METHODS OF SOCIOLOGICAL ENQUIRY
BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment July 2021 & Jan 2022
Q 1 Briefly narrate sociological perspectives on qualitative research.
Ans: Sociological perspectives on qualitative research:
Qualitative research methods have a long and distinguished history within sociology. They trace their roots back to Max Weber’s call for an interpretive understanding of action.
Today, qualitative sociology encompasses a variety of specific procedures for collecting data, ranging from life history interviews to direct observation of social interaction to embedded participant observation.
In all of these cases, the social scientist directly interacts with those whom he or she is studying.
The emergence of qualitative methods of research is of recent origin. Social scientists, anthropologists and sociologists have given a shape to the concept of qualitative research mostly during the end of twentieth century.
The procedural clarity is still in the process of refinement. Clarity of the definitions of qualitative research is as follows:BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
1. In the initial stage of conceptual analysis of qualitative research there was a trend of defining qualitative research as an opposite pole of scientific (quantitative) inquiry.
Quantitative research deals with a few variables and many cases whereas qualitative research is camed out with a few cases and many variables.
2. The above definition focuses on the scope of qualitative methods of inquiry. However, from the point of view of methodological and process dimensions the following two definitions may clarify your understanding of qualitative research.
Cresswell (1998) defined qualitative research in a similar tone. To him qualitative research is an inquiry process of understanding based on distinct methodological traditions of inquiry that explore a social or human problem.
The researcher builds a complex holistic picture, analyses words, reports detailed views of informants and conducts the study in a natural setting”.
3. Denzin and Lincoln (1994) say “Qualitative research is multi-method focus, involving an interpretive, naturalistic approach to its subject matter.
Qualitative research involves the studied use and collection of a variety of empirical materials case study, personal experience, introspection, life story, interview,
observational, historical, interactional and visual texts-that describe routine and problematic and meaning in individuals’ lives”
Characteristics of qualitative research:
The following are the characteristics of qualitative research:
i) Multiple realities: First, qualitative research assumes that there exist multiple realities in social and educational situations. These realities exist in concrete forms.
They are perceived by people differently and thus become different mental constructs for different people. BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
In other words, realities are taken to be what people perceive them to be at a particular point of time.
ii) Generalization: As stated above, the researchers do not believe in the process of generalisation as propounded by scientists.
iii) Meanings and interpretations: Qualitative research emphasises on study of meanings given to or interpretations made about objects, events and processes concerning educational situations.
To them changes in terms of social and behavioral phenomena cannot be identified with the concept of physical movements which can be identified by external observation alone.
iv) Generation of knowledge: Qualitative inquiry insists on generation of knowledge resulting from the interaction between the inquirer and the respondents.
v) Human relations: In the case of human relations, several intrinsic factors, events and processes keep on influencing each other constantly.
vi) Value systems: Qualitative Researchers do no believe in value-free inquiry. The influence of value systems is recognized in the identification of problems, selection of samples, use of tools, data collection, the conditions in which data are gathered, and the possible interaction that takes place between the inquirer and the respondents.
Q 2 Elaborate various dimensions of comparative methods.
Ans:Various dimensions of comparative methods:
The comparative method is where the researcher collects data about different social groups (eg working class; middle-class and upper-class) and then compares one group with another to identify what is evident in one group but not another.
Therefore using the example of social-class a researcher might want to compare the amount of short-term loans – such as Wonga loans, one social-class has compared with another.
The principles behind such a method come from positivists who try to isolate the and identify the cause of social events and behaviour.
Durkheim’s study on suicide was an example of the comparative method.
By comparing official statistics between various societies he argued he was able to identify what was evident in one society and not in another which might cause suicide.
The comparative approach to the study of society has a long tradition dating back to Ancient Greece. BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
Since the nineteenth century, philosophers, anthropologists, political scientists and sociologists have used cross-cultural comparisons to achieve various objectives in understanding social processes.
The Phrase “comparative method” refers to the method of comparing different societies or groups within the same society to show whether and why they are similar or different in certain respects.
Both Montesquieu and Auguste Comte, often regarded as the founders of sociology, used or recommended, comparison” to establish and explain both differences and similarities between societies.
The comparative method was, for long, considered the method par excellence of sociology. The comparative method, so-called, is thus the process of comparing situations, groups, cultures, or whatever, which are similar and yet which differ in known ways.
The comparative approach in sociological studies is one of the research methods to study social formation and transformation.
“Comparative studies examine and contrast social structures and processes across countries or regions to identify general patterns.
As a research method, comparative method aims to understand complexities and identifies causal mechanisms. BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
In comparative method, the researcher collects data about different social groups and then compares one group with another to identify what is evident in one group but not another.
The principles behind such a method come from the positivists who try to isolate and identify the cause of social events and behavior.
Durkheim’s study on suicide was an example of the comparative method. By comparing official statistics between various societies he argued he was able to identify what was evident in one society and not in another which might cause suicide.
For researchers adopting a normative perspective, comparisons have served as a tool for developing classifications of social phenomena and for establishing whether shared phenomena can be explained by the same causes.
For many sociologists, comparisons have provided an analytical framework for examining (and explaining) social and cultural differences and specificity.
More recently, as greater emphasis has been placed on contextualization, cross-national comparisons have served increasingly as a means of gaining a better understanding of different societies, their structures and institutions.
Constant comparative method is label given to a procedure designed for analysing qualitative data. BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
The process is one of continually comparing segments of the data with each other.
Such a process leads to the emergence of categories and helps reveal the relationships between them so that a model of social processes can be developed.
However, constant comparative method does not provide a rigorous and systematic test of the model. It is very closely related to analytic induction.
Assignment – II
Q 3 Explain the significance empiricism in social research.
Ans:Significance empiricism in social research:
An empiricist is one who practices empiricism i.e., the system which, rejecting all a priori knowledge rests solely on experience and induction.
To Bacon goes the honor of being the first “Martyr of Empiricism”.
Bacon (1561 to 1626), one of the modern scientific thinkers is known for his emphasis on induction, the use of direct observation to confirm ideas and the linking together of observed facts to form theories or explanations of how natural phenomenon work.
Social life is visibly chaotic.
The following are the main features of empirical scientific research:
Observation: Empirical research relies on observation for obtaining knowledge. In a sense the keystone of any inquiry is observation.BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
Concepts: Concepts are the building blocks of scientific empirical research. Scientific theories usually consists of several inte-related concepts. Concepts are fundamental to all human communication and thought.
Objectivity: Objectivity means that the conclusions we reach in empirical research are not affected by our personal views or values.
It also means that similar or same conclusions can be reached by any person who repeats the same set of observations.
Verifiability: Any finding is said to be empirical only if it can be verified. If a theory involves things which cannot be verified, the theory tends to be metaphysical rather than scientific.
Predictability: Empirical researchers are interested in prediction. Precise predictions constitute one of the most impressive achievements of the empirical researches.
Systematic Nature: Empirical investigation is systematic in many ways. It is thorough and rigorous, as it makes use of designs to guard against errors which may creep in at the time of collection of data as well as at the time of interpretation and drawing generalizations from the data. BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
Q 4 Elaborate the relationship between theory and research.
Ans:Relationship between theory and research:
Following point shows the relationship between theory and research:
The Bearing of Theory on Research: The term sociological theory has been used to refer to the products of several related but distinct activities. The varieties of activities have significantly different bearings on empirical social research.
Methodology: It is important to differentiate between sociological theory and methodology. Theories are substantive while methodology is the logic of scientific procedures.
Methodology is not particularly bound up with sociological problems, therefore they are not sociological in character. Researchers must be well versed with the use of methodology.
General Sociological Orientations: Such orientations only mentions the types of variables which have been taken into consideration rather than specifying the causal relationships between the variables they provide the framework for empirical examination.
Analysis of Sociological Concepts: Concepts are definitions of what is to be observed, they are the variables between which empirical relationships are to be sought.
The selections of correct concepts is very important for empirical inquiry. Research will not be fruitful if concepts which do not have relationships are selected.
Post Factum Sociological Interpretations: In social research the data are collected initially and then subjected to interpretations. BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
In doing this interpretations happen only after the data is collected and the empirical testing of a pre-designated hypothesis does not happen, which a research should be doing.
Empirical Generalisation in Sociology: The objective of sociological theory is to arrive at social uniformities. However, there are two types of statements of sociological uniformities which differ significantly in their bearing on theory.
The first is the isolated proposition summarising observed uniformities of relationship between two or more variables. The second is the scientific laws.
Q 5 Explain the various stages of understating a social research.
Ans:Various stages of understating a social research:
Social Research is a method used by social scientists and researchers to learn about people and societies so that they can design products/services that cater to various needs of the people. BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
Different socioeconomic groups belonging to different parts of a county think differently. Various aspects of human behavior need to be addressed to understand their thoughts and feedback about the social world, which can be done using Social Research.
Any topic can trigger social research new feature, new market trend or an upgrade in old technology.
Decide on a topic: The first stage of the research model involves determining what you want to study by selecting a topic base of importance, personal interest or availability of research.
Review The Literature: After selection of a topic you will need to perform a literature review which is a study of related academic articles and information literature review let you know what others research have previously discovered on the topic.
Develop a hypothesis: After literature review one must develop a hypothesis which involves a suggestion about how variables relate.BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
Collect Data: Once you have a hypothesis you need to test it. It is important to have a research design to collect your data. Your data needs to be reliable and have validity.
Analyze Results: Evaluate and interpret data are important part of research. its important to make sense of data you collected so others an interpret your results.
Share and publish results: Sharing your results allows others to read and use your findings in their own research.
Assignment – III
Q 6 Elaborate the concept of social facts.
Ans:Concept of social facts:
Emile Durkheim, a pioneer of the discipline of Sociology, from France introduced the concept of Social fact. BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
In layman’s terms, anything that restricts the activity of the individual from outside is a social fact.
A simple example would be Religion, which influences or restricts individual actions in society. Though the concept has been reasonably criticized by later sociologists, it is still relevant today.
One of the most important characteristics of a social fact is Externality, according to Durkheim.
Externality means that the social fact exists outside the individual and coming into existence as a part of the autonomous development of society.
Thus, any social fact should be developed on its own (say religion, which has a long process of evolution).
Q 7 Elaborate the place of objectivity on social research.
Ans:Place of objectivity on social research. Objectivity in social research is the principle drawn from positivism that, as far as is possible, researchers should remain distanced from what they study so findings depend on the nature of what was studied rather than on the personality, beliefs and values of the researcher (an approach not accepted by researchers in the critical, standpoint or interpretive traditions).
In its purest sense, the idea of objectivity assumes that a truth or independent reality exists outside of any investigation or observation. BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
The researcher’s task in this model is to uncover this reality without contaminating it in any way.
Objectivity is the most appreciated value of a scientific research.
The substance of objectivity is to make any work free of biasness which could due to an assortment of reasons and not every one of the reasons is constantly controllable by the researcher.
This is genuine particularly when the topic of study is individuals or sociology. So this implies there is objectivity in social science.
Q 8 Explain the reflexivity in social research.
Ans:Reflexivity in social research:
Reflexivity generally refers to the examination of one’s own beliefs, judgments and practices during the research process and how these may have influenced the research.
If positionality refers to what we know and believe then reflexivity is about what we do with this knowledge. BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
Reflexivity involves questioning one’s own taken for granted assumptions.
Essentially, it involves drawing attention to the researcher as opposed to brushing her or him under the carpet’ and pretending that she or he did not have an impact or influence.
It requires openness and an acceptance that the researcher is part of the research.
Reflexivity opens up dilemmas and challenges.
These are more often addressed explicitly in situations in which there is a considerable distance in terms of background knowledge, behaviour and underlying beliefs between researcher and researched but should be a general consideration for all research.
Q 9 Explain the features of ethnomethodology.
Ans:Features of ethnomethodology: Following are the features of ethnomethodology:
Taken for granted assumptions: The ordinary and daily activities exreciced by members of a group are referred to as “taken-for-granted assumptions”.
Common-sense knowledge and procedures: Common sense knowledge and procedures in the ethnomethodological ethnographic setting are related to the collective knowledge that is widely acquired by the members in the group.
Typification: Typification is related to the methods that the members of a group use to classify their experiences, objects and occurings.BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
Accounting: Accounting refers to the different mental and explicit activities that are used in sense-making by the individuals in a social group.
Reflexivity: Reflexivity refers to the the process whereby knowledge of a social world prevailing within a group explains social events.
Q 10 Discuss features of feminist methodology.
Ans:Features of feminist methodology: Much as in the case of the comparative method (while there are certainly some common features within the vast body of studies that warrant them being called comparative or feminist),
it is important to assert that important differences also characterize what can be broadly termed the feminist method.
The process of feminist research is characterized by four primary features:
(1) Expanding methodologies to include both quantitative and qualitative methods.
(2) Connecting women for group-level data collection.
(3) Reducing the hierarchical relationship between researchers and their participants to facilitate trust and disclosure.BSOC 134 Free Solved Assignment
(4) Recognizing and reflecting upon the emotionality of women’s lives.
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