Pick a topic that you think would be lead to interesting sociological research.

Empirical Research

Pick a topic that you think would be lead to interesting sociological research. There are many, many options, but your topic should be relevant to human behavior and social life. 2. Choose the major theoretical perspective from which you will address your topic:Functionalist, conflict, or interaction theory. It is possible to use two perspectives, though this may add complexity in later steps. 3. An empirical research project begins with a research question, which is the question the researcher would like to solve by collecting and analyzing data. A good sociological research question has the following properties: (a) it is based in a theoretical perspective, (b) it aims to explain causes and effects or interpret meanings, not just find facts, (c) it is answerable with empirical data and scientific reasoning, not just opinions, (d) it requires a detailed answer,not a simple “yes” or “no,” and (e) it is specific enough to lead to actual data collection.Write a research question about your topic that has these characteristics. You should have one main question, though you may also include some secondary questions. If you are focusing on cause and effect analysis, you may write your question as a hypothesis if you wish. Warning: This step may be difficult. Let me know if you need assistance! 4. Using information from course lecture notes, the textbook, and the Hesse-Buber and Levy reading PDF, identify which research method would be most useful in answering your question. Your choices are surveys, in-depth interviews, participant observation, experiments, or secondary data analysis. Two things to think about: Is your question best answered through quantitative or qualitative data (or both)? And, do you need a large random sample or can you use a smaller convenience sample? You may choose two research methods if you wish, but do not choose more than two. 5. Think in as much detail as possible about how you would actually carry out this research. How would you recruit people for your sample? What kinds of survey or interview questions would you ask? Where and for how long would you conduct observations? Etc.


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