All sociologists want to learn about the social world often times w the

All sociologists want to learn about the social world

This preview shows page 34 - 43 out of 57 pages.

All sociologists want to learn about the social world, often times w/ the intention of making positive changes to society. Three ways to do sociological research Scientific Interpretive Critical Sociology
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Scientific Sociology “Positivist” Sociology” Science A logical system that bases knowledge on direct, systematic observation Scientific Sociology The study of society based on systematic observation of social behavior
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Scientific Sociology Empirical Evidence Information we can verify with our senses Concepts, variables, correlation, cause and effect, statistics, reliability. *This type of approach takes a great deal of time/ effort/research within the confines of this semester’s length may be only partially possible.
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Thoughts on Objectivity Objectivity (personal neutrality) To allow the facts to speak for themselves and not be influenced by the researcher’s personal values and biases (domestic abuse/white supremacist) Value-relevant research Topics the researcher cares about Value-free research (value neutrality) Dedication to finding truth as it is rather than as we think it should be (drug laws/food sociology)
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Interpretive Sociology Humans engage in meaningful action Interpretive sociology The study of sociology that focuses on the meanings people attach to their social world. Max Weber was instrumental in developing interpretive sociology We learn more by interacting w/ people, and attempting to understand this fluid and ever-changing world of perception.
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Interpretive Sociology Quantitative data : numerical measurements of sociological behavior/outward behavior . * What kind of things could we measure/study w/ this approach? vs. Qualitative data : researchers accounts of how people understand their surroundings/world/society * What kind of things could we measure/study w/ this approach?
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Weber’s Concept of Verstehen German word for “understanding” Interpretive sociologist’s job Observe what people do Share in their world of meaning Appreciate why they act as they do Subjective thoughts and feelings, though difficult to measure, are the focus of interpretive sociologist’s attention. How can we cultivate as much “verstehen” as possible?
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Interpretive Sociology Interpretive sociology differs from scientific or empirical sociology in these ways: Scientific sociology focuses on action (what people do, dirtect ob) Interpretive sociology focuses on meaning (understanding of their actions/surroundings) Scientific sociology sees an objective reality (exists “out there”) Interpretive sociology sees reality as subjective (created by people in their everyday lives, changing) Scientific sociology favors quantitative data Interpretive sociology favors qualitative data Scientific orientation is well-suited for research in a laboratory Interpretive orientation is better suited in a natural setting
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Critical Sociology The study of society that focuses on the need for social change….Marx Critical sociologists ask moral and political questions: “How does society work and should it exist in its present form?”
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