The relationship between sociological theories and research methods

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  • Created on: 13-05-18 14:49
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  • The relationship between sociological theories and research methods
    • Functionalism and methodology
      • The application of positivist methods: Durkheim and suicide
        • Evaluation
          • Weber
            • Used the idea of verstehen to argue that you had to understand the meanings and motives of social actions before you could explain  them
        • Durkheim
          • Positivist methods could be used to study the sociological causes of suicide rates
            • Claimed to find four types of suicide that were linked to how strongly integrated people were into society and how strongly regulated they were by society
      • Concentrates on analysing the role and function of institutions in society
    • Interpretivism, social action and methodology
      • The application of interpretivist methods to the study of suicide
        • Jack Douglas
          • It was misleading o treat all suicides as social facts, because the meaning of suicide varies greatly in different societies
      • Phenomenology and methodology
        • Phenomenology and the study of suicide
          • Maxwell Atkinson
            • Whether somebody has committed suicide or not was a matter of opinion
              • The statistical patterns in suicide simply reflected the assumptions that influenced the decision of the coroners
      • Symbolic interactionsim
        • Developed by
          • Herbert Mead and Herbert Blumer
        • Associated with qualitative methods
        • Influenced
          • Erving Goffman
          • Howard Becker
    • Critical sociology
      • Critical sociology and suicide
        • Michel Dorais
          • Dominant ideas about masculinity remain oppressive features of Western societies and that they can lead to effeminophobia
      • Evaluation
      • Lee Harvey
        • Critical sociology has a concern with abstract concepts and ideology
    • Feminism and research methods
      • Feminist interviewing
        • Ann Oakley
          • The patriarchal approach is based on a hierarchal relationship in which the interviewer controls or directs their subject
      • Standpoint epistemology
        • Liz Stanley and Sue Wise
          • Understanding comes from experience and as such, whatever research methods are adopted, the aim of them must be to describe and explain the different standpoints of women accurately
        • Totally rejected by positivists
    • Postmodern methodology
    • Theory, triangulation and multiple methods
      • William Outhwaite
        • Sociologists now often draw on a number of celebrity sociologists in thinking about society
          • Zygmunt Bauman
          • Anthony Giddens
          • Pierre Bourdieu
          • Ulrich Beck
          • Many sociologists now use several research methods in tandem when studying the social world
    • Suicide and methodological pluralism
      • Jonathan Scourfield, Ben Fincham, Susanne Langer and Michel Shiner
        • Study based upon a mixture of quantitate evidence and qualitative data
        • Accept Atkinson's idea that suicide verdicts may not be entirely reliable
          • It is possible to produce reliable statistics on suicide, as long as sociologists critically examine the evidence about deaths and evaluate it so they can determine which deaths were truly suicide


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