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ENVS 1500 (5)
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Sociological methods textbook notes.docx

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Department
Environmental Studies
Course
ENVS 1500
Professor
Gail Fraser
Semester
Winter

Description
SociologicalmethodstextbooknotesChapteroneSocialresearchisaprocessinwhichpeoplecombineasetofprinciplesoutlooksandideasiemethodologywithacollectionofspecificpracticestechniquesandstrategiesieamethodofinquirytoproduceknowledgeAlternativestosocialresearchAuthorityrelyingonthewisdomofauthoritiesisaquicksimpleandcheapwaytolearnsomethingAuthoritiesoftenspendtimeandefforttogainknowledgeandyoucanbenefitfromtheirexperienceandworkSometimesorganizationsorindividualsgiveanappearanceofauthoritysotheycanconvinceotherstoagreetosomethingthattheymightnototherwiseTraditionTraditionmeansyouacceptsomethingasbeingtruebecauseItsthewaythingshavealwaysbeenEveniftraditionalknowledgewasoncetrueitcanbecomedistortedasitispassedonandsoonitisnolongertrueCommonsenseCommonsensecanoriginateintraditionItisusefulandsometimescorrectbutitalsocontainserrorsmisinformationcontradictionandprejudiceMediaMythsTelevisionshowsmoviesandnewspaperandmagazinearticlesareimportantsourcesofinformationthemediatendtoperpetuatethemythsofacultureasdosomebloggersandindividualsonsocialnetworkingtoolssuchasTwitterPersonalexperienceIfsomethinghappenstoyouifyoupersonallyseeitorexperienceityouacceptitastruePersonalexperienceorseeingisbelievinghasastrongimpactandisapowerfulsourceofknowledgeUnfortunatelypersonalexperiencecanleadyouastrayWhatappearstruemayactuallybeduetoaslighterrorordistortioninjudgmentThefirstandmostcommonproblemisovergeneralizationItoccurswhensomeevidencesupportsyourbeliefbutyoufalselyassumethatitalsoappliestomanyothersituationsLimitedgeneralizationmaybeappropriateundercertainconditionsasmallamountofevidencecanexplainalargersituationTheproblemisthatmanypeoplegeneralizefarbeyondlimitedevidenceForexampleovertheyearstheauthorshaveknownanumberofblindpeopleAllofthemhavebeenveryfriendlyCantheauthorsthenconcludethatallblindpeoplearefriendlyDothesixorsopeoplewithwhomtheyhappenedtohaveperpersonalexperiencerepresentallblindpeopleTheseconderrorselectiveobservationoccurswhenyoutakespecialnoticeofsomepeopleoreventsandtendtoseekoutevidencethatconfirmswhatyoualreadybelieveandtoignorecontradictoryinformationPeopleoftenfocusonorobserveparticularcasesorsituationsespeciallywhentheyfitpreconceivedideasWearesensitivetofeaturesthatconfirmwhatwethinkAthirderrorisprematureclosurewhichoftenoperateswithandreinforcesthefirsttwoerrorsPrematureclosureoccurswhenyoufeelyouhavetheansweranddonotneedtolistenseekinformationorraisequestionsanylonger
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