SOCI 2510 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Hawthorne Effect

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10 Apr 2012
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Chapter 2: Sociological Investigation
-Perspectives and theory
-Investigation and methods
Examples of each (should focus on each and have a clear understanding of each)
learning what is masculin and what is feminine. Society has accepted different sanctions for
meeting roles and expectations
seeing the general in the particular e.g hand holding for sociolization (for men to be protective to
woment and women wanting the protection)
it may mean something else, being critical
people hold hands in all kinds of ways
Familiar and the strange
Familiar: we make decisions
Strange: decisions are influenced by position, ethnic, gender, religious, regional, etc
Circumstances are such which did influence our decisions
Asking sociological questions – critical approach for what you hear is a good thing, and having
valid info which does repreasnt all the cases
Selecting samples to get the result we want
Consider observations made and examples used
Theory is part of the perspectives
Answers to how or why questions that can be imperically tested e.g ethnicity (1)->income(2)
>deliquency(3), they are interrelated
Number variables may change
This is because they are associated with eachother
Look at how you collect and analyze your data
Know where you get your info from e.g Statistics Canada
E.g Rape, some woment report it and some don’t because they don’t want to be victimized again
X4, x6, x9, for reported rape for the kind of data and how it was collected in the research you do
Respect quality of data being collected to support in any theory, or point of which in
generalization occurs
Generalization are not stereotypes
Generalization is done by sociologists
Stereotypes are done by anyone in the society
- Theories
1 -Structural Functionalist
- everything works out, to make it stable e.g the human body
- Durkheim, Merton, Spencer
2-Conflict: 1 Class Economy: Marx, Pantikh, Coser, Gramscc
2-Conflict: 2 Feminists (activists) gender inequality - work with larger groups
3- S.I Symbolic Interactionists: when we react, we create roots of meanings in society George
Hubert, Mead, Golfman - work with very large groups
-personal problems can be transferred into public issues by the mobilizations of people
methods - research ethics - doing the right thing, following rules of right conduct
situational --> conduct situations can have a powerful affect on what we do
experiment (scientific method)
-RA (randomly assign) -guards
- prisoners (Stanford University)
- 4 weeks
when we are in different situations, we behave differently
e.g milgrim experiment from the 70's -learning throught punishment
-scientific approach - the experiment:
1) random assignment of subjects to treatments, implimentation of the treatmet
2) manipulation of a variable
3) outcome conduct
Subjects, Random assignment, treatment groups
- difference of what you tell, and what you really want, thus you may have to lie in order to get
proper analysis
-major approaches of doing research
-Scientific is most usefuland elaborative
-validity mesuring so you get to the heart of what you mean
-reliability : same findings, but does not get to heart of what you want to figure out
statistical analysis: surveys, questionnaires,
sample - populations
used judgements or sample randomly
Textbook Notes:
Social investigation starts with two simple requirements. The first is the focus of chapter one:
Applying the sociological perspective. This point of view reveals curious patterns of behaviour all
around us that call for further study and leads to the second requirements- seeing the world
sociologically and asking questions -are fundamental to sociological investigation
Science: is a logical system that bases knowledge on direct, systematic observation.
Empirical evidence: meaning information we can verify with our senses
Scientific sociology: is the study of society based on systematic observation of social behaviours
“positivism” assumes that an objective reality exists “out there”
concept: a mental construct that represents some part of the world in a simplified form
variable: is a concept whose value changes from case to case. Them familiar variable (price for
example) changes from item to item in a supermarket. Similarly, we use the concept “social class”
to identify people as “upper class,” “middle class,” “working class,” or “lower class”
the use of variables depends on measurements: a procedure for determining the value of a
variable of a variable in a specific case. E.g how would you measure a person's “social class”?
Therefore, sociologists use statistical measures-like mode, mean and median to describe people or
operationalize a variable: specifying exactly what is to be measured before assigning a value to a
Reliability: refers to consistency in measurement. A measurement is reliable if repeated
measurements give the same result time after time
But, consistency does not guarantee validity: which means actually measuring exactly what you
intend to measure
cause and effect: a relationship in which change in one variable causes change in another
independent variable: variable that causes the change
dependent variable: the variable that changes
correlation: is a relationship in which two (or more) variables change together
spurious correlation: an apparent but false relationship between two (or more) variables that is
caused by some other variable
control: holding constant all variables except one in order to see clearly the effect of that variable
To sum up, correlation means only that two (or more) variables, change together
1. a demonstrated correlation
2. an independent (or causal) variable that occurs before the dependent variable
3. no evidence that a third variable could be causing a spurious correlation between the two
objectivity: personal neutrality in conducting research. Social scientists need to study this reality
without changing it in any way.
Sociologists, like everyone else are influenced by their social backgrounds.
One way to limit distortion caused by personal values is replication: repetition of research by
other investigators
interpretive sociology: is the study of society that focuses on the meanings people attach to their
social world
interpretive sociology differs from scientific or positivist, sociology in three ways. First,
scientific sociology focuses on action, or what people do, whereas interpretive sociology deals
with the meaning attached to behaviour.
Second, while scientific sociology sees an objective reality “out there,” interpretive sociology
sees reality as being constructed by people themselves in the course of their daily lives
third, while scientific sociology tends to make use of quantitative data, interpretive sociology
relies on qualitative data
It is the interpretive sociologist's job not to observe what people do but to share in their world of
meaning and come to appreciate why they act as they do
language is absolutely fundamental to the human experience, to shared symbols and
understandings, and to social life and interaction.
To understand group life, one must get inside the minds of the individual actors through close and
sustained contact. One must achieve intimate familiarity by relying on three sources of data:
observation, participant-observation and interviews”
Karl Marx, who founded the critical orientation, rejected the idea that society exists “as a natural”
system with a fixed order.
Critical sociology: by contrast, is the study of society that focuses on the need for social change
critical sociologists ask moral and political questions, such as “should society exist in its present