• Chapter 1 key questions
– Theory & Research
• What is theory? • How is it related to research?
– What we can know about the social world?
• What is the nature of physical or social reality (ontology) • How do we know about reality (epistemology)
Social Research Strategies
• Topics best understood through a concrete research question:
– What is the division of household labor in malefemale couples?
• Next step: Define an hypothesis to be tested
Testing Empirical Hypotheses
• Begin with a “null hypothesis”
– e.g., both partners do equal amounts of housework (a two-sided hypothesis)
• Next steps (to be discussed later in the course)
– – – – – define the population of interest draw a sample decide on concepts and how to measure them decide on data collection collect and analyze data
• Rejection of null hypothesis occurs when there is strong evidence it is not true
– e.g., reject null hypothesis if the difference between the partners observed in the sample would occur less than 5% of the time if the true population difference =3 0
Testing Empirical Hypotheses 2
• Rejection of null leads to acceptance of alternate hypothesis (also called the research hypothesis)
– Partners do different amounts of housework
• Hypotheses can be stated and tested as:
– One-sided: Ho: Men do 50% or more of housework – Two-sided: Ho: Both partners do equal amounts
The Example’s Relationship to Chapter One
• Where does this research topic and hypothesis come from?
– Theory? – Other considerations?
• What can we know about the social world?
– Does “household work” exist as a fixed reality or does the definition emerge from each couple’s bargaining? e.g., Is walking the dog work or recreation? (ontology) – Do we measure objective observations or the respondents’ perceptions/interpretations? (epistemology)
What is Theory?
• Explanation of observed regularities • “Grand theory”
– Abstract –... [continues]
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