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CHAPTER 11, COMPARATIVE AND HISTORICAL RESEARCH. Chapter Outline. Content Analysis Analyzing Existing Statistics Comparative and Historical Research Ethics and Unobtrusive Measures Quick Quiz. Unobtrusive Research – Methods of studying social behavior without affecting it.

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chapter outline
Chapter Outline
  • Content Analysis
  • Analyzing Existing Statistics
  • Comparative and Historical Research
  • Ethics and Unobtrusive Measures
  • Quick Quiz
slide3

Unobtrusive Research – Methods of studying social behavior without affecting it.

    • Example: Durkheim’s analysis of suicide
    • Types of Unobtrusive Research
      • Content Analysis
      • Analysis of Existing Statistics
      • Comparative and Historical Analysis
content analysis
Content Analysis
  • Content Analysis – The study of recorded human communications (i.e., books, websites, paintings, laws).
    • Appropriate Topics
      • “Who says what, to whom, why, how, and with what effect?”
slide5

Example: violence on TV

    • Develop operational definitions
    • Decide what to observe
    • Decide how to code/analyze data
figure 11 1
Figure 11.1
  • Sampling in Content Analysis
    • Units of Analysis
slide7

Identify the unit of analysis:

    • You are interested in how children’s literature portrays gender roles.
    • You are interested in popular film’s use of drugs and alcohol.
    • You are interested in sociology textbook’s definition of race.
    • You are interested in the content of Internet Blogs.
slide9

Sampling Techniques

    • Any conventional sampling technique may be used for content analysis.
slide10

Coding in Content Analysis

    • Coding – The process whereby raw data are transformed into standardized form suitable for machine processing and analysis.
slide11

Manifest Content – The concrete terms contained in a communication.

  • Latent Content – The underlying meaning of communication.
slide12

Conceptualization and the Creation of Code Categories

    • Operational Definition
    • Levels of Measurement
  • Counting and Record Keeping
    • The end product of coding must be numerical.
    • Record keeping must distinguish between units of analysis and units of observation.
    • Record from the base from which the counting is done.
slide14

Qualitative Data Analysis

    • “Negative Case Testing”
    • Tips for Avoiding Dangers
      • Select cases at random
      • Provide at least three supporting examples
      • Ask others to review interpretations
      • Report inconsistencies
slide16

Strengths of Content Analysis

    • Economy of time and money
    • Allowing for the correction of errors
    • Permits the study of processes occurring over time
    • Research has little (if any) effect on subjects
    • Reliability
  • Weaknesses of Content Analysis
    • Limited to recorded communications
    • Validity
analyzing existing statistics
Analyzing Existing Statistics
  • The analysis of existing statistics is not the same as secondary analysis.
  • Existing statistics may be the main source of data or a supplemental source of data.
  • Example: Durkheim’s Study of Suicide
  • Example: Kentor’s Consequences of Globalization
slide18

Units of Analysis

    • By nature, existing statistics describe groups.
    • Ecological Fallacy
slide19

Problems of Validity

    • Logical Reasoning
    • Replication
  • Problems of Reliability
    • Quality of Existing Statistics
slide20

Sources of Existing Statistics

    • Statistical Abstract of the United States
    • Government Data
    • Demographic Yearbook
    • SINET
comparative and historical research
Comparative and Historical Research
  • Comparative and Historical Research – The examination of societies (or other social units) over time and in comparison with one another.
slide22

Examples of Comparative and Historical Research

    • Weber and the Role of Ideas
    • Japanese Religion and Capitalism
  • Sources of Comparative and Historical Data
slide26

1. Which type of research does not require the researcher to intrude on what s/he is studying?

  • Quantitative Research
  • Qualitative Research
  • Survey Research
  • Unobtrusive Research
slide27

Answer: D.

Unobtrusive research does not require the researcher to intrude on what s/he is studying?

slide28

2. Which of the following may be examined in content analysis?

  • books
  • magazines
  • websites
  • all of the above
slide29

Answer: D.

Books, magazines, and websites may be examined in content analysis.

slide30

3. Which of the following occurs when you obtain a copy of someone else’s data and undertake your own statistical analysis?

  • using quasi official statistics
  • using official statistics
  • secondary analysis
  • none of the above
slide31

Answer: C.

Secondary analysis occurs when you obtain a copy of someone else’s data and undertake your own statistical analysis.

slide32

4. Which of the following are types of unobtrusive research methods?

  • content analysis
  • analysis of existing statistics
  • comparative and historical research
  • all of the above
slide33

Answer: D.

Content analysis, analysis of existing statistics, and comparative and historical research are types of unobtrusive research methods.

slide34

5. Which of the following are usually qualitative?

  • field research
  • comparative and historical research
  • both of the above
  • none of the above
slide35

Answer: C.

Field research and comparative and historical research are usually qualitative.

slide36

6. _____ are the individual units that we make descriptive and explanatory statements about.

  • Units of analysis
  • Artifacts
  • Groups
  • all of the above
slide37

Answer: A.

Units of analysis are the individual units that we make descriptive and explanatory statements about.

slide38

7. In the content analysis of _____, sampling may occur at any or all of several levels.

  • written prose
  • television
  • the Internet
slide39

Answer: A.

In the content analysis of written prose sampling may occur at any or all of several levels.

slide40

8. Existing statistics should always be considered a _____ source of data.

  • primary
  • supplemental
  • tertiary
  • all of the above
  • none of the above
slide41

Answer: B.

Existing statistics should always be considered a supplemental source of data.

slide42

9. When we base research on an analysis of data that already exist, we face problems of:

  • repeatability.
  • validity.
  • generalization.
slide43

Answer: B.

When we base research on an analysis of data that already exist, we face problems of validity.