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The relationship between theory and research

The relationship between theory and research - SOCIOLOGICAL...

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Unformatted text preview: SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH METHODS The relationship between theory and research—overcomes “common sense” Theory gives meaning to research—research helps support theory—answers the biggest sociological question: WHY? Weber wanted research to be value-free: should it be social analysis, or should it be for social change? Durkheim: did the first scientific research on suicide, in his book Suicide (1897) which was the result of anomie or a structural breakdown—evaluated 26,000 suicides—Durkheim proposed that suicide was a result of the lack of cohesiveness in society and symptomatic of large-scale social problems, rather than isolated individual choices—Durkheim wanted to prove the importance of society in situations that might appear to be arbitrary acts by individuals-- created the research methods and social hypotheses that continue until today Only previous work done by Henry Morselli (1881) who concluded (at the height of social Darwinism) that suicide is part of an evolutionary process to sort out “weak-brained”...
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