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Scientific sociology tends to make us of quantitative data, while interpretive sociology relies on qualitative dataInterpretive Sociology is better suited to research in a natural setting where investigators interact with people, learning how they make sense of their everyday livesCritical Sociology (social conflict approach)Critical sociology: study of society that focuses on the need for social change. Developed in reaction to the limitations of scientific sociology, especially in the area of objectivity. Karl Marx views society as ever changing, not as a “natural” system with a fixed order, as scientific sociology views it.The importance of Change: Instead of asking “how does society work?” critical sociologists ask “Should society exists in its present form?” They ask more political and moral questions. Gender and Research Gender: the personal traits and social positions that members of a society attach to being female or male.
Chapter 2 – Sociological Investigation04:415 ways that Gender shapes research:Androcentricity: refers to approaching an issue from a male perspective. Can limit the good sociological investigationGynocentricity: seeing the world from a female perspective. Just as limiting as AndrocentricityOvergeneralizing: occurs when researchers use data drawn from people of only one sex to support conclusions about “humanity” or “society”Gender Blindness: failing to consider the variable of gender.Double Standards: researches must be careful not to distort what they study by judging men and women differently.Interference: when a subject reacts to the gender of the researcher. Methods of Sociological ResearchResearch method: systematic plan for doing researchExperiment: a research method for investigating cause and effect under highly controlled conditionsHypothesis: a statement of a possible relationship between two or more variablesThe Hawthorne effect: change in a subject’s behaviour caused simply by the awareness of being studiedSurvey Research: method in which subjects respond to a series of statements or questions in a questionnaire or an interview.Population: the people who are the focus of researchSample: a part of the population that represents the wholeQuestionnaire: a series of written questions that a researcher presents to subjectsClose-ended question: provides questions and fixed responses. Is easy to analyzeOpen-ended question: allows subjects to respond freely, time consuming for the researcher.Interview: series of questions a researcher asks respondents in person. Can be open-ended or close-endedParticipant ObservationParticipant observation: a research method in which investigators systematically observe people while joining them in their routine activities. Allows researchers an inside look at social life in settings ranging from nightclubs to religious seminaries.