RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

RESEARCH METHODOLOGYDesigning Hypothetical Sociological Research ? Minimum 2 typed pages1. Select a general topic of interest to you. This topic should be about a societal issue rather than a personal problem. It must be about some aspect of asociety or societies and should relate to human behavior and/or human values and beliefs and/or institutional or societal patterns. It must be a topic that isrealistically researchable for a sociologist using one or more of the sociological methodological approaches discussed in your textbook. Studying the motivations ofserial killers would not be a realistic topic. Sociologists focus on behavior patterns, value and belief patterns and institutional, societal and global patterns.For example, you might choose topics such as: Violence among Youth in U.S. Society or how Social Class affects Voting Behavior or you might want to study the Patternsof Employee Interaction in one or more specific formal organizations. Select your own topic rather than one of these examples!Select a topic that you would find interesting to research if you were given funding to do social science research. Remember that as a potential sociologist you arenot trying to solve a problem rather you are trying to understand an issue. Keep in mind that individuals within our society who create social policy and socialprograms sometimes rely on social science research to help them develop their policies and programs. This is one way sociological research is used.For #1, list the general topic about a social issue that you have selected. You do not have to explain why you have chosen this issue. (Worth 5 points)2. Formulate a research question that narrows and defines more specifically the issue that you have decided to study. Here is where you begin to get morespecific about the topic you are studying. You are not trying to rationalize your reasons for your selection and you are not writing a research report on the topic.For example, if you are interested in youth violence you might select one of the following as a research question for your project. a. What social factors contribute to youths being more likely to participate in or to avoid violent activities? Or b. Might growing up in a community with high poverty rates increases the likelihood of a youth participating in violent activities? Or c. How might the presence or absence of positive role models contribute to the likelihood of a youth being involved in violent activities? Or d. How does gender affect the likelihood of being a participant in violent activities?There are many other research questions that you might ask for this particular social issue.For #2, write one research question for your potential research. (Worth 5 points)3. List some of the variables (at least two) that you would consider in your potential study and label them as independent variables or dependent variables. Anindependent variable is considered to be a potential cause for the dependent variable. It must occur prior to the dependent variable. Popularly used independentvariables often have an ascribed characteristic such as age, gender or ethnicity. A dependent variable depends on or is potentially caused by the independentvariable. For example, if you were studying the connection between a community?s poverty rate and youth violence, your independent variable would be the community?spoverty rate and the dependent variable would be acts of youth violence.Be certain that your variables are potentially measurable. In the above example a sociologist might use government poverty measures to determine the poverty rate andmight use police and/or school reports of violent actions (such as fights or bullying) to measure youth violence.For #3, list at least one independent and one dependent variable that you would use in your study. Label your choices as independent or dependent. (Worth 10 points)4. Define the specific population you are planning to study. Your population is the overall group or social category that you are planning to study. Be realisticabout choosing your population. Unless you had a very large grant it might be impossible to study an entire society. For the above example you might decide thatyour focus will be on youth ages 10 to 18 in two contrasting communities in Washington Metropolitan area ? one which has a high poverty rate and one which has a lowpoverty rate.For #4 specify your population in a detailed manner. (Worth 10 points)5. Formulate a hypothesis about your specific issue. Your hypothesis must be related to your research question and must include your independent and dependentvariable. A hypothesis is a statement about the expected findings for your potential research. It should state what you think will occur with your variables. Forexample, if your research question asks how a community?s poverty rate is related to reported youth violence, your hypothesis might be: Youth ages 10 to 18 who residein a neighborhood with a high poverty rate will have more reported incidents of violence than youths who reside in a neighborhood with a low poverty rate. In thishypothesis you are suggesting how you think level of poverty and reported incidents of violence will relate for your population of youth age 10 to 18. It is usuallyimportant to have a comparison group or category in your hypothesis.For #5 list your hypothesis. (Worth 10 points)6. Review the literature. By reviewing the work of others, researchers? thoughts become clearer and more precise. Locate two academic sources (such as socialscience journal articles or reputable data sources) that have information related to your topic. One source should be an academic journal article. You can either goto a library or use the online library resources at Montgomery College.To use Montgomery College?s online resources go to the home page of Montgomery College Library. Use the section on Articles and Databases athttp://www.montgomerycollege.edu/library/ .Use APA or MLA style for citing your two sources. Our library provides online handouts for Citing Sources at http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/library/students.html.Visit the site. It is succinct and useful. You might find the Citation Machine found at http://citationmachine.net to be helpful for creating correct citations ofyour sources.For #6, list two academic sources that have information relating to your topic using APA or MLA style. (Worth 10 points)7. Choose a research method for studying your topic. Explain how you would carry out your potential research using this method and discuss your reasons forselecting this particular methodological approach in contrast to other approaches. Be detailed in your explanation. In your discussion be certain to include someadvantages and disadvantages for your selected methodological approach. Relate these advantages and disadvantages specifically to your own topic.The type of research method that you might want to use could be survey research, participant observation, secondary analysis, an experiment, or another methodologicalapproach that is discussed in your text. The methodological approach that you select may be either quantitative or qualitative. You might decide to use more than onetype of methodology in your study. If so, be certain to clearly differentiate between the types. It is fine just to use one type of research. Be certain that youcarefully consider which method or methods would be best to use for your hypothetical research project.For #7 you need to: (Worth 50 points) a. Select and list a research method that you think will be suitable for your topic. b. Explain in detail why you chose this methodological approach rather than other methodological approaches. c. Discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of your chosen research method or methods as they relate to your specific topic. d. Explain in detail how you would carry out your research using your chosen research method or methods. Include a discussion of additional variables you mightwant to consider in your research.1. what is Inequalities 2.:

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