Sociology Research

bohoxadu's version from 2017-10-09 16:08


Question Answer
What are the steps in research?1. Select a Topic- as you gather research your topic may shift; you generally have an idea of what you’re studying 2. Define the Problem- find out what you want to learn about, about the subcultural 3. Review the Literature- make sure to try all different terms/variations of the term your looking from, look at where the data is from etc 4. Formulate a Hypothesis- statement of what to find, you are predicting a relationship among variables. 7. Analyzing the Results- what does this mean 8. Draw Your Conclusions- rap it up
Hypothesis a statement of how variables are expected to be related to one another; often according to predictions from a theory (1) deductive reasoning - from theory to data (2) inductive reasoning - from date to theory
Qualitative Data field notes, you’re asking why
Quantitative Data numerical, how much of this how much of that
What outline do academic articles follow?The same outline as scientific research (ex. choosing a topic..analyzing etc.)
What is an abstract? (paragraph more intended)- what they studied, how they studied and what they found— very helpful when doing research. Drug Article- did it through interviews
Operational definitionsprecise ways to measure variables
Validityoperational variables measure what is intended
Reliability if another researcher uses it to repeat the study, findings will be consistent with yours
Hawthorne Effect This is unique to studying people VS things/items. It is named after a piece of research done; they were trying to get the most productivity out of their workers. They turned the light down, made it brighter in room, up the AC, lowered the AC. if you know someone is watching you it changes your behavior. When you study people and they know are you studying them it atomically changes their behavior. ex: Rapists have different responses (male vs. female)
SurveyA study that asks short-answer questions of a fairly large number of people.
Respondentspeople you ask questions to
Narrow of Population - target group going to study— to get a sample, keep in mind who you are looking to study
SampleThe population that a researcher gathers data on to assess the entire population.
Random SampleA sample in which each individual in the population has an equal chance of being selected.
Stratified Random Sample specially looking at a small subsection of an entire population ex: female queens students (a sub sect) Ex: making a study of students in Queens College— people in morning will be different then students who go to class in afternoon.
Questionnairesyou make a list of questions and you give people that list and they answer. A strength of this is that it is pretty cheap to do, to collect data, and not as time consuming. But there are a lot down sides- people don’t really pay attention/ have time to fill them out, you don’t control the environment people are in when they fill it out.
Interviews a lot of times its face to face, it takes up a lot of time, the person doing the interview influences the answers EX: if it’s a female interviewing you about your sex life VS a male interviewing- the answers will probably be different.
Structured Questions they have set answers: “a, b, c, d” type— easier to answer in a data base, but often they don’t get the truest answer
Unstructured Questions fill in the blank “How do you feel about this?” etc it gives you more information and you have to analysis what they mean, which is time consuming.
What are the strengths of surveys? o Can collect date in large numbers o Nice to make comparisons overtime if you have a good sample o It’s too nice to be able to generalize EX: what all queens college students can do, generalizing data
What are the weaknesses of surveys? o If you pick a bad sample, it sques the data o You can ask biased questions — Ex: using certain words “forbid” VS. “Not allow” wording effecting the answer you get o You can list biased choices, the person being asked o Doesn’t allow for suddenly, you ask very big questions o People can lie to you o You can analyze the date incorrectly, not hard science as some people would like
Participant Observation/ EthnographyThe research hangs out with the people they are researching, you spend time with them, you become a part of their social group, you get descriptive data. There are a lot of complications with this- - People have to be willing to let you in, they have to want to let you win, you need to gain some sort of trust, you have to gain their corporation, it usually takes an “in’, if you don’t have trust then you won’t get good data. Have to take field notes and take part in their society.
Reflexivity remember who you are if you’re hanging out with people, keep that in mind. Who we are/ who we hang out/ what we do with them influences our data. (race, class, gender, age etc.)
What are the problems/ ethical issues that arise from ethnography?- EX: dealing with research gangs - Fox— guys were driving drunk in his study - Rapist situations and are friends with the guy (At what point do you change the data because they’re your friends)
What are the strengths of ethnography?You get a really sense of what’s happening, you get a rich idea of the environment
What are the weaknesses of ethnography?o How many people can you really study, this can only be done for a small group o You can’t generalize an entire group, tours with 5-20 people, they might be a respective of everyone, they can’t be o Skill of researcher- if you are a good writer then the ethnography will be harder to read/ not as interesting. o Self-censor- who we are can affect our results, they have to maintain trust in us throughout the study, you have to be reflexive about who you are

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