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Learning Goal: I’m working on a social science discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
The Scientific Study of Society – Sociological Definitions of Society
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Social Research constitutes a distinctive way of telling about society.
Social scientists have a special way of defining society.
Becker (2007), “people doing things together”
Social research rests heavily of a language of variables and relationships among variables
Concept, Variable, Measure, Covariation
(We will apply these topics in Application #1)
Use of the scientific method
(We are learning that now)
DISCUSSION WRITING PROMPT
Discuss how sociological analysis approaches and defines social life by reviewing the Figures of Application #1. Application #1 Variables, Measures and Covariation
Do not do application #1 yet. Instead, look at it then discuss for each of the Figures the following:
1. What SOCIAL LIFE does each graphic define as society? WHAT IS THE SOCIETY BEING STUDIED? (This is usually answered in fewer than 5 words)
2. What are the people doing and refusing to do together?
In your discussion, remember that sociology does not study individuals — we study society such as groups, institutions (schools, school districts, nations), what we term “societies”.
As an example, when reviewing graduation rates, the SOCIAL LIFE is education. People are graduating together and the institution is refusing to graduate all of the students. When we see a group graduate at 60% that means 40% is unable to graduate — we never assign cause (blame) to the group. Instead, assign cause to the institution — the school refuses to graduate 40% because the school only graduates 60% of the students. We will learn more about causation later this term.
As you review the Figures, remember to only discuss the facts of the Figure — do not attempt to explain why the covariation exists; only describe the SOCIAL LIFE and WHAT the people/institutions are doing together and refusing to do together. Avoid comments such as “this is wrong,” “the reason is…,” and, “I believe…” as each of these type of comments are not used in science.
Your discussion should have 4 entries (one for each graphic) and two answers for each graphic.
After you post — you will be able to read your classmates’ responses (please see my syllabus on “bumping” a discussion thread). You are required to respond to at least 1 of your classmates in a real substantive discussion. Meaning, you must say more than “I like your posting”. Think about how multiple Figures can have the same concept but not the same analysis.And, how does the study measure race or sex? Does it include all groups or are some left out? We need to have a real conversation to help us understand this often difficult material.
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