SOC122: PhD’s Guide to Research Methods

Abstract

We continue our PhD’s guide series with a broad overview of sociological research methodology. WAIT! Don’t fall asleep! We talk a ton about concepts and theories, but how do sociologists come up with the evidence to back them up? How do we do our research? This episode will give you a little insight into how. We cover the basics of qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as discuss the ethics of human research. Whether you like numbers or words, statistics or stories, there’s a method to suit your mode of thinking! Join in as we discuss the Nuremberg trials, the Stanford Prison Experiment, and a run down of the basics of sociological research.

Keywords

sociology, sociological imagination, methodology

Sources

  1. On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City by Alice Goffman
  2. Good summary and follow up to the aftermath of this book (NYTimes)
  3. Victor Rios harsh criticism of book in book review
  4. Amazing easy-to-read primer on multiple regression analysis. A 5TH GRADER CAN READ IT. Every sociologist needs this book
  5. Here’s a fun crash course on sociological research methods
  6. Institutional Ethnography–Lecture by the founder, Dorothy Smith

Quantitative

▪ data are reduced to numbers and statistical analyses are commonly

conducted

▪ research tool tends to be reliable

▪ results of research are more generalizable to larger and other populations

▪ cannot study individual units of analysis in depth

▪ studies large populations broadly

▪ commonly used methods of data collection used are:

✓ survey

✓ experiments

✓ content analysis

Qualitative

▪ data are text or visual images

▪ can study populations that are hard to find (snowball sampling)

▪ results tend to be accurate

▪ studies a small number of units of analysis in depth

▪ research results generally are not generalizable

▪ commonly used methods of data collection used are:

✓ participant observation (aka ethnography or fieldwork)

✓ historical research

Discourse analysis

Institutional ethnography

 

SOC106 – “You’re all sociologists!” Pt. 2 (AKA Don’t be a dumbass)

Abstract

Part 2 of our series on how to be a sociologist! (Listen to part 1 here). Did you know that sociology makes you a better person? Even if you’ve never taken a sociology class, you can still use the sociological perspective to understand the social world. Regardless of where you are in the world and what position you have in society, you do not live in a vacuum. We are all interrelated somehow. Join us this week to learn about how to employ the sociological imagination to see the connections between your personal problems and public issues. Think, don’t accept! Question your assumptions! See the world critically! And don’t be a dumbass.

Keywords

Sociology, sociological imagination, sociological perspective

Resources

  1. Read the first chapter of C. Wright Mills’ Sociological Imagination 
  2. Watch a video on C. Wright Mills’ concept of the Sociological Imagination

DEBUT episode! SOC100 – “You’re all sociologists!”

Our podcast begins TODAY! Our debut episode is live!! You can listen below. Today’s episode is SOC100 – “You’re all sociologists!”

A note on how our podcast is structured. We’re going to be operating on a semester schedule, just as any class at any university. Essentially, the semesters will be our ‘seasons’. Our first season that we’re doing is the Fall 2017 semester, and we will continue into Spring 2018 and so forth. This means that we’ll be following the college schedule and taking the same holidays, etc. since we are students and teachers ourselves.

For each episode, we will be providing an abstract (a short summary), a list of keywords, and resources (readings, scholars, websites, etc. that we discuss in the episode). This is is similar to what an academic journal article provides the reader for additional information. Now, onto the debut episode!

Abstract

We are all part of the social world, but what does that mean and, wait, what is sociology? This week’s episode includes personal perspectives from Dr. Penn Pantumsinchai and 2 Dr’s in training, Ellen Meiser and Omar Bird defining sociology – what it is and what it isn’t, as well as explaining the goals of public sociology. If you’re concerned with the human condition and examining the social world, this is the podcast for you! We’re all sociologist one way or another – want to know how? Tune in by streaming or downloading the episode below!

Keywords

Sociological imagination, public sociology, the sociological perspective, sociology, society

Resources:

    1. Murray Edelman’s Constructing the Political Spectacle (1988): “Meaning springs from interactions with others, not from inside an isolated individual’s head” (p. 107) 
    2. Herbert Gans (2015) “Public Sociology and its Publics”(PDF file):
        1. “Any sociological writing or other product created by sociologists that obtains the attention of some of the publics that make up the general public. The writing can be a book, or an article, or even a few paragraphs reporting a new idea or finding. The other products may be created in any of the ever increasing number of communication outlets, from radio and television to the latest websites, search engines and social media. A podcast lecture, and even a summary of a lecture may already reach more of the public than anything we write.
    3. Dr. Karen Kelsky’s website TheProfessorIsIn.com 
    4. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s tweet about sociology and physics
    5. A quick bio on Auguste Comte, the creator of the word, “sociology”
    6. Examples of Public Sociology:

Comment down below what you thought of the episode! What would you like to hear about in the future? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates!

Listen to the podcast teaser!

The teaser to our podcast is now live! 

Introducing a brand new podcast – The Social Breakdown! The sociology podcast that nobody wants, but everybody needs! Our goal for this podcast is to breakdown the complex world one topic at a time using our sociological imagination. Check out our short teaser today and tune in for our grand debut on September 20th! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates!

Leave a comment down below and let us know what you think! Are there any topics you’d like us to discuss? What about the world or society has puzzled you? We’re here to help!