of Sociological Research
2: Sociology, Schaefer. 1995-2012
In 1971 Frances
Heussenstamm was interested in discovering whether or not bias and prejudice
impacted the way in which the police viewed and responded to everyday life events.
Heussenstamm conducted a field experiment. After selecting 15 students with
exemplary driving records, H. placed a Black Panther bumper sticker on each
car. The students followed their normal driving patterns. After 17 days the
15 drivers had amassed 33 traffic citations. Frances
K. Heussenstamm, "Bumper Stickers and Cops," 8 Trans-action: Social
Science and Modern Society (#4) 32-33 (February 1971)
In order to interpret and
discuss social reality we must first have a picture, some sort of pattern, or
an image of the interrelationships amongst the many variables that circumscribe
human interaction. The SCIENTIFIC METHOD or METHODOLOGY provides a systematic,
organized series of steps that insures maximum objectivity and consistency in
researching a problem. It provides a shared basis for discussion and analysis,
and helps to promote reliability and validity (consistency and accuracy). The
information provided through this method, the patterns and interrelationships
are then explained through Theoretical analysis. Theory directs research and
research informs theory (Reflexivity).
- Empirical, based on observation
- Focus: Causality (all
events have causes, same cause...same event); relationships between Variables,
what causes (is associated with) what? Independent and Dependent Variables.
- Causality vs Correlation:
Hume 18th century Scot.: temporal ordering (crime and drug use), probability,
- Positive and negative
- Intervening variables--Spurious
one variable constant in order to observe its impact on another.
- Crime: Age vs. Social
Class vs. Single Parent households
- Educational Success:
Social class vs. Intelligence
Qualitative vs Quantitative
- Weight and direction
of relationships (correlation coefficient)
- Probability vs specific
- Measures of central tendency:
Typical household, proportion of one group compared to another (median; Among race groups, real median income declined for white and black households between 2009 and 2010, while changes for Asian and Hispanic-origin households were not statistically different. Real median income for each race and Hispanic-origin group has not yet recovered to the pre-2001 recession all-time highs. Real
median income for 2010; mode; mean-problem
of skewing (mean income for 2010
$67,530 (down from $68,424 in 2008)
- Rates: Frequency with
specific populations (Unemployment: African Americans 3x higher than Whites)
- Sampling: Population
1936 presidential race-Literary digest vs Gallop, Landon vs Roosevelt
Problems in Doing Social
- Hawthorne Effect
- People and Social Behavior--Complex;
Question of Ultimate Causes?
part of the phenomenon
Zeller and autocide, criminal activity.
consent: Reiss and police brutality
Trade (see also: 1)
of Research: Project
ASA Code of Ethics
objectivity and neutrality in research.
the subject's right to privacy and dignity.
subjects from personal harm.
collaboration and assistance.
all sources of financial support.
Study of corporate hiring practices and Black executive. Issue: Black Demands
(control: Time-1965; pre--gov or private, post--70% private), BUT: "Adminstratively
marginal" and "economically vunerable"--racially linked jobs:
Affirmative action, urban affairs, reduced likelihood of advancement and
subject to 'downsizing'; yet highly visible.)
- Define the
Problem: what you hope to investigate. Operationalize concepts (intelligence,
the literature: what has already been done? Replication studies, build on
the Hypothesis: tentative statement of relationship between independent and
Research Design (cost, time, access), Collect and Analyze
and Reporting .
- Reveals intimate details,
uncovers new information. Descriptive; problems: Generalizability.
Street Corner Society-the slum as disorganized or differentially organized?
"By mapping the intricate social worlds of street gangs and "corner
boys," Whyte was among the first to demonstrate that a poor community
need not be socially disorganized. His writing set a standard for vivid
portrayals of real people in real situations. And his frank discussion
of his methodology--participant observation--has served as an essential
casebook in field research for generations of students and scholars."
(University of Chicago Press book review, http://www.press.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/hfs.cgi/00/12361.ctl)
and Emergency Rooms-Double standard (group process)
in Public, Asylums
Surveys: Interviews and Questionnaires
General Social Survey, Monitoring the Future (drug use)
& Schwartz--American Couples (1975). Operationalize: Live together
and sexual relationship. Snowballing. Q and I. Findings: Income and control,
Infidelity: longer relationship, more infidelity, hetero married highest
fidelity, lesbians high fidelity
Luker: Pro-Anti Abortion. Findings: Birth Control and Social Costs.
- Control, experimental
and control groups.
- Real life??
and Beck-Domestic Violence.
Use of Existing Sources:
Secondary analysis, Content analysis.
analysis: Ads and women's status
Statistics: Durkheim and Suicide, Census Data.
Documents: Zaneicke-Polish Peasant in America.
ISSUES: Value Neutrality
(Weber vs Gouldner) and Government Funding.
Owner: Robert O. Keel email@example.com
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 8:21 AM