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Science Theory and Research

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  1. Science Theory and Research Theory an abstract statement that explains why and how certain things happen. Scientific theories must have empirical implications‑"observable through the senses". Theories make definite predictions and prohibitions: they say some things will happen or not happen under certain circumstances.

  2. Social Science Research • Science rests upon empirical observations, observable through the senses. Make appropriate observations or measurements test theories and gain knowledge. Social sciences developed when data gained through empirical observations became available.

  3. Social scientific breakthrough • 1776‑ Adam Smith‑ Wealth of Nations theory of principles of supply an demand rooted in data on trade and economic activities. • Andre Michel Guerry‑ General Account of the Administration of Criminal Justice in France 1825

  4. Stability and Variation • Basic to the research project is the ability to replicate data. Rates were extremely stable from year to year rate varied greatly from place to place. Guerry reassessed the primary causes of behavior‑outside social forces.

  5. Sociological theorists • Alexander Parent‑Duchatelet, 1836 Prostitution in Paris • Henry Morselli, 1882, Suicide : An Essay on Comparative Moral Statistics • Emile Durkheim, 1857, Suicide‑called himself a sociologist. Linked the individual and large society forces • C. Wright Mills coined the term Sociological Imagination in 1959. • Peter Berger, 1963 –The focus of Sociology is to discover the general in the specific.

  6. Emile Durkheim • In 1895 Durkheim wrote that social facts “consist of ways of acting, thinking, and feeling, exterior to the individual, that possess a power of coercion by virtue of which they impose themselves upon (the individual)”

  7. Social Sciences • Progressive exploration of the social causes of behavior produced the field of sociology.At the same time the other social sciences were developing: • Psychology • Economics • Anthropology • Criminology • Political Science

  8. Unit of analysis • All science is based on analyzing data obtained through systematic empirical observations. • Unit of analysis:the “thing” on which a set of research observations are based. • Sociologists use many different units, individuals, small groups, large organizations, counties, cities, states, and nations. • Sociology studies information on individuals groups, states and nations.

  9. Micro sociology • The study of small groups and face-to-face interaction among individuals • The study of small groups • Studies patterns of face‑to face contact. • As in microscope a close up lens approach

  10. Macro Sociology • The study of large groups and even of whole nations, Macro means large. • Aggregate units of analysis • EX. Why is the rate of HIV greater in some places than in others • Macro = Global perspective • Meaningful basis of comparison • All nations are linked by trade and communication • Seeks general theories that are cross‑ national

  11. Homans Law of Inequality • People are more likely to form relationships with others of the same rank rather than with persons whose rank is higher or lower.

  12. Group is any set of two or more persons who maintain a stable pattern of social relationships over a period of time. • Aggregate‑a set of two or more persons who come together only briefly and accidentally, they are not acquainted with and may not notice each other. • Operationalize-to select measures of concepts in order to make it possible to perform observational operations on them. • Free will-the philosophical and theological doctrine that humans possess the capacity for choosing among alternatives and therefore can be held responsible for the choices they make.

  13. Primary Group‑termed by Charles Cooley, 1909 • Mutual identification ...we is the natural expression" • Great intimacy among the members strong emotional ties • people gain self‑esteem and sense of identity from primary groups • Morselli and Durkheim blamed the high suicide • rates on modernization which made it difficult to maintain strong primary groups

  14. Secondary group • Less intimate • business organizations, social clubs, political parties, hobby clubs • people pursue collective goals • easy to switch from one secondary group to another a casual "we"

  15. Solidarity and Conflict: Sociological Questions • Social Solidarity: the density and emotional intensity of attachments within a group, the social glue that enables them to "belong" or be loyal Vs. being an outsider • Social conflict: refers to the unfriendly interactions between groups,of at least three, ranging from disagreements to violent encounters

  16. Research • The process of making appropriate empirical observations or measurements, collecting data, to test theories. • Hypothesis: A statement about the expected relationship between observable measures of concepts. • Unobtrusive measures‑techniques used to measure behavior without disturbing the behavior of the subjects. "yellow Pages" "clipping file“ • Validation research‑to ensure accurate data, test data against some independent standard of accuracy • Bias, Systematic skepticism, take nothing for granted

  17. Sociological Process • Theory construction‑wonder, conceptualize, theorize • Theory Testing measure, operationalize, hypothesize • Research • observe, analyze and assess

  18. Founders of American Sociological Departments • Albrion Small 1854‑1926 Graduate study at • Leipzig, Germany, First Sociology Dept. University of Chicago 1892,Introduction to the Science of Sociology, 1890;American Journal of Sociology editor from 1895-1925, • W. E. B. Du Bois 1868‑1963 Studies at Fisk , Harvard, University of Berlin. Atlanta University, created a sociological laboratory and directed the Atlanta University Conferences. Founded the NAACP The Crisis editor 1910‑1934

  19. Additional Terms • Sociological Imagination: C. Wright Mills used this term to describe the ability to see the link between incidents in the lives of individuals and large social forces. • Concepts-names used to identify some set of class of things that are said to be alike. • Social solidarity-the density and emotional intensity of attachments within a group, the capacity of group members to generate a sense of belonging. • Social conflict-unfriendly interactions between groups ranging in degree from disagreements to violent encounters.