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by: Melyssa Gaylord


Melyssa Gaylord
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Class Notes
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This 17 page Class Notes was uploaded by Melyssa Gaylord on Saturday September 12, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOCI 1101H at University of Georgia taught by Finlay in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see /class/202051/soci-1101h-university-of-georgia in Sociology at University of Georgia.




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Date Created: 09/12/15
TOPIC 2 DOING SOCIOLOGY I RESEARCH METHODS II DIFFICULTIES IN SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH III ETHICAL ISSUES IN SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH l RESEARCH METHODS Question you want to investigate should drive the type of research used Where do data come from 1 Official or public records comprehensive data data about an entire society Example Durkheim s study of suicide Rare that there is an official record of the things that we are interested in about society ex Attitudes thoughts etc 2 Experiments manipulate variables to test theoriessample or subset of the population Example study ofdomestic violence Sherman and Berk Experiments are not all that common in sociology Many very interesting experiments are too unethical to be performed Random assignment makes an experiment work Deterrence theom People who are arrested by the police when they beat their spouses or partners will be less likely to repeat this behavior Labeling theom People who are arrested by the police will become more aggressive not less they will be less likely to repeat this behavior if they receive other treatment like counseling or separation How do you get data to test these theories In the past people had looked at arrest records and previous studies had found that the police used personal discretion in deciding what to do arrest or counseling lessertreatment Problem the police are arresting likely repeat offenders and that gives a bias to the research that just looks at police records Compare arrested abusers with nonarrested abusers Sherman and Berk s answer focus on a single police department and use a eld experiment Police options in cases of simple domestic assault arrest the suspect recommend counselingadvice separate the pair Research method Problem domestic violence is very hard to identify because the victims feel vulnerable and are concerned about what will happen if they report it give officers randomly arranged colorcoded report forms and have these forms determine their decision followup with victims over the next 6 months Findingsdeterrence appears to work on the basis of the Minneapolis study Arrest effective Police Response Suspect s Arrest Counseling Separation Later Behavior Beat Spouse Partner Again 13 18 26 Did Not Beat Spouse Partner Again 87 82 74 What did subsequent studies of domestic violence nd Not supported completely by subsequent studies Mixed results Employed and married people were less likely to repeat ifarrest was the punishment because they have more to lose by being arrested Took all ofthe studies and made a better theory about what theory works when No theory explaining all deviance Other wellknown examples of experimental research Robbers Cave Summer camp 2 teams seeing how different teams affected how they acted toward each other members ofopposite groups became violent toward each other but violence ceased and cooperation came about with the kids being asked to work together to help solve a problem Stanford prison Ethical concerns experiment with students testing brutality depending on how they acted do positions define brutality orjust personality and it was found that the role of guards became violent Milgram study of obedience Film to come Anyone can obey Willingness to obey authority very few rebelsHardwired to cooperate Hawthorne studies How people s workplace bases on their performance Example ofa bad study People responded to how they were being studied not how their environment affected them You want people to be ignorant ofthe experiment because our mind influences the outcomes Status Characteristics studies Success and betterjudgement attributed more to those of higher status in this example men over women Men did not have to have welfare ofgroup in mind but women did need to be group focused to be highly rated Women could only measure up to men if they were group focused but never could exceed men in any case Low status can gain respect if they are group focused stigmatization and performance Reason for evaluation changes performance If the test was a competitive test the minority groups did not do as well on tests as those in the majority lfthe test was purely for research purpose the minority groups would do just as well as the majority A good example of Labeling Theory Also working the other way if they are told they are good and will do well they do whereas if they are expected to do poorly they do You can set people up for success or failure depending on how you depicta test and their status Key issues in experimental research matching of groups similar groups less mixture of agesinterests random assignment important for applying a treatment hope that they match on a set of characteristics replication can it be repeated Telling people how you did it and having them be able to find the same results ethical issues deception abuse etc most of the time people are always being tricked because if people know what is being studied they ask differently Some want justification for this trickery 3 Surveys using random samples generalizable data Majority of sociologists rely on surveys to collect data Government also collects data through surveys households crime etc and sociologists use their information Random Probability Sampling every person in the population should have an equal chance of being selected for the sample Key issues randomness Must be a random selection from whatever population you are interested in Must know the population you want to survey and everyone must have an equal chance of being selected sample size Not as big of a deal You can often still have a good and accurate study done with a smaller sample size Bigger samples give greater con dence in the results Always an element of risk when you generalize a sample to a population more people less risk Population does not have to be everyone it can be a de ned population but even in a de ned population you can t survey everybody expense wording of questions 39 Questions asked in a misleadingconfusing way will produce misleading results response categories Stronglyvery agreemoderatelyneutraldisagree Ask multiple questions to make sure people are being consistent NORC does the best sociological survey GSS data found Get in house in sit down with someone 4 Observational or eld studies detailed data on actual behavior 2 different ways of collecting data observations and interviews When you do interviews you give up the aspect of the data being representative ofthe population Surveys tend to be structured Observation and interviews are less structured and you get a more detailed understanding ofthe dynamics Key issues selection of sites Chances are that you are only going to be at one or two sites Where are you going to go Largest population or most typical place selection of respondents Mixture so that not everyone is following the pattern you are studying compare and contrast researcher bias Leave out certain aspects because you think about certain dynamics that you want to look for What you notice pick up on certain things and ignore other things Think about what you want to say harder to listen selection of data What you pull out to illustrate your study issues with qualitative observation you can get away with picking to display certain results one or some not a whole trend Selective case covert vs overt role Covert going undercover frowned upon Deceiving the people you study Don t tell people what you are doing Has to be well justified Ethical reasons people feel betrayed and invaded Overt those you are studying are aware of the study can be vague about WHAT exactly you are studying but they must know you are doing the study and what the category is DIFFICULTIES IN SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH 1 Hawthorne effect how do you know whether people are behaving normally Human subjects are hard to study they change according to their knowledge 2 Causes of social phenomena are complex and may be very difficult to measure Research question what determines how much money people make a Easytomeasure causal variables What do you think some of these are 1 Education easy to ask most people don t get it wrong but ambiguous because it impliesthat all education is the same are all degreesschool the same What classes did you take What did you learn Did you do well 2 Gender not typically ambiguous 3 Race getting more complex overtime mixed race 4 Age 5 Years ofWork Experience 6 Occupation ambiguous 7 Marital Status 8 Where you live 9 Family s Socioeconomic status b Hardtomeasure causal variables What do you think some ofthese are 1 People Skills 2 How big your network isconnectiongood mentoring 3 Ambition 4 How quickly do you learn 5 Boss s personality 6 Luck right place at the right time or visa versa 3 People may wish to keep their activities a secret Hardtostudy groups the powerful tend to be busy no time not easily accessible the deviant don t want to be found out compromise the publicly visible people who are used to answering questions and being in the spotlight but are hard to study because they are typically scripted How did Adler get to study drug dealers By becoming one of them Not a dealer but gaining trust of dealers doing some being friends How did Humphreys study homosexual encounters Acted the part of the watchman got accepted into the community OuO f ltltIgt m mOOOOOltV UmmZOZ Om mOOOOOlt mcmmOmmm Om mOOOOOOgt mmmmgtmOI mxgtltuW UCZXIE Sd mCult Om mCOum lt ltOmm mxgtltumm Om Im mOOOOOOgt gtuumOgtOI I DEFINITION OF SOCIOLOGY Sociology is a scientific discipline which focuses on how groups in uence how individuals think feel act and live 1 Sociology is empirical databased research to test argumentshypothesestheories must be able to be tested 2 Sociology examines how groups affect individuals there is an overlap between social sciences psych econ freakonomics etc Value general statement of what is right beautiful proper etc Honesty respect delity Norm specific prescription of how an individual ought to behave to be consistent with value Tolerance we value tolerance but don t care as much about tolerance itself as how people behave therefore discrimination laws and equal treatment are the Norm that come from the value of tolerance Homosexuality is a norm that has increased Norms Govern our lives Vary according to degree of conditionality ex exceptions no murder except self defense intensity how strongly we believe in the norm consensus people s agreement over types of behavior Sanctions penalties or pressures designed to enforce compliance informal socialmore common formal legal if sanctions aren t enforced the values will be there but the norms won t follow Deference Theow severe sanctions have the ability to control behavior Values amp Norms Group idual Memberships Behavior Sanctions 2 points to note a individuals belong to multiple groups with different values and norms b norms sanctions and behavior are dynamic not static they change they are socially constructed PURPOSES OF SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH 1 Factfinding eg crime rate poverty rate income distribution birth rate family composition church attendance ex Has rate gone up or down 2 Causal Analysis relationships among variables ExamplesHow something affects something else education and income income and education related how to separate variables affects birthrate group affiliation affects cheating Note sociology produces generalizations not laws Trends not laws 3 Theom Building and Testing developing general explanations of phenomena or testing two or more explanations to see which is supported by the data starts off speci c links to broad links to less broad and so on Example deviance 2 opposite theories Deterrence Theom greater social control and stronger enforcement of social norms reduce deviant behavior Be strict reduce deviance Labeling Theom when people are treated as deviants they grow to accept this definition of themselves and become increasingly deviant Strict rules encourage deviance Lenience pays off Form sense of self from the reaction of others People who think they are bad will do bad things Rehabilitation ratherthan punishment EXAMPLE DURKHEIM S STUDY OF SUICIDE Emile Durkheim s 18581917 most famous nding about suicide in Europe 1 suicide rate higher for Protestants than for Catholics and Jews How does Durkheim explain this How does he go about deciding which variables are important and unimportant as a cause of suicide States knowledge says that we need answers to this general knowledge compares Protestants and Catholics in particular countries and regions eliminate variables show that it is religious affiliation not just area you live what kind of groups are these Other ndings 2 suicide rate higher for unmarried people than for married people form of integration 3 suicide rate higher in peacetime than in wartime integration rallies unity over common struggle EXplanationSpirit of unity not integrated enough Egoistic suicide M 4 suicide rate higher for soldiers than for civilians sense ofduty pressure strict regulations tight network left behind a lot oftheir life to af liate them with this one group Become severe on yourself according to the group s thoughts and standards 5 suicide rate higher for volunteersthan for draftees pressure feel that group matters rather than being forced into it Emotional connection Explanationoverintegrated Altruistic suicide M 6 suicide rate higher in countries that experienced economic growth and recession than in economically stable countries 7 suicide rate higher for divorced people than married people EXplanationEconomic instability don t know where you t in lost ties to a group that you felt that you fit in with Life loses control Uncertainty Anomic suicide M What s Durkheim s general theory All suicide related to group ties too strong not strong enough or unclearuncertain Problematic ties IV MORE EXAMPLES OF THE SOCIOLOGICAL APPROACH 1 The Pattern of Christmas GiftGiving in Middletown fake name went back to study again after another study 50 yrs earlier Theodore Caplow Xmas gift giving a ritual that is very similar all over the world Questions he poses who gives gifts who receives gifts what kinds of gifts are given what explains the patterns Data how does he collect data on this topic 110 studied 4347 gifts given Christmas of 78 Gift Giving and Gender Table 4 Givers Male Female Male amp Female Totals What are the main ndings in this table of All Gifts Receivers Male Female 42111 170 174 180 231 392 516 09 22 61 92 Male amp Female Total 162 366 472 100 when males give gifts they give them to females males gift giving is limited females and males both receive more than they give but males difference is larger when females give they give equally to males and females they give more to males a lot ofjoint giving 50 given jointly but only 9 received jointly Gift Giving by Relationship and Residential Distance Table 6 of relationships marked by gifts Relationship to Within 50 miles Over 50 miles Respondent Respondents give gifts to Fathers 100 85 Mothers 98 90 Children 96 95 Children s spouses 92 94 Considered immediate family feel like part ofthe family Grandparents 96 50 Too old to travel not congregating as often when over 50 miles away Grandchildren 90 77 Siblings 32 35 Siblings spouses 24 24 Siblings children 19 15 Parents siblings 15 10 What are the findings in this table from fathers to grandchildren all are likely to receive gifts but once we get to siblings they are less likely to receive gifts the effects ofdivorce may be picked up by how the fathers drop 15 when over 50 miles and others only drop 8 What do these patterns indicate Fragile but important relationships are going to be cemented over by gift giving Giftsgoodwill People want to preserve the relationship between parents amp children multiple gift givingamp children are not punished by not receiving gifts Money only given from elders to youngers gift cards okay 2 What s in a name Lieberson and Bell Children s First Names and Social Taste American Journal of Sociology Nov 1992 Question what patterns are there in girls and boys names Top 6 Girls and Boys Names of Children Born in New York State 19731985 GIRLS BOYS m ofall girls names Name ofall boys names Jennifer 42 Michael 57 Christine 31 Christopher 34 Jessica 23 John 27 Melissa 20 David 26 Michelle 19 Matthew 26 Nicole 18 Joseph 26 TOTAL 15 TOTAL 20 Finding less variation in boys names than girls names 50 of boys had a name in top 20 35 of girls in top 20 boys parents go back to Biblical names no matter if it is used a lot for a long time Boys often named after their fathers boys also want to have strong solid name to personify them Girls names go back 30ish years but boys much longer 50 What do you think the reason for this is Sons keep their last names the first name always associated with the last name Stability of last name rst name Daughter s names change and so then can her first name More experiment available for girls because names will change Women choose girls names and men have more say over boys names Women are more inclined to keep up with what is hipfashionable Modern names for girls keep up the modern time As women advance in society fresh name fresh start Do we see the same results in a different sample SOCI1101 SPRING 2002 Top 6 Girls and Boys Names of Students in SOC 1101 FEMALES 201 MALES 99 Name ofall girls namesName ofall bovs names Lauren 55 Matthew 90 Sarah 45 Michael 40 Katherine 40 Benjamin 40 CKathryn Jennifer 35 Andrew 40 Jessica 30 Jonathan 30 Lindsay 30 Brian 30 Lindsey Lyndsey TOTAL 235 TOTAL 270


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