Sociology Lecture#2.docx - Sociology Lecture#2 Tuesday May...

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Sociology Lecture #2 Tuesday May 16 th 2017 Social Research methods Research methodology is the system of method a researcher uses to gather data on a particular research question Differ based on beliefs, previous research, etc. Much like varying theoretical approaches to sociology, there are various methods, and there is no distinct “right method” Truths No one single truth 4 different ways people make up their truths o beliefs or faith: like religion o recognized experts: careers that are professionalized, doctors, politicians, people in positions of power o agreement amongst people: we must be good, do not kill, etc. o science – a logical system that bases knowledge on direct, systemic observation: empirical evidence of some sort (things we can verify with our sense) These truths can have the same result but be different through context, ex: fish as a gift to god to help crops grow, science would argue the decomposing fish is fertilizing the ground Truths don’t have to be mutually exclusive Insider Versus Outsider Positivism: assumption of objectivity and neutrality in this approach. Is neutrality and objectivity possible? Is it something we should be striving for? Objective approach: quantities. Subjective approach: qualitative. In this model, research takes a position of privilege Interpreting and analyzing data over someone’s voice, power dynamics between subjects and researcher Range of voices should be heard Too involved/too removed is not affective, need to find a good balance Have understanding of your own positionality and social location and how it impacts your research Different access/interpretation when it comes to being an outsider/insider Quantitative and Qualitative Quantitative research focuses on social elements that can be counted or measured and are used to generate statistics No human element, delusion of objectivity, bunch of number crunching
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Qualitative research involved the close examination of characteristics that cannot be counted or are difficult to measure Anecdotal, missing big picture Some questions employ both methods Research is sociology can be difficult because human behaviour can be complex, hard to predict due to agency Humans respond to setting around them, presence of research may make them act different (Hawthorne affect), went into a factory to test correlation between lighting and productivity, found they were more productive than usual
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