Classical scientific theory begins in
general theory and uses deduction to frame its research following
the above cycle. Grounded theory backs up specific observations
as the beginning point using induction to create general theory.
In operational theory, the researcher considers the meaning of
a concept to be a set of operations. Therefore, the process of
operationalizing is the core of all research and its subsequent
results in interpreting observations.
RESEARCH METHODS: A systematic strategy for conducting research
A. Steps in Social Research
B. Considerations In Choosing Research Topic
1. Sociological paradigm: a cohesive group of basic assumptions that frames thinking and research.
C. Considerations In Choosing A Research Design
5. Type and source of sample
6. Validity: Does the research instrument measure precisely what it intends to?
7. Reliability of measurement: Can the
stated concepts be measured consistently with replicable
scientific knowledge: Knowledge based on empirical evidence (information verified or obtained through one's senses).
theory: A set of interrelated propositions explaining the topic being studied.
hypothesis: A testable statement indicating a relationship between variables.
concept: An abstract construct that connotes a part of the world, (i.e. family, society).
variables: A concept whose mutually exclusive values change from case to case.
measurement: The process of determining the value of a variable in a specific case.
operationalizing: Specifying exactly what one is to measure in assigning a value to a variable, (e.g. class may be measured by income, occupational prestige, education).
population: The members of a group who are the focus of the research.
sample: A part of a population researchers select to represent the whole.
qualitative research: Observations that are not easily reduced to numeric forms, emphasis on inductive thought and subjective analysis.
quantitative research: Observations that are analyzed statistically, emphasis on deductive thought.
B. Types Of Sampling
1. random: Each element has an equal chance of being selected independent of any other event in the process.
*NOTE: sampling error reduced by 2 factors: sample size & homogeneity
SURVEY (see survey example)
A. Types of Questions:
B. Format Considerations
After the data is gathered it is necessary to enter it into an
database format. This book will use SPSS. An example of what the
data would look like is presented below:
|Sex||Race||House Hrs Work/week||Employed||Hrs Worked per week||Hrs Study per week||Marital Status|
The General Social Services
GSS is part of the National Data Program
for the Social Sciences at the National Opinion Research Center
(NORC), University of Chicago. This survey attempts to poll American
opinion through the use of standardized questionnaires conducted
every year in February, March or April from 1972 to the present
(except 1979 and 1981). In the original survey design, a modified
probability with a quota element at the block level was utilized.
Then in 1977, 78, 80, and 82 till present a full probability sample
design was implemented. In 1983 and then again in 1993 a spit
sample transition design was used to determine the effects of
design changes with 1983 representing the 1970 to 1980 change
and 1993 for 1980 to 1990. In 1983 and 1993, the variable Sample
was added to indicate which split each represents. The survey
takes about an hour and a half to complete and is done by professional
interviewers. For further information, see the General
Social Survey Cumulative Cookbook - Chicago: National Opinion
Research Center; 1993.
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