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SOSC 3993 (1)
Chapter 1


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York University
Social Science
SOSC 3993
Tracy Supruniuk

SOSC 3993Chapter 1 Doing Social Research Textbook Notes IntroductionPeople conduct social research to learn something new about the social world document guesses hunches beliefs or refine their understanding on how the world worksResearchers combine theories or ideas with facts in a systematic wayLearn to organize and plan and to select the appropriate techniques to address a specific kind of questionResearchers must treat the people in the study in ethical and moral ways Researchers must fully and clearly communicate the results of a study to otherSocial research is a process in which people combine a set of principles outlooks and ideas with a collection of specific practises techniques and strategies to produce knowledgeAlternatives to Social Research Process of producing knowledge o More structured organized and systematic process than the alternatives we useKnowledge from alternatives is correctbut knowledge based on research is more likely to be true with fewer errorsAuthorityAccept something to be true because someone in a position of authority says it to be true because it is in an alternative publication you are relying on authority on a basis of knowledgeAuthorities often spend time and effort to learn something and you can benefit from their experience and workLimitation to relying on authorities 1 Easy to overestimate the expertise of other people we may assume they are right when they are wrong 2 Authorities may not agree and all authorities may not be equally dependable 3 Authorities may speak on fields they know little about or be wrong Also known asthe halo effectMisuse of authority o Sometimes organizations or individuals give an appearance of authority so they can convince others to agree to something that they might not otherwise agree to o Experts may promote ideas that strengthen their own power and positionTraditionTradition is a special case of authority authority of the pastTradition means you accept something as being true because its the way things have always beenCommon senseWe know a lot about the social word from our everyday reasoning or common senseRely on what every one knows and what makes senseallows logical fallacies to cause us to thinkCommon sense is contradictory Can originate from tradition can be correct but can contain errors misinformation contradiction and prejudiceMedia MythsTelevision shows movies and newspaper and magazine articles are important forces of informationThey do not accurately reflect social realityTheir primary goal is to entertain not to represent reality accurately o Ex perpetuate the myths of a culture people on welfare are black the mentally ill are violentMass media hype can create feeling that a major problem exists when it may notPeople are misled byvisual images1
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