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SY280 Chapter Notes -Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing, The Control Group, Emergence


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SY280
Professor
Linda Quirke

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Book Notes
Chapter 1
Theory
oAn explanation of observed regularities or patterns
oComponents
Definitions
Specify key terms in theory
Description of phenomena
Relational statements
Connect 2 or more variables
Deterministic
o2 variables go together all of the time
Probabilistic
o2 variables go together with some degree of
regularity
oMiddle Range
Limited in scope and tested directly by gathering empirical
evidence
oGrande Theory
General and abstract
Structural functionalism
Critical theory
Little use for research purposes
Induction
oIterative
Weaving back and forth between data and theory
oGrounded theory
Deriving theories from qualitative data
Positivism
oGenerate hypothesis that can be tested
oIntersubjectivity
Different researchers should reach the same conclusions given the
same data
oDistinction between scientific statements and normative statements
Interpretivism
oGrasp the subjective meanings of peoples actions
oGain access to the common sense thinking of ppl to interpret their actions
and social world from the actors point of view
oEx: symbolic Interactionism
oPeople act based on meaning
Quantitative
oDeductive approach
oPositivism

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oSociety is an external objective reality
Qualitative
oInductive
oInterpretivist
oSociety constantly shifting and emergent property of individual creations
Values
oShould be suppressed but can intrude at any or all points in the process of
social research
Choice of research area
Forming hypothsis
Making research design
Data collevtion
Analysis
Conclusions
Interpretation
Ethics
oArise at every stage of research
oInformed consent
oDeception
oHarm of participants
oInvasion of privacy
Politics
oTake sides
Feminists focus on women and their suffering
oFunding
Private firms and govt depts.
May have vested interest in the research
May lead to research conclusions that favour the company that
funded
Govt funded is usually empirical and quantitative, short term costs
and benefits
Funding to benefit self
oAccess
Subject and organizations
Gatekeeper may influence investigation
What kind of q’s, subjects, amount of time spent with a
subject,
oNegotiation
The research bargain
Go through many people “gatekeepers” just to start
oPublication of findings
Ex panel of academics had to confirm validity before article could
be published

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Publishers want it to conform to their views and ideology
Practical Issue
oChoice of research orientation, design or method must match the specific
research question
Choosing a research question
oStates the purpose of the study in the form of a question
oStart broad and narrow down
oSet boundaries for research
Chapter 2: Research Designs
Quantitative
oExplain phenomena in terms of causes and effects expressed in terms of
general laws and principles that are fairly general, and are meant to apply
to people who were not part of the study
oNomothetic approach
Qualitative
oSeek rich description of a person or group although the description usually
involves or implies proximate, specific causes that are not meatn to
explain other situations or the behaviour of people who were not part of
the research
oIdiographic explanations
Data collection method
oSelf completion questionnaire
oStructured interview
oParticipant observation
Reliability
oWhether the same results would be received if a particular measurement
technique were administed several times to the same research subject
oParallel dependability
Replicability
oWhether others are able to repeat part or all of a study and get the same
results
oIn order to do researcher must spell out all research procedures in great
detail
oParallel confirmability
Vailidty
oIntergrity of the conclusions generated by a piece of research
oMeasurement validity
Construct vailidity
Applies mainly to quantitative
Whether an indicator really measures what it is supposed to
measure
Parallel credibility
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