Now that you have learned about sociological theory and research practices, it’s your turn to think like a sociologist. Pretend you are a social researcher and that you want to answer a question about social life using sociological tools. Complete the following exercise:
- Ask a question about society that you think a sociologist could research. Explain why you think a sociologist might find it important to answer this question.
- Identify one theoretical approach (refer to previous lesson/pp. 39-50) that you think would be appropriate for your study and justify your choice by explaining how you would connect it to your question and topic.
- Identify one research method that you think would be appropriate for your study and justify your choice by explaining how you would use it to answer the question.
- If you think that more than one theory and/or method is appropriate, make sure you thoroughly explain why each of your choices is relevant. Do not simply review theories and methods; you must directly justify their usefulness in your proposed study.
In short, pretend you’re a sociologist and discuss how you think you’d use the tools you’ve learned about so far to answer a real question.
Your report may be represented in one of the following formats:
- Slide/PowerPoint presentation. A presentation should be approximately 10 slides.
- Informal report. Please follow the guidance/format in the document attached at the bottom.
In either case, make sure you are representing your thought process and your answers to the above questions adequately.
STUDY PROPOSAL GUIDE
Identify your question about society here. Make sure it is a specific question about society or some aspect of society.
After identifying your question, discuss why you think it is interesting, important, or otherwise appropriate for a sociologist to pursue.
Identify a relevant sociological theory (see pp. 39-50 in your textbook) and describe how this theory could be connected to your question. How would this theory’s perspective on society be appropriate for the question you’re asking? How do you think your results might support or challenge the theory’s assumptions?
Identify a relevant sociological research method and describe how this method could be actually used to conduct a study to answer your question. What kinds of data/evidence would you gather? How? Why? How would you analyze it? What sorts of conclusions do you think this method would allow you to make?
IF YOU CHOOSE TO DO AN INFORMAL REPORT: You may use this document as a template. Please delete this section and the section below before turning it in.
IF YOU CHOOSE TO DO A VISUAL PRESENTATION: Please ensure that the content of your slides (particularly your text) fully answers the above questions. Take as many slides as you need.
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