Sociology of Gender

Topics: Sociology, Scientific method, Science Pages: 13 (3152 words) Published: September 15, 2013
What is social science?
Mills: Sociological Imagination
To perceive personal troubles of milieu as “public issues of social structure” “Quality of mind that will help them to use information and develop reason in order to achieve lucid summations of what is going on in the world and what may be happening within themselves” Science as a way of knowing

Social science is the scientific study of society and social relations Science is a method of inquiry, which appeared during the Enlightenment, and is based on a set of shared assumptions in community about appropriate principles Ways of Knowing

Authority – someone in power says so
Tradition – how things always have been
Common Sense – it just makes sense
Media Myths – because the media said something
Personal Experience – biased view of life
Common Errors of Non-Scientific Ways of Knowing
Overgeneralization – extend findings beyond original data
Selective overgeneralization – seek out data that confirms beliefs Premature Closure – Ignore data that discredits beliefs
Halo Effect – Status of author affects reception of research Scientific Method: empiricism, statement, replicable, communicability, institutionalized skepticism (willingness for institution to say this is crap), potential to falsify claim Sociology as a science

Sociology studies people
Since humans are qualitatively different (they think and learn, have awareness) – reason for debate about what sociology should look like

The Research Process
in order to be able to gather truthful data, you need to limit the area of exploration to something specific. 1. topic – sociological nature; identify area of interest about the social world 2. research question – specific type of question you want to know about the social world = select type and focus through review of theory – within existing theory (state of knowledge about the topic to date) and how can we frame research question in such a way to think about that topic 3. design study – make choices of how to study and what to study 4. collect data – gather data from cases

5. analyze data – look for patters or meanings in data
6. interpret data – connect analysis to theory and specific question to find answers inform others – publish or present findings to other sociologists

Do a survey or study for research project - something of your own choosing 1. Select a Topic
gender, race ethnicity, crime, mental health, sexuality, etc.

Selecting a topic to choosing a research question
to whom are you speaking
who are you working with? other academics? or medical professionals? audience and use of research
basic - for others’ knowledge, only for benefit of state of knowledge - for other social sciences, usually published through conference and other scholarly journals applied - research that is gathered for the purpose of changing the world to make it a better place; generated for specific purposes and commissioned and paid for by someone with resources - intervene in the social world to change it, corporation, govt, non-profit evaluation - whether or not specific intervention (program) for some kind of intentional effort to change the world for a purpose; does program work as intended; widely used in large bureaucratic program - finding causality/correlation YMCA of Boston to implement a new literacy program, found that it was effective - intended change actually happened action - the action of participants doing something & correlation/effects that it could have social impact - Social impact research intended to estimate the likelihood of a potential program’s success - purpose to estimate the likely process of change Purpose of Research

Do you want to explore the social world? describe it? or explain it? exploratory research - something thats never been studied before become familiar with facts, get a preliminary sense of topic what happens when you are among the first to get data for this ex. senior citizens and twitter...
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