Category Archive for: FIELD AND METHODS OF SOCIOLOGY

The Sociologist as Technician

The Sociologist as Technician  Some sociologists are engaged in planning and conducing community action programs advising on public relations, employee relations, problems of morale or of “inter group relation$” within the organization; working on human relations problems of many sorts. Often these sociologists have specialized in social psychology, industrial sociology, urban or rural sociology, or the sociology of complex organizations. Recently the term clinical…

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The Sociologist as Policy Consultant

The Sociologist as Policy Consultant  Sociological prediction can also help to estimate the probable effects of a social policy. Every social policy decision is a prediction. A policy (e.g., federal grants for Head Start) is begun in’ the hope that it will produce a desired effect (e.g., narrow the educational gap between poorer and more prosperous children). Policies have often failed because they…

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MAKING SOCIOLOGICAL PREDICTIONS

MAKING SOCIOLOGICAL PREDICTIONS.  Although the track record of sociologists in making social predictions is not impressive, someone must make social predictions. Every policy decision is based upon certain assumptions about the present and future state of the society. A legislator who says “We need more severe penalties to curb drug pushing” is predicting that more severe penalties actually will curb the narcotics business without creating…

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Popular Sociology

Popular Sociology  A great deal of sociological material reaches print through people who are not sociologists. The popular magazines are studded with articles on crime, family life, sex, education, suburbia, social class-practically every s0ciological topic imaginable. This is popular sociology-treatment of sociological topics usually by writers without much formal sociological training, and aimed at a popular audience. Popular sociology at its worst is seen…

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PURE AND APPLIED SOCIOLOGY

PURE AND APPLIED SOCIOLOGY A distinction between pure and applied science is drawn in every scientific field. Pure science is’ a search for knowledge, without primary concern for its practical use. Applied science is the search for ways of using scientific knowledge to solve practical problems. A biochemist who seeks to learn how a cell absorbs food or how a cell ages…

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DISAGREEMENTS IN SCIENCE

DISAGREEMENTS IN SCIENCE standard procedures in collecting data an arriving at conclusions based upon scientist evidence, unsullied by bias, vanity, or interest, why do scientists so often dis Sometimes two different scientists, work with the same data, arrive at opposite CO elisions. For example, the Jacobs study motioned earlier [jacobs, 1978] concluded more property crimes are “”Omitted who economic inequality is greater. But…

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The Problem of Sampling

The Problem of Sampling In most research, we save time by examining only a sample of an entire Gulliver whatever we are studying, whether it is tomato plants, laboratory animals, college freshmen, or working wives. If the sample is properly . selected, it will give an accurate picture of the entire universe under study. But to do this, the sample must be…

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EVALUATION RESEARCH

EVALUATION RESEARCH  Almost half the federal government’s expenditures are for “human resources including social action pro such as Head Start, delinquency prevention, drug rehabilitation, job training, and many others. Do they work? Or is the money wasted? May they even do more harm than good? The use of scientific research procedures to measure the effectiveness of an action program is called evaluation research [Suchmap, 1967; Abt,…

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Observational Studies

Observational Studies Observational studies are like experiments in all respects except one: In an experiment the scientist arranges for something to happen in order to observe what follows, whereas in an observational study the scientist observes something which happens, or has already happened, by itself. Both rely upon systematic observation under controlled conditions in a search for verifiable sequences and relationships. Both are used…

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Laboratory and Field Experiments

Laboratory and Field Experiments All sciences use experiments. In the laboratory experiment, materials .or ‘people are brought into the laboratory for study. In laboratory experiments with people, people a~ recruited, assembled, and perhaps paid for engaging in the experiment. Dollars famous frustration-aggression studies (1939] were conducted by assembling a number of students as experimental subjects, supposedly to study the effects of…

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