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Sociology in Our Times The Essentials

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1 Sociology in Our Times The Essentials
Diana Kendall Fourth Edition

2 The Sociological Perspective and Research Process
Chapter 1 The Sociological Perspective and Research Process

3 Chapter Outline Putting Social Life into Perspective
Comparing Sociology with Other Social Sciences The Development of Sociological Thinking Contemporary Theoretical Perspectives The Sociological Research Process Research Methods Ethical Issues in Sociological Research

4 Why Study Sociology? Gain better understanding of ourselves and our social world. See how behavior is shaped by the groups to which we belong. Gain insight into society and the larger world order.

5 Careers in Social Science
Health and Human Services: Counseling, Education, Medicine, Social Work Law: Criminal Justice, Law Business: Advertising, Labor Relations, Management, Marketing Communications: Public Relations, Journalism, Broadcasting Academia

6 The Sociological Imagination
Ability to see a relationship between individual experiences and society. The link between personal experience and social contexts. Distinguishes between personal troubles and social issues.

7 Sociology and Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of human existence over geographic space and evolutionary time. Sociology is the study of contemporary social organization, relations, and change.

8 Sociology and Psychology
Psychology is the study of behavior and mental processes—what occurs in the mind. Sociological research examines the effects of groups, organizations, and institutions on social life.

9 Sociology and Political Science
Political scientists concentrate on political institutions. Sociologists study political institutions within the context of other social institutions, such as families.

10 Early Social Thinkers: Auguste Comte
Considered to be the “founder of sociology.” Believed objective knowledge could only be attained through science.

11 Early Social Thinkers: Harriet Martineau
Focused on social distinctions based on class, race, and gender. Believed society would improve if women and men were treated equally, enlightened reform occurred,and there was cooperation among all social classes.

12 Early Social Thinkers: Emile Durkheim
Believed the limits of human potential are socially, not biologically based. Considered the founding figure of the functionalist theoretical tradition.

13 Early Social Thinkers: Karl Marx
Viewed history as a clash between conflicting ideas and forces. Believed class conflict produced social change and a better society. Combined ideas from philosophy, history, and social science into a new theory.

14 Early Social Thinkers: Max Weber
Believed sociological research should exclude a researcher’s personal values and economic interests. Researchers should try to see the world as others see it. Provided insights on rationalization, bureaucracy and religion.

15 Jane Adams Founded Hull House, one of the most famous settlement houses, in Chicago. One of the authors of a methodology use by sociologists for the next forty years. Awarded a Nobel Prize for assistance to the underprivileged.

16 W. E. B. Du Bois One of the first to note double-consciousness, the identity conflict of being both a black and an American. Pointed out that people in the U.S. espouse the values of democracy, freedom, and equality while they accept racism and group discrimination.

17 Major Theoretical Perspectives
Theory View of Society Functionalist Composed of interrelated parts that work together. Conflict Characterized by social inequality. Symbolic Interactionist The sum of interactions of people and groups. Postmodernist Microlevel Postindustrialization, consumerism, and global communications bring into question assumptions about social life and the nature of reality.

18 Sociological Research
Conventional (Quantitative) Research Goal is objectivity. Focus is on data that can be measured numerically. Qualitative research Words rather than numbers are used to analyze meanings and patterns of social relationships.

19 Conventional Research Model
Define the research problem. Review previous research. Formulate the hypothesis. Develop the research design. Collect and analyze the data. Draw conclusions and report the findings.

20 Qualitative Research Method
Problem formulation is used to clarify a research question and create questions for participants. Researchers collect and analyze data to assess the validity of the starting proposition. Data is gathered in natural settings (homes and workplaces) rather than a research setting.

21 Research Methods: Survey Research
Describes a population without interviewing each individual. Standardized questions force respondents into categories in which they may not belong. Relies on self-reported information and some people may not be truthful.

22 Research Methods: Analysis of Existing Data
Analyze data originally collected by others. Materials studied may include: written records (books, diaries, poems, and graffiti) narratives and visual texts (movies, television shows, advertisements, greeting cards) material culture (music, art, and even garbage)

23 Research Methods: Field Research
Study of social life in its natural setting. Observing and interviewing people where they live, work, and play. Generates observations that are best described verbally rather than numerically.

24 Approaches to Field Research
Participant observation Collecting observations while part of the activities of the group being studied. Ethnography Detailed study of the life and activities of a group of people over a period of years.

25 Research Methods: Experiments
Study the impact of certain variables on subjects’ attitudes or behavior. Designed to create “real-life” situations. Used to demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship between variables.

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