Chapter 3 - Chapter 3: Doing Sociology: the scientific...

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Chapter   3:   Doing   Sociology:   the   scientific  method  Chapter Objectives : After working on the chapter, students should be familiar with the research process, research techniques and key terms, know the differences between scientific research reports and popular media articles, be able to consume research work. Topic Outline : 1. the research process 2. research reasoning: inductive vs deductive 3. philosophical approaches 4. Formulating theories 5. research design 6. data analysis Summary of the Basics: 1. the research process: Sociologists gather factual evidence by observing society to seek objective understanding of society. Empirical investigations lead to theories which are vehicles used to explain social phenomena. Scientific research is then a theory-building process. Empirical research will proceed by first identifying a research problem, then reviewing literature to formulate Conceptual framework ( a set of concepts interrelated to describe and classify phenomena) or Theoretical framework (the theories used as a base to develop hypotheses); and next formulating hypothesis and measuring variables, designing research to obtain empirical information; then collecting and analyzing data; finally interpreting and reporting research findings. Techniques to be mastered are as follows. 2. two reasoning approaches: Research can be done for two purposes, to test a theory (deductive ) or to generate a theory. A researcher can proceed (deductively ) by starting from existing theories, draw hypothesis to test the theory. Inductive research means we can proceed ( inductively ) by starting by observing society, conceptualizing to generate a theory.
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3. Philosophical approaches: Positivist approach uses precise measurement and rigorous analysis of data to seek pattern out of social life. Interpretive approach seeks to study the meaning underlying social action and interpret how people create and maintain social world by detailed observation of social interaction. Critical social science considers sociological inquiry should go beyond surface pattern to uncover the underlying mechanisms that account for social relations in social structure and empower people to change conditions for more equal society. 4. Formulating hypothesis: Concepts, propositions, variables, hypotheses are all basic to the development of theories . Hypothesis: a testable statement about the cause-effect relationship between two variables Variable: concept ( abstractions used as building blocks for development of hypotheses) that has different degrees of values. Independent variable : the “cause” variable Dependent variable : the “effect” variable Hypothesis is based on Correlation : change in one variable is accompanied by change in the other. Positive :
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Chapter 3 - Chapter 3: Doing Sociology: the scientific...

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