Notes: Introduction to Sociology

Topics: Sociology, Research, Scientific method Pages: 6 (1467 words) Published: September 27, 2012
Part 1
Harriet Martineau
brought sociology to the English speaking world
Wrote first systematic methodological treatise in sociology Came to America and was shocked by what she saw saying that it wasn't as equal as she thought it was wrote Society in America

WEB Du Bois
Harvard PhD-first African American to receive one
The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line encouraged people to understand other people's lives, from their perspective

Social Theory
There are 3 main paradigms in sociology:
Functionalism- all institutions are working for balance, criticized for ignoring inequalities Conflict
Interactionist (Symbolic Interactionism)
Durkheim-there are absolute truths about society that could be uncovered One of his main concepts was the division of labor
Two main functions for everything-
Manifest-obvious reason for something
Latent- the unintended functions- for college: partying, social networking.

Conflict theory:
Various groups compete for limited resources
conflict is a natural part of society
focuses on inequalities
Big Names:
Carl Marx- very focused on economics
Collins- conflict is daily, micro
Society is largely socially constructed
defined through interactions
relies on symbols
requires interpretation
Symbols- means different things in each place
interpretation it changes everywhere
Blumer- humans apply meaning to everything and choose their behavior accordingly, colloquial dialect, thought Cooley-
Part 2- Sociological Research Methods
Bases of Knowledge
-Tradition: everything we know about a particular topic to date, a collection of research -Authority: experts on a topic
-Scientific method: deductive or inductive research using logic. Not based on past research (i.e. authority or tradition) Deductive- theory to hypothesis to conversation to confirmation Inductive- observation to patterns to hypothesis

Components of Research
-Variables: anything that varies.
--there and independent(already set i.e. demographics, class standing) and dependent variables( things that can be impacted by an independent variable) -Hypothesis
-Correlation-relationship between the two variables
-Causation- cause and effect
Results should have:
-Reliability: repeated results
-Validity: must measure what they are intended to measure
-Probability sample (everyone has the exact same chance of getting the sample) -Non-probability sample
The Research Process-
1.Choose a topic
2.Read past studies about topic
3.Formulate a hypothesis or ask a research question
4.Describe the data collection methods
5.Collect the data
6.Analyze the data and explain the results
Conducting Research
-Two main types of research in sociology
--Quantitative- all about numbers
--Qualitative- quality
-Four basic kinds of studies
--Cross-sectional(all at once) and longitudinal(collecting data over time)- all four basic types of study can be one of these --Explanatory- causal relationships
--Evaluation- policy driven study
-Basic Structure-treatment group and control group. This type of experiments cannot get randomness so it’s not good for sociology. Put people in area randomly then try to notice patterns and behaviors Survey Research

-5 main types
1.Group Administered (pen and paper)- very efficient, disadvantage- social desirability, not wanting to appear bad. Can’t collect a lot of data. Lose randomness. 2.Online- advantages- anonymous, large target area, takes some of the work out of it, and sensitive topics can be addressed. Disadvantage- survey fatigue. Cannot achieve a true representative sample. 3.Telephone Surveys- Advantage- can get a representative sample of a population; can be very fast, clarity can be achieved. Disadvantages- getting that person on the phone (only old white women answer and take the survey), 4.In person- pretty rare, data quality is typically...
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