SOC2002: Sociological Analysis and Research Methods LECTURE 2: Social Research Design (2) Lecturer: Bonnie Green [email_ad...
Social Research Design (2):  Overview <ul><li>What is social research and why do we bother? </li></ul><ul><li>Characterist...
Why do we do research? <ul><li>Required by our course </li></ul><ul><li>Personal interest in a particular object or questi...
What is social research? <ul><li>Social research is concerned with exploration and discovery in the social world </li></ul...
What is social research? <ul><li>A process </li></ul><ul><li>“ Research is a careful search, capable of withstanding close...
Characteristics of research <ul><li>Systematic inquiry with the objective of making claims about the world </li></ul><ul><...
Characteristics of research <ul><li>Subject to criteria of public accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Display evidence based ...
Characteristics of research <ul><li>Lots of different types of research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. based on primary or sec...
Characteristics of research <ul><li>Qualitative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data intended “to convey the essence or quality of t...
Recognising social research <ul><li>The Primary Review (12 th  Oct 2007): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.primaryreview.o...
Research as a ‘process’ <ul><li>Qualitative and quantitative techniques are used in different situations to produce differ...
The research process:  an overview Reporting Topic/Object 1 2 3 4 5 6 Research question Research design Data collection Da...
The research process:  an overview <ul><li>All these stages are connected: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Select the optimal  desig...
The research process:  an overview Reporting Literature review, and/or field reconnaissance Topic/Object 1 2 3 4 5 6 LECTU...
The research process: Step 1 - topic/object to research question <ul><li>What are suitable concepts and/or objects for soc...
The research process: Step 1 - topic/object to research question
The research process: Step 1 - topic/object to research question <ul><li>What are suitable objects for social research? </...
The research process: Step 1 - topic/object to research question <ul><li>Globalisation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The impact o...
The research process: Step 1 - topic/object to research question <ul><li>Broad topic area  -> specific questions -> indica...
The research process: The Literature review <ul><li>What is it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A focussed survey or  systematic rev...
The research process: The Literature review <ul><li>How do you do it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use your existing knowledge </...
The research process: The Literature review <ul><li>How do you keep track of it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep records! </li>...
The research process: Step 2 - research question to research design <ul><li>Continuing the processes of “progressive focus...
Social Research Design (2):  Summary <ul><li>Moving from topic/concept to research question: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Think o...
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SOC2002 Lecture 2

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  • SOC2002 Lecture 2

    1. 1. SOC2002: Sociological Analysis and Research Methods LECTURE 2: Social Research Design (2) Lecturer: Bonnie Green [email_address]
    2. 2. Social Research Design (2): Overview <ul><li>What is social research and why do we bother? </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics of social research </li></ul><ul><li>Social research as a process </li></ul><ul><li>The steps in that process: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Today: object -> topic -> question(s) </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Why do we do research? <ul><li>Required by our course </li></ul><ul><li>Personal interest in a particular object or question </li></ul><ul><li>Personal interest in specific social theory or problem </li></ul><ul><li>Might be getting paid to do it </li></ul><ul><li>A puzzle in your disciplinary literature </li></ul>
    4. 4. What is social research? <ul><li>Social research is concerned with exploration and discovery in the social world </li></ul><ul><li>Not an end in itself, but a means of finding something out about something </li></ul><ul><ul><li>means of gathering more knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>means of developing and testing concepts and theories </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. What is social research? <ul><li>A process </li></ul><ul><li>“ Research is a careful search, capable of withstanding close examination, for information which can be used to produce or enhance knowledge” (Pole and Lampard, 2002: 2) </li></ul>
    6. 6. Characteristics of research <ul><li>Systematic inquiry with the objective of making claims about the world </li></ul><ul><li>Claims that go beyond a hunch, conjecture, intuition, anecdote or common sense </li></ul><ul><li>Claims are warranted and/or based on empirical evidence </li></ul>
    7. 7. Characteristics of research <ul><li>Subject to criteria of public accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Display evidence based conclusions open to critical scrutiny </li></ul><ul><ul><li>by academics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>by policy makers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>by employers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>robust methodology is key to this </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Characteristics of research <ul><li>Lots of different types of research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. based on primary or secondary data </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Common distinction is between quantitative and qualitative research </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data are “numerical and based on counting or enumerating” (Pole and Lampard, 2002: 4) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often statistical involving measurements and scores </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>N is usually large </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Characteristics of research <ul><li>Qualitative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data intended “to convey the essence or quality of the experience” (Pole and Lampard, 2002: 4) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often discursive involving whole texts, images, sound recordings, videos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>N is often small </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can you mix methods? </li></ul><ul><li>When should you use qualitative and when should you use quantitative? </li></ul>
    10. 10. Recognising social research <ul><li>The Primary Review (12 th Oct 2007): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.primaryreview.org.uk/index.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7039966.stm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is this an example of social research? </li></ul><ul><li>Watch this space… </li></ul>
    11. 11. Research as a ‘process’ <ul><li>Qualitative and quantitative techniques are used in different situations to produce different kinds of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Highlights that social research is an integrated process </li></ul><ul><li>Number of relatively distinct steps but there is an important relationship between the way research is carried out and the knowledge it produces </li></ul>
    12. 12. The research process: an overview Reporting Topic/Object 1 2 3 4 5 6 Research question Research design Data collection Data analysis Interpretation
    13. 13. The research process: an overview <ul><li>All these stages are connected: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Select the optimal design for the research question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link between design and data collection/elicitation technique </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link between data collection and data analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link between analysis and interpretation </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. The research process: an overview Reporting Literature review, and/or field reconnaissance Topic/Object 1 2 3 4 5 6 LECTURES 2 & 3 Research question Research design Data collection Data analysis Interpretation
    15. 15. The research process: Step 1 - topic/object to research question <ul><li>What are suitable concepts and/or objects for social research? </li></ul>
    16. 16. The research process: Step 1 - topic/object to research question
    17. 17. The research process: Step 1 - topic/object to research question <ul><li>What are suitable objects for social research? </li></ul><ul><li>What are suitable topics? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Globalisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The State </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intimacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Network society </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. The research process: Step 1 - topic/object to research question <ul><li>Globalisation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The impact of globalisation on state autonomy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has globalisation constrained the decision-making powers of democratic states? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is there a relationship between degree of trade openness and the quality of state transfers in OCED countries between 1990-2000? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the sign of the slope coefficient in the regression of state transfers as a % of GDP and $ value of (exports+imports)/GDP? </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. The research process: Step 1 - topic/object to research question <ul><li>Broad topic area -> specific questions -> indicators </li></ul><ul><li>“ progressive focussing” (Pole and Lampard, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>How do you get from 1 to 4? </li></ul><ul><li>Literature review and/or field reconnaissance </li></ul>
    20. 20. The research process: The Literature review <ul><li>What is it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A focussed survey or systematic review of what is already known about your topic/object </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why is it important? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Substantively important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Methodologically important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows identification of relevant conceptual frameworks </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. The research process: The Literature review <ul><li>How do you do it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use your existing knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Databases on the library catalogue http://www.library.ex.ac.uk/electronic/databases.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘snowballing’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider underlying social issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t be constrained by disciplinary boundaries </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. The research process: The Literature review <ul><li>How do you keep track of it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep records! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Notification features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rank your sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Essential </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Important </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Supporting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Irrelevant/ inappropriate </li></ul></ul></ul>
    23. 23. The research process: Step 2 - research question to research design <ul><li>Continuing the processes of “progressive focussing” </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise in your seminar groups… </li></ul>
    24. 24. Social Research Design (2): Summary <ul><li>Moving from topic/concept to research question: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Think of lots of “large contextual questions” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review them and decide on relative importance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider how they might be addressed, what type of knowledge they might produce and whether this produces a feasible research design </li></ul></ul>

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