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chapter 2 outline

chapter 2 outline - Wendy Moritz Chapter 2 Sociological...

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Wendy Moritz Chapter 2: Sociological Investigation Lois Benjamin’s work shows us the doing of sociology, the process of sociological investigation Benjamin began her study to not just show that racism exists but to bring it out in the open as a way to challenge it Basics of Sociological Investigation Sociological investigation starts w/2 requirements: o Apply sociological perspective o Be curious and ask questions Science as One Form of Truth Most people in US say they believe in god, but few claim to have made direct contact with him, yet they say they believe all the same This kind of “knowing” is belief or faith 2 nd type of truth comes from recognized experts 3 rd type of truth based on simple agreement among ordinary people Science : a logical system that bases knowledge on direct systematic observation Empirical Evidence: information we can verify with our senses Common Sense versus Scientific Evidence 6 Statements that North Americans assume are true: 1. “Poor people are far more likely than rich people to break the law” False Research shows that police & prosecutors are more likely to treat well- to-do people more leniently 2. “The U.S. is a middle-class society in which most people are more or les equal” False Richest 5% of US families control more than ½ the nations total wealth Almost ½ of all families have scarcely any wealth at all 3. “Most poor people don’t want to work” False Half the poor individuals in US are children & elderly people who are not expected to work 4. “Differences in the behavior of females & males are just ‘human nature’.” False “human nature” is constructed by society we live in Some societies define “feminine” & “masculine” very differently from way we do 5. “People change as they grow old, losing many interests as they focus on their health” Not really Aging changes our personalities very little Problems of health increase in old age Elderly people keep the distinctive personalities they have had throughout their adult lives 6. “Most people marry because they are in love.” Not always Many societies marriage has little to do with love
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These confirm old saying “It’s not what we don’t know that gets us into trouble as much as things we do know that just aren’t so.” Three Ways to Do Sociology Learning more about social world 3 ways to do research: Scientific sociology, interpretive sociology, & critical sociology Scientific Sociology Scientific Sociology: study of society based on systematic observation of social behavior Scientific orientation to knowing: Positivism , assumes an objective reality exists “out there” Scientists discover this reality by gathering empirical evidence, facts we can verify w/senses by seeing, hearing, or touching Concepts, Variables, & Measurement Basic element of science: concept : mental construct that represents some part of the
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