WHAT DO SOCIOLOGISTS DO?
WHAT IS A VALID SOCIOLOGICAL TOPIC?
- Macro level – broad matters as the military, race relations, and multinational
- Micro level – individualistic matters as pelvic examination, how people interact
on street corners, and how people decorate their homes at Christmas.
COMMON SENSE AND THE NEED FOR SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH
- Common sense ideas may or may not be true.
- For accurate answers, we need sociological research.
SIX RESEARCH METHODS
- Surveys, participant observation, qualitative interviews, secondary analysis,
documents, and unobtrusive measures.
- The best representative sample is a random sample.
o Everyone in the population has the same chance of being included in the
Participant Observation (Fieldwork)
- The researcher participates in a research setting and observes and records what is
happening in that setting.
- Problem: generalizability – the ability to apply findings to larger population