The problem is that case studies are not

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The problem is that case studies are not generalizable. You cannot infer patterns across variables. As such more social scientists prefer a comparative approach. For example, a comparative approach might compare political parties in Botswana with those in Zimbabwe or more generally comparing political parties in Africa. Comparative approach may mean less emersion and less data. G. Secondary Source Data (see textbook, p. 37) Secondary data consists of material already collected and may or may not be published. Primary data is data collected by the researcher through such methods as survey research or observation. Social scientists (as a group) use a wide range of material: Personal documents such as correspondence – diaries Agency records, including government statistics – publications, data sets Reports made after an event Ephemera (printed material) can be important and includes o Advertising circulars o Company reports o Annual reports o Computer programs o Conference presentations o Manifestos (political party documents) o Newsletters o Newspaper reports o Obituaries o Photographs o Press releases o Questionnaires o Survey reports o Broadcast transcripts o Broad sheets o Leaflets o Pamphlets o Posters 12
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ISS 225 Power, Authority, Exchange Scientific Method Today, statistical data in large data sets is especially important. With inexpensive, widespread computer power most social scientists can manipulate relatively large data sets at their desktop. Various methods can be used to analyze secondary data including rigorous content analysis. Important Terms: 1. Science 2. Scientific method 3. Theory 4. Hypothesis 5. Dependent/independent variable 6. Constants/variables/attributes 7. Normative/empirical theory 8. Inductive/deductive theory 9. Experimentation 10. Survey research 11. Sampling/sampling error 12. Observation (direct, unobtrusive, participant) 13. Ethnography 14. Case studies/comparative studies 15. Secondary sources 13
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  • Fall '07
  • Williams
  • Social Science, researcher, Social Science Method

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