Chapter Two Social Research Methods
Sociological Headlines Man gets four years in N.J. human trafficking case (nj.com 6/28/2010) N.J. medical marijuana law could be delayed three months (nj.com 6/28/2010) N.J. budget 2011: State psychiatric and treatment centers threatened (nj.com 6/28/2010) N.J. budget 2011: Adult medical day care fee idea scrapped (nj.com 6/28/2010) This week on tv: Jersey Shore Law & Order: Special Victims Unit The Good Wife Keeping Up with the Kardashians 20/20 Dateline NBC Desperate Housewives Criminal Minds Dr. Oz Show The Bachelorette on ABC Oprah Winfrey
Continued from Chapter One….As a result,…. PROBLEMS! • Different perspectives and theories result from different interpretations of behavior • Can not approach sociology with own belief system • Individuals are dealing with their own emotions
Sociological Researchers • Auguste Comte – Father of Sociology (functionalist) • Karl Marx – Class Conflict /exploitation (social conflict) • Emile Durkheim – 1st social researcher (functionalist) Coined the term anomie. • Max Weber – Rejected Marx’s theory that all structure flowed from economy (social conflict) Cultural ideas and values were the driving force in shaping society. • George Mead – Concept of self develops through social interaction. De-emphasized biology. (Symbolic Interaction)`
QUICK WRITE: Do you believe that you are a product of your own environment?
Scientific Approach • Vigorous, systematic method of observation and examination of the universe • For sociologists - the universe covers all forms of human behavior in different societies and under different social conditions. • Scientific inquiry is empirical – the unit under investigation must be observable, measurable, and testable.
The Ultimate Goal • Science can only be applied to observable phenomena • Scientists are interested in identifying and explaining behavioral patterns and social trends. • The ultimate goal of any scientific activity is the betterment of the human condition.
Scientists are interested in…. • Description: describing the units under investigation. (What is being studied?) • Exploration: examine and work on new areas of research (uncharted territories) • Explanation: interested in explaining the phenomena under investigation. (What is taking place?) • Prediction: Make meaningful and reasonable predictions • Control: Determine the causes (proving a theory)
Challenges • Ethical Considerations - ie.. Suicide or homicide • The observed subjects respond to and interact with the observer. - unobtrusive techniques 3. Social scientists are humans who study humans. • Subject to biases, attachments, and values
Elements of Science • Developing a common language - concepts (identifies an object) - variable (Can be measured and take on different values) - measurement (Assigning # to objects) - relationship between variables – (correlation) the essence of any scientific endeavor relationships between variables - hypothesis & theory
Measurement Social Sciences: sociology, anthropology, economics, social science, psychology, political science, education • Nominal Scale (more common in social sciences) ___ Married ____ Single ___Divorced Etc…. • Ordinal Scale (more common in social sciences) Hotel rating: 5 star, 4 star,…….1 star. Natural Sciences: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology & other physical sciences • Interval Scale (more common in natural sciences) (distance betwn. Points is equal / absence of absolute zero – thermometer) • Ratio Scales (more common in natural sciences) (True zero point: weight)
Important components of Measurement • Validity – Researcher measurements what he/she intended to measure • Reliability – Consistent / Able to be replicated
Correlation • Independent variable – causes the change • Dependent variable – affected by the change *The dependent variable is DEPENDENT upon the INDEPENDENT variable.* (# of days since last hair cut and length of hair) ... @ 27 sec. • Correlation – the relationship between 2 variables. • Correlation is not causality.
Positive Correlation 1. As you increase your food intake… your weight goes up. Amount of food Your weight
Negative Correlation “Inverse” relationship The more of one – the less of the other…. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Education 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Prejudice
Causality • Cause and Effect (X causes Y) • Suggests that a relationship between 2 variable that is much stronger than a correlation.
Hypothesis A statement of prediction… ???? A tentative assumption… that needs to be tested.
Theory • Is one of the most important components in science. • Another word for an explanation. • A good theory: 1. Can be tested and best fits the evidence 2. Has logical soundness, with consistent and rational relationships. 3. Has the ability to make sense of the universe 4. Brings new information, new direction, new ideas or new approaches to research 5. Is popular and worthy of discussion among scientists and non- scientists.
Research Process • Select and define the topic. • Review the literature. • Clarify concepts and measurement. • Establish an appropriate data collection method. • Clarify the purpose, value, and ethics. • Design the research instruments and operationalize the concepts. • Define the population of interest and select a sample of subjects. • Collect the data. • Process the data. • Analyze the data. • Share the results.
Research Methods • Ways to receive information • Quantitative (numbers) • Qualitative (description) • Population • Sampling (CRITICAL stage of research) • Sample Size • Sample (Random / Non-Random)
Research Methods 1. Case Study (archival / secondary analysis) 2. Field (Ethnography) or Observational Research 3. Experiment Experimental group Control group 4. Survey / Questionnaire Hawthorne Effect
Class Activity Break up into small groups (3 to 4 students) Take your paper and create a chart: Along the side: Create a list and give of sociological research questions Along the top: List the major research methods covered in Chapter Two. Identify how each sociological question can be studied. What research method would work best? Why is that the best research method to use? Share Responses!!!!
Statistical Tools Statistics: mathematical system use to classify numerical data. Descriptive statistics: (describes the average) Inferential statistics: (determine whether differences are significant to make inferences to larger population & measures strength of relationship) Statistical significance: (difference between groups that is likely to occur not by chance but regularly) Central tendency: mean (average), median (middle), mode (most common)
Activity • Identify key terms on index cards • Classify terms in groups. • Give each group a “Title” and provide a rationale for the group’s description. • Now…. Re-arrange your groups and re-categorize your vocabulary terms. How many groups do you have now? What are the titles of these categories?
Introduce APA REMEMBER TO CITE YOUR REFERENCES!!!! Easybib.com
How to do the references/ bibliography Two major resources quoting styles: APA and MLA Books Berger, Peter L. Invitation to Sociology. New York:Anchor Books, 1963 Journals Barry, Kathleen.”Feminist Theory: The Meaning of Women’s Liberation .” In Barbara Haber, ed., The Women’s Annual 1982-83. Boston: G. L. Hall, 1983:35-78. Online Amnesty International. “The Death Penalty: List of Abolitionist and Retentionist Countries.” [Online] Available http://www.amnesty.org/ailib/intcam/dp/abrelist.htm, April, 2000
Assemble together: Ten steps in Sociological Investigation 1.What is your topic? 2.What have others already learned? 3. What-exactly-are your questions? 4. What will you need to carry out research? 5. Are there ethical concerns? 6.What method will you use? 7.How will you record the data? 8.What do the data tell you? 9.What are your conclusions? 10. How can you share what you’ve learned?
The Quiet Rage The Stanford Prison Experiment Obedience: The film of the Milgram Experiment shows research subjects going through the experiment and presents the basic findings and importance of the study, but it also reviews how the experiment was conducted, how participants were debriefed afterwards, and how results differed when Milgram used variations on the basic experimental setting and context. While viewing…think about the findings, techniques, and ethical issues presented by this experiment.
HomeworkRead Chapters 4 - 7 Remember your article!!! Remember to blog!!!