Sociological research methods by Sharilynn Hanslo

Introduction to sociology

This paper is the first of many research papers written on sociology as a BSc psychology student during my first year. However, this particular paper will only explore the vast subject of sociology on an introductory level.This paper is the first of many research papers written on sociology as a BSc psychology student during my first year. However, this particular paper will only explore the vast subject of sociology on an introductory level. Psychology and sociology have always fascinated me. Subjects like psychology, sociology, philosophy, and epidemiology allow us to understand things like consumer behavior and structural functionalism through accumulated data and statistics. It studies society as if it were part of an elaborate ecosystem connected to many other subsystems. Fundamentally sociology views society and everything in it as a collective whole.

Sociology in a changing society

Researching the world around us is essential to learn more about ourselves and society. Sociology studies everything from consumer behavior, population growth, as well as what influences social changes. It also tries to establish cause for social rebellion, bureaucratic reform, and what influences human behavior on both a micro and macro level. Moreover, sociology encourages curiosity, critical thinking, and logical reasoning.It studies society as if it were part of an elaborate ecosystem connected to many other subsystems, It more specifically studies society on a micro and macro level.Sociology studies society as part of an elaborate ecosystem connected to many other subsystems; it explicitly studies society on a micro and macro level. In sociology, three core paradigms involve concepts, theories, and frameworks that provide perspectives on specific ideas, also known as fundamental assumptions. However, anthropologists, sociologists, etc., must conduct scientific research and present data to establish the reason behind cause and effect. It often starts by developing a hypothesis for sociological frameworks about various fields of study. Without forming and hypothesis or conducting scientific experiments, you can not separate empirical fact from opinion.

Sociological Research methods

The testing phase of a hypothesis may use different methods Such as scientific experimental observations, social observations, subjective analyzing, data sourcing, qualitative, quantitative calculations, interviews, surveys as well as other various methods, etc. Observational none experimental data serves as an excellent foundation to establish probability or predict the possibility of the future cause and effect, it usually provides the basis for research methodology. However, sociologist always aims to try and provide empirical scientific evidence which involves conducting experiments outside in an exposed environment or a controlled environment; this primarily involves analyzing independent and dependent in a laboratory allowing all variables to remain undisturbed except for one, which is often manipulated to observe its reaction.

The 3 paradigms of sociology

Many anthropologists believe the way we identify ourselves and others is a result of social construction. That through shared ideas we begin to influence the way we think collectively and individually. Sociological theories also involve the study of mainly structural functionalism, symbolic interaction theory, and conflict theory. Together they form a complex system involving the environment and the social effects it has on people. Sociology research methods provide useful information which involves a theoretical approach as well as conducting experiments.

Structural funtional theory

structural function theory explores the development in society on various scales such on a macro and micro-level, structural-functionalism studies focus on society and view it as a sophisticated system connected to subsystems where everything and everyone has a role within the collective framework. And that it allows society to flourish economically and socially, while constantly aiming for equilibrium. It would further suggest that society needs stability and that without it, the results are instability within all subsystems which impact social development negatively. It essentially explores society and does not from the perspective of the individual. In fact, it suggests that larger groups and institutions like schools, media, the government also known as manifest functions, are what influence collective thought and behavior which control the intellectual integrity of how a society should function. Institutions have been created to ensure society evolves and continues to develop and progress. Within a society, the document, school. Media, military, business, and various corporations all serve a purpose within society, all of which must operate within a fully functional capacity to ensure stable social equilibrium.

Social conflict theory

Social conflict theory, which generally focuses on the various hierarchies that hold power in society. Such as the wealthy and influential who are on the top of the social-economic pyramid. The theory explores the various factors that influence power and inequality. It focuses on education, nepotism, social classes, and other social disadvantages less affluent people will encounter. People who are wealthy are also regarded higher in terms of social status thus have access to better resources and education health care etc. social conflict theory aims to understand whether this system of unlimited resources and access to prestigious institutions reinforces power within these classes while socially and economically challenged people continue to struggle in the systematic hierarchy of oppression

Symbolic interaction theory

The study of symbolic interaction theory aims to understand interpersonal communication on a symbolic level. People tend to associate meaning with objects and symbolism. Symbolic theory interaction was first introduced by Herbert Blumer, a sociologist who studied the interactions between people and the influence of symbolic integration.Symbolism generally refers to nonverbal communication where people use gestures and symbols to communicate and create social and cultural identity. This in turn influences and alters the way communication is expressed and may change the meanings associated with symbolism. Symbolic interaction theory essentially tries to explore the ways in which people within a subsystem interact within a family unit, like religious groups, community, groups, etc. And how associated symbolism impacts and differs within various cultures and family units. The study theorized interactions with other people through shared experiences like body language, which he believed helped us identify others and in return provide a reflection of our own identity. However, his observations proved that with time all these interactions were subject to change and that over time people developed different perceptions and gave new meaning to objects.

Conclusion

Many anthropologists believe the way we identify ourselves and others is a result of social construction. Those shared ideas within a society influence the way we think and as a result, produce a collective way of thinking and behavior. Structural functionalism, symbolic interaction theory, and conflict theory are just some of the theories explored within sociology. Together they form a complex system involving the environment and the sociological effects it has on people. Sociological research methods provide useful information that involves theoretical approaches as well as controlled scientific experiments to explain the behavior within the structure of society all of which provide helpful information in understanding what influences sociological changes in society and help resolve issue,

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