Scientific Methods In Sociological Research

Objective- Describe the Scientific Method (Pages 73-74).
Sociologists use the scientific method as a structured way of finding answers to questions about the world (Carey 2011). There are roughly six steps to the scientific methods, although a good deal of sociological research does not exactly go in that exact order. First, the sociologist uncovers questions that need answers (pg 73). These questions can range from larger societal issues, personal experiences, or topics in the sociological field; however, the best research is rooted in a topic that the sociologist is personally passionate about. Second, sociologists review literature that is relevant on the topic of interest to them because other
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Hypotheses may not be confirmed by research or borne out by social developments (pg 93). Hypotheses are testable and can be adjusted. Fourth, the researcher must choose the best research method that will help them reach an answer to the research question (pg 93). Sociology has diverse methods, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Some are better than others for answering different kinds of questions; for example, a researcher may use surveys and quantitative methods to evaluate the relationship between class position and attitudes (pg 93). Another researcher may use qualitative methods such as observation to study social actions based off of people 's different perspective (pg 93). Fifth, researchers use their chosen method to collect data that can confirm, or fail to confirm, their hypotheses (pg 94). …show more content…
Objective-Explain how scientific knowledge develops over time (pg 75-76). The scientific method implies that a science develops gradually as one set of empirical findings builds on another (pg 75). Confidence grows as a finding is confirmed by additional research, and will eventually the finding will begin to be treated as fact (pg 75). Over time, though, widely accepted facts may be proved to be incorrect. Some facts do survive empirical tests, these findings are the ones that become the basis of how we perceive as fact (pg 75). This gradual and orderly pattern of scientific development is what is to be expected from the systematic use of the scientific method and shows the evolution of a science (pg 75). Thomas Kuhn proposed the existence of a paradigm, or a general model of the world that is accepted by most practitioners in a field, in this case sociology (pg 75). When there is an accepted paradigm that scientists can agree upon and scientists can agree upon general orientation and their most basic premise, they are free to do their individual research within the confines and safety of that paradigm. When some research does not support the dominant paradigm and questions are not answered, new questions form and eventually the old paradigm is replaced with a new paradigm (pg 75). No single sociological paradigm is potent enough to unite the discipline, therefore there have never been any paradigm revolutions

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