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SOCI 101, Week 2

by: Melissa Weber
Melissa Weber

GPA 4.0

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About this Document

These are my notes for Chapter 2. The notes cover everything that is in Chapter 2, including main ideas and definitions.
Introduction to Sociology
Heidi Lee Pasek
Class Notes
Introduction to Sociology
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Melissa Weber on Sunday September 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOCI 101-01 at Montana State University - Great Falls College of Technology taught by Heidi Lee Pasek in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 64 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Sociology in Health Sciences at Montana State University - Great Falls College of Technology.


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Date Created: 09/11/16
Chapter 2, Week 2: Sociological Investigation SOCIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION 1) Bases of Sociological Investigation a) Three types of Truth i) Belief or Faith ii) Recognized Experts iii) Simple agreement among ordinary people 2) Two Types of Knowing a) Science b) Empirical Evidence 3) Common Sense vs Scientific Evidence a) “We need to evaluate more critically what we see, read, and hear” 4) Three Ways to Do Sociology a) Positivist Sociology i) Concepts, Variables, and Measurement (1)Operationalize a Variable  Need Reliability  Needs Validity (2)Cause and effect  Independent variable  Dependent variable (3)Correlation (4)Spurious Correlation ii) Ideal of Objectivity (1)Objectivity (2)*Max Weber*  German sociologist  Value-free  Scientist, not a politician i) Some Limitations of Scientific Sociology (1)Human behavior is too complex for sociologists to predict any individual’s actions precisely (2)Because humans respond to their surroundings, the presence of a researcher may affect the behavior being studied (3)Social patterns vary; what is true in one time or place may not hold true in another (4)Because sociologists are part of the social world they study, they can never be 100% value-free when conducting social research b) Interpretive Sociology i) The Importance of Meaning (1)Focuses on actions Chapter 2, Week 2: Sociological Investigation (2)Reality is subjective (3)Qualitative data (4)Learn more by interacting with people ii) Weber’s concept of VERSTEHEN (1)German word for understanding (2)Interpretive sociologist does not just observe what people do but also tries to understand why they do it (3)Thoughts and feelings are the focus (4)Combines a positivist focus on observation with an interpretive view of understanding behavior in the social world c) Critical Sociology i) The Importance of Change (1)Critical sociologists ask moral and political questions (2)Does not reject science completely (3)Rejects the positivist claim that researchers should try to be “objective” (4)Seeks change not just in society but also the character of research itself ii) Sociology as Politics (1)Critical sociologists think that all research is political or biased (2)Activist orientation (3)Sometimes take a positivist interest in things, such as; income equality (4)Political range from liberal to radical left a) Research Orientations and Theory i) Link between research orientations and sociological theory (1)Positivist orientation  Structural-functional approach (2)Interpretive Orientation  Symbolic-interaction approach (3)Critical Orientation  Social-conflict approach 5) Issues Affecting Sociological Research a) Gender i) Androcentricity (1)Approaching an issue from a male perspective ii) Overgeneralizing (1)Data that is drawn from people of only one sex to support conclusions iii) Gender blindness iv) Double standards (1)Do not distort what they study by judging men and women differently v) Interference Chapter 2, Week 2: Sociological Investigation (1)If a subject reacts to the sex of the researcher, interfering with the research operation b) Research Ethics i) American Sociological Association (ASA) (1)The ASA has established formal guideline for conduction research (2)Guidelines (a)Sociologist must  be skillful and fair-minded in their work  disclose all research findings without omitting significant data  make sure that the subjects taking part in a research project are not harmed  stop their work right away if they suspect that any subject is at risk of harm  protect the privacy of anyone involved in a research project  get the informed consent of participants  reveal in their published results the sources of all financial support  They must avoid accepting money from a source if there is any question of interest 6) Research Methods a) Testing a Hypothesis: The Experiment i) The Hawthorne Effect (1)Experiment (a)Late 1930s (b)The Western Electric Company hired researchers to investigate worker productivity (c)The Hawthorne effect: a change in a subject’s behavior caused simply by the awareness of being studied ii) The “Stanford County Prison” (1)Experiment (a)1972 (b)Phillip Zimbardo (c)Conclusion: Researchers must carefully consider the potential harm to subjects at all stages of their work and halt any study iii) Population and Sample iv) Using Questionnaires (1)Survey  Questionnaire  Interview v) Conducting Interviews (1)Give the exact word Chapter 2, Week 2: Sociological Investigation (2)Standardize a technique (3)Strike the balance between uniformity and rapport vi) In The Field: Participant Observation (1)Research Method (a)Experiment (b)Survey (c)Participant observation (d)Use of existing sources vii) Using Available Data: Existing Sources (1)Data about the whole world are as close as your library or the Internet (2)Government data are generally more extensive and more accurate than what most researchers could obtain on their own viii) Research Methods and Theory (1)Inductive logical thought (a)Thinking runs from the specific to the general (2)Deductive logical thought (a)Thinking runs from the general to the specific Chapter 2, Week 2: Sociological Investigation Science: a logical system that bases knowledge on direct, systematic observation Empirical evidence: information we can verify with our senses Positivist sociology: the study of society based on systematic observation of social behavior Concept: a mental construct that represents some part of the world in a simplified form Variable: a concept whose value changes from case to case Measurement: a procedure for determining the value of a variable in specific case Operationalize a variable: specifying exactly what is to be measured before assigning a value to a variable Reliability: consistency in measurement Validity: actually measuring exactly what you intend to measure Cause and effect: a relationship in which change in one variable causes change in another Independent variable: the variable that causes the change Dependent variable: The variable that changes Correlation: a relationship in which two (or more) variables change together Spurious correlation: an apparent but false relationship between two (or more) variables that is caused by some other variable Control: holding constant all variables except one in order to see clearly the effect of that variable Objectivity: personal neutrality in conducting research Replication: repetition of research by other investigators Interpretive sociology: the study of society that focuses on the meanings people attach to their social world Critical sociology: that study of society that focuses on the need for social change Experiment: a research method for investigating cause and effect under highly controlled conditions Hypothesis: a statement of a possible relationship between two (or more) variables Population: the people who are the focus of research Sample: a part of a population that represents the whole Questionnaire: a series of written questions a researcher presents to subjects Interview: a series of questions a researcher asks respondents in person Participant Observation: a research method in which investigators systematically observe people while joining them in their routine activities Chapter 2, Week 2: Sociological Investigation Inductive logical thought: reasoning that transforms specific observations into general theory Deductive logical thought: reasoning that transforms general theory into specific hypotheses suitable for testing


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