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Week 2 Sociology notes

by: mtraub

Week 2 Sociology notes SOCI201013

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About this Document

These notes cover chapter 2
Introduction to Sociology
Perez,Victor W.
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by mtraub on Sunday February 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOCI201013 at University of Delaware taught by Perez,Victor W. in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 29 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Sociology in Sociology at University of Delaware.


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Date Created: 02/21/16
Definitions •Sample:Aselection from a larger population that is statistically representative of the population •Random Sample: Asample for which every member of an entire population has an equal chance of being selected Representative Sample: Statistically representative of the diversity of the population •Validity: The degree to which a measure or scale truly reflects the phenomenon under study •Reliability: The extent to which a measure produces consistent results •Control Variable: a factor that is held constant to test the relative impact of an independent variable Research Design:Adetailed plan or method for obtaining data scientifically. Types: Surveys, observation, experiments, use existing sources. Notes-Chapter 2 Sociological Research • Population vs. Sampling- The United States Census does a survey of the entire US population. Sociological researchers generally do not have the money or time to conduct population-wide data collection. We use sampling. • Problem with representative sample: -1936 presidential election. -Literary Digest predicted Landon would beat Roosevelt. -Selected their sample from telephone books and auto registry. -Not many people owned cars and telephones so it wasn’t really a random sample and not representative of the overall population. • Validity: How well the survey measures what it means to. Example is income. Question must be clear to be an accurate measure. –How much money do you earn a year? – What is your annual household income? –What is your income? • Reliability: If we repeat the survey under identical circumstances, will we get the same outcome (about alcohol abuse)? If you give students at UD a survey about alcohol abuse now and one year from now, would the results be the same? • Developing the conclusion, last step in scientific method: Supporting the hypothesis- people with more formal schooling earns more than people with less schooling. • Example: Defining the problem:Adolescent risk behavior… are they connected to family level? Hypothesis:Adolescents from high-income families engage in fewer risk behaviors than those from low-income families. Controlling other factors: Can we fully understand adolescent risk behavior just by looking at income? • Example of a control variable: The more fire fighters that are there, the more destruction to the building. (There is a correlation, but is there causation?) • Survey:Astudy, generally in the form of an interview or questionnaire, that provides researchers with information about how people think and act. Interview:Aface to face or telephone questioning of a respondent to obtain desired information. Questionnaire:Aprinted, written, or computerized form used to obtain information from a respondent. Benefits of questionnaires: cheaper, easier to gather data from large samples, interviewer will not cause bias, break down information to statistics. Downside to questionnaires: questions can introduce bias, less detail than interviews, easier to turn down (mail, internet, etc.) Survey bias: wording of questions, non-representative population. Benefits of interviews: harder to say no in person, change in structure, get more detailed answers, can make observations, build a network. Downsides of interviews: introduction of bias, tend to be smaller sample sizes if in person, more expensive, easy to hang up on phone interviews. Interviews: potential for bias: -Interview bias: Female interviewers> feminist responses from women than male interviewers. Black interviewers> insight into race relationship from black subjects than white interviewers. • Quantitative Research: Research that collects and reports data primarily in numerical data. • Qualitative Research: Research that relies on what is seen in field or naturalistic settings more than on statistical data. • Observation: Aresearch technique in which an investigator collects information through direct participation and/or closely watching a group or community • Ethnography: The study of an entire social setting through extended systematic observation. (Limitations: requires more time>months/years, standpoint, have to gain entrance to the group) (Benefits: give deeper understanding of groups/ communities, can get more detail about social relationships, can be more interesting to read.) • Hawthorne effect: The unintended influence that observers of experiments can have on their subjects. • SecondaryAnalysis: Avariety of research techniques that make use of previously collected and publicly accessible information and data. Example: US census data, National Longitudinal Studies, Media reports. • ContentAnalysis: The systematic coding and objective recording of data, guided by some rationale. Example: Erving Goffman’s analysis of advertisements. He found that ads showed women as subordinate/ dependent on others, taking instructions from men, engaged in caressing or touching gestures, striking seductive poses, gazing out into space. Benefits: cost effective, non-reactive, is sometimes faster. Disadvantages: limitations from the data. • Experiments:An artificially created situation that allows a researcher to manipulate variables. It measures the casual force of the independent variable on the dependent variable. Not as popular in sociology. • Experiments in the field: 4 polite, well dressed young men out to look for entry- level job.All four had high school diplomas and similar job history. 2 were black, 2 were white. 1 black applicant and 1 white applicant served 18 months in jail for felony conviction. White applicant with no criminal record had a higher change of getting a job than a black applicant with no criminal record. Benefits: shows direct measures of people’s behavior, can see casual affect of independent variable. Disadvantage: ethical limitations, not as useful for sociologists.


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