Research Methods Chapter 2 - Research Methods: Chapter 2...

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Research Methods: Chapter 2Sociology as a ScienceSeveral characteristics:Knowledge is only based on factsFacts are part of the real world and can be observed.When making scientific observations, we do not let our personal emotions interfere withour observations- “objectivity”.We use the scientific method- experiments, colleting data and analyzing data.When following the proper procedures of science, you discover the truth about the world.With research it has been found that “doing science” such as physics, astronomy, etc dependsheavily on things like informal negotiations between scientists, drama and rituals.This shows that personal opinions, biases, and cultural understandings are at the veryheart of most sciences.Completely objective observations of the world are impossible- without the claim toobjective knowledge, science ceases to be useful.oThis point of view is associated withrelativism: the belief that there is noultimate truth.On the other hand, criticisms of objectivity do not undermine science because objectivityis not necessary for something to be called “scientific”.Theory and ResearchFor most sociologists it is important that their research be closely connected with a theoryor set of theories.Theories:abstracts about the world.oMost sociological research is deigned to evaluate a theory, either by testing it orby exploring the applicability of the theory to different situations.oThere are many theories in sociology but the four main theoretical perspectivesare used most: structural functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism,and feminism.oTheories cannot be tested directly, they are only abstract ideas. They must betranslated into observable ideas-operationalization.OperationalizationThe process of translating theories and concepts into hypotheses and variables.Concepts:single ideas composed from theories.Hypotheses:to test a theory we need an observable equivalent of a theory or at least a setof observable statements that are consistent with our theory.oExpress relationships between variables.oMust be observable and testable.Variables:the empirical or observable equivalent of concepts.oMust be observable and must have a range of different values.Hypotheses contain two variables:oIndependent: equivalent to causes.oDependent: equivalent to effects.
Validity and ReliabilityValidityOf an empirical indicator is always related to the concept it is supposed to capture.

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Term
Fall
Professor
BarryM
Tags
Sociology, researcher

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