SOC2002 Lecture 3

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  • SOC2002 Lecture 3

    1. 1. SOC2002: Sociological Analysis and Research Methods LECTURE 3: Social Research Design (3) Lecturer: Bonnie Green [email_address]
    2. 2. Social Research Design (3): Recap <ul><li>Last week we looked at: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is social research and why do we do it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics of social research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social research as a process </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. The research process: an overview Reporting Topic/Object 1 2 3 4 5 6 Research question Research design Data collection Data analysis Interpretation
    4. 4. Social Research Design (3): Recap <ul><li>Last week we looked at: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is social research and why do we do it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics of social research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social research as a process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>STEP 1: topic/object to research question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ progressive focussing” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The literature review (further resources on the webCT) </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Social Research Design (3): Today <ul><li>STEP 2: research question to research design </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choosing, developing and/or identifying indicators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project planning </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. The research process: an overview Reporting Topic/Object 1 2 3 4 5 6 LECTURES 2 & 3 Research question Research design Data collection Data analysis Interpretation Literature review, and/or field reconnaissance Choosing indicators & Project Planning
    7. 7. Social Research Design (3): Today <ul><li>STEP 2: research question to research design </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choosing, developing and/or identifying indicators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project planning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But first… </li></ul>
    8. 8. Social Research Design (3): Today <ul><li>STEP 2: research question to research design </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choosing, developing and/or identifying indicators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project planning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But first… some philosophy  </li></ul>
    9. 9. Social Research Design (3): The philosophy of social research <ul><li>What is the connection between social research and philosophy? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is it important for social researchers to consider the philosophical aspects of their work? </li></ul><ul><li>How is this going to help me? </li></ul>
    10. 10. The connection between philosophy and social research <ul><li>What is philosophy concerned with? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The nature of the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ truth’, ‘fact’, ‘proof’, epistemology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employs various techniques: introspection </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. The connection between philosophy and social research <ul><li>What is philosophy concerned with? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The nature of the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ truth’, ‘fact’, ‘proof’, epistemology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employs various techniques: introspection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is social research concerned with? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The nature of the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ explanation’, ‘understanding’, “the quantity or quality of a phenomenon” (Williams and May, 1996: 8) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employs various techniques: survey </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. The connection between philosophy and social research <ul><li>How do these interests intersect? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“philosophy and social research aim to improve our knowledge of the world” (Williams and May, 1996: 9) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social research may be driven by abstract concerns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social research is always underpinned by a particular philosophical framework and this has implications for the outcomes of research </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. The connection between philosophy and social research <ul><li>Other ways of thinking about this connection: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In terms of the relationship between science and social science </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The relationship between data , information and knowledge </li></ul>
    14. 14. Science & social science <ul><li>Science and social science are comparable: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The goal of science is to learn ‘facts’ about the natural world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The goal of social science is to learn ‘facts’ about the social world </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ two styles of research, one logic of inference” (King, Keohane and Verba, 1994: 3) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ scientific research is designed to make descriptive or explanatory inferences on the basis of empirical information about the world” (ibid. pp. 7) </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. The connection between philosophy and social research <ul><li>An Activity! </li></ul>
    16. 16. The connection between philosophy and social research <ul><li>What do we mean when we say something is data , information or knowledge ? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the difference between these things? </li></ul><ul><li>With a partner spend 2 minutes defining each of these terms: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. The connection between philosophy and social research <ul><li>Data: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>been collected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>numerical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what comes before conclusions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First step </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘bad’ </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. The connection between philosophy and social research <ul><li>Information: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interpreted in relation to something? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>processed data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>can’t always be verified – open to interpretation </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. The connection between philosophy and social research <ul><li>Knowledge: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>things we believe (to be true) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brought about by research – more ‘concrete’ than information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>some sort of understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CONTEXT </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. The connection between philosophy and social research <ul><li>Data: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8 out of 10 </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. The connection between philosophy and social research <ul><li>Data: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8 out of 10 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8 out of 10 cats preferred cat food brand B (Kitty Kat) </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. The connection between philosophy and social research <ul><li>Data: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8 out of 10 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8 out of 10 cats preferred cat food brand B (Kitty Kat) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Knowledge: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Within a highly competitive industry, the result that 8 out of 10 cats still prefer Kitty Kat, despite a reduction in the nutritional content of the food, is highly significant </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Social Research Design (3) <ul><li>STEP 2: research question to research design </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choosing, developing and/or identifying indicators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project planning </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. The research process: an overview Reporting Topic/Object 1 2 3 4 5 6 LECTURES 2 & 3 Research question Research design Data collection Data analysis Interpretation Literature review, and/or field reconnaissance Choosing indicators & Project Planning
    25. 25. The research process: Step 2 - research question to research design <ul><li>Indicators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are they? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>An example </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Study of the public interest in UK newspaper reporting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research Question: Did UK newspaper coverage of the of the 1990 parliamentary decision regarding the future of stem cell research represent communication in ‘the public interest’? </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. The research process: Step 2 - research question to research design <ul><li>The public interest is defined in terms of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Neutrality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plurality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are indicators of ‘neutrality’ and ‘plurality’ in newspaper reporting? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Degree of evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of viewpoints represented </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presentation of both negative and positive consequences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presentation of both groups advantaged and disadvantaged </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. The research process: Step 2 - research question to research design <ul><li>Indicators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Observable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unambiguous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clearly defined and linked to underlying concepts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Seminar activity: finding indicators for your projects </li></ul>
    28. 28. The research process: Step 2 - research question to research design <ul><li>Project planning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why is it important? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social research is systematic enquiry </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Good research projects must have well defined aims and scope </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social research is always constrained </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social research must be publicly accountable </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ethical implications must be assessed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>How do you do it? </li></ul>
    29. 29. The research process: Step 2 - research question to research design <ul><li>Break the project down into phases: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literature review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data collection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interpretation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing up &reporting </li></ul></ul>
    30. 30. The research process: Step 2 - research question to research design <ul><li>Break the project down into phases: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literature review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Selection </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data collection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interpretation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing up & reporting </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. The research process: Step 2 - research question to research design <ul><li>Break the project down into phases: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literature review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Selecting methods </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Obtaining approvals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Preparing materials </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data collection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interpretation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing up & reporting </li></ul></ul>
    32. 32. The research process: Step 2 - research question to research design <ul><li>Break the project down into phases: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literature review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data collection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiating access </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interviewing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Photographs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interpretation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing up & reporting </li></ul></ul>
    33. 33. The research process: Step 2 - research question to research design <ul><li>Break the project down into phases: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literature review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data collection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data entry </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data cleaning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data analysis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interpretation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing up & reporting </li></ul></ul>
    34. 34. The research process: Step 2 - research question to research design <ul><li>Consider constraints: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How much time do you have? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What resources do you have? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you need ethical approval? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who do you need approval from? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What equipment will you need? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will you need particular software for your analysis? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make a Gantt chart! </li></ul>
    35. 35. The research process: Step 2 - research question to research design <ul><li>What is a Gantt Chart? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a scheduling tool for displaying the progression of a project in the form of a bar chart </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Horizontal axis: time relative to the beginning of the project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vertical axis: a number of rows each representing a phase of the project or task to be completed </li></ul></ul>
    36. 36. The research process: Step 2 - research question to research design <ul><li>An example: </li></ul>2 months 6 1 month 5 1 month 4 5 months 3 2 months 2 1 month 1 Dec Nov Oct Sept Aug Jul Jun May Apr Mar Feb Jan Duration Task
    37. 37. Social Research Design (3): Summary <ul><li>Moving from research question to research design: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflect upon the philosophy underlying your project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What assumptions have you made about your topic/object? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What might the implications of these be for the data, information, and knowledge you generate? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop, identify or construct relevant indicators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plan your project effectively. Think about: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Constraints </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ethics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feasibility </li></ul></ul></ul>

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