stating that one event must follow another WHAT IS THEORY y Social theory a system of interconnected abstractions or ideas that condenses and organizes knowledge about the social world y Social theorists create explanations around the workings of society and the interactions btwn members of social groupsTHE PARTS OF THEORY y Concepts ideas expressed as a symbol or in words o They have 2 parts a symbol word or term and a definition o Values and experiences of ppl may limit everyday conceptso Concept clusters a collection of interrelated ideas that share common assumptions belong to the same larger social theory and refer to one another o Classification concepts Classifications a means of organizing abstract complex concepts using a combo of the characteristic of simpler conceptsIdeal type a pure model about idea process or event one develops it to think about it more clearly and systematicallyused as a method of qualitative data and in social theory building o Scope concepts vary by scopevery abstract to not very abstractthe more abstract the wider the scope y Assumptions a part of social theory that is not testing but acts as a starting point or basic belief about the world these are necessary to make other theoretical statements and to build social theory y Relationships a basic statement in social theory that two ideas or variables are related to one another it can be TF conditional andor causal THE ASPECTS OF THEORY y Direction of theorizingan approach to inquiry or social theory in which one begins with abstract ideas and principles then o Deductive approachworks toward concrete empirical evidence to test the ideaso Inductive approach an approach to inquiry or social theory in which one begins with concrete empirical details then works toward abstract ideas or general principlesy Range of theor
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