Sociology Research Methods Feminist Theory ≠ Anti-Men: 1. Focuses on various aspects of patriarchy 2. Male domination and female subordination are determined not by biological necessity but by structures of power and social convention 3. Examines the operation of patriarchy in both microlevel and macrolevel settings —overlaps with conflict theory and symbolic interactionism 4. Existing patterns of gender inequality can and should be changed for the benefit of all members of society Common Characteristics of Feminist Theory gender inequalities are not biologically determined, but rather are: socially constructed patriarchy is present in nearly all societies feminist theory today: focus on the intersection of social statuses among women Critiques of Feminist Theory ignores non-gender-based social factors, i.e., how people are affected by their race, socioeconomic status, abilities, etc. In Sum: Feminist Theory blends macro and micro approaches ≠ Anti-Men inequality is socially constructed patriarchy hurts everyone, but particularly disadvantages women Scientific versus Unscientific Thinking in everyday life, our biases easily influence our observations biases often lead us to draw incorrect conclusions about what we see ten common errors are regularly found in unscientific thinking. Scientific thinking seeks to avoid these types of errors. Types of Unscientific Thinking Unscientific knowledge can be based on: 1. Tradition 2. Authority 3. Casual observation 4. Overgeneralization 5. Selective observation 6. Qualification 7. Illogical reasoning 8. Ego-defence
9. Premature closure of inquiry 10. Mystification Research Preliminaries Samples and Populations: A sample is the part of the population of research interest that is selected for analysis A population is the entire group about which the researcher wants to generalize Research Approaches: Reality Construction and Confirmation One goal of scientific research is to produce “objective” results Objectivity Objectivity is not “sterile” Objectivity is assessed by the degree of consistency between the observations of independent observers The Importance of Viewpoint Concepts and principles do more than limit reality; they shape it.