Aiou Solved Assignments code 4683 Autumn & Spring 2020 asignments 1 and 2 Introduction to Methods of Social Research-I (4683) code 4683 spring 2021. aiou tutors
AIOU Solved Assignments 1 & 2 Code 4683 Autumn & Spring 2020
Course: Methods of Social Research-I (4683)
Level: M. Sc (Sociology)
Semester: Autumn & Spring 2020
ASSIGNMENT No. 1
Q. 1 Define Social Research? Enlist different alternatives to social research and discuss their advantages and disadvantages?
Sociological research consists of several stages. The researcher must first choose a topic to investigate and then become familiar with prior research on the topic. Once appropriate data are gathered and analyzed, the researcher can then draw appropriate conclusions. This section discusses these various stages of the research process.
Social researchÿisÿresearchÿconducted byÿsocial scientistsÿfollowing a systematic plan. Social research methodologies can be classified asÿquantitativeÿorÿqualitative.
Quantitative designsÿapproach social phenomena through quantifiable evidence, and often rely on statistical analysis of many cases (or across intentionally designed treatments in an experiment) to createÿvalidÿandÿreliableÿgeneral claims. Related to quantity.
Qualitative designsÿemphasize understanding of social phenomena through direct observation, communication with participants, or analysis of texts, and may stress contextual subjective accuracy over generality. Related to quality.
While methods may be classified as quantitative or qualitative, most methods contain elements of both. For example, qualitative data analysis often involves a fairly structured approach to coding the raw data into systematic information, and quantifying intercoder reliability.ÿThus, there is often a more complex relationship between “qualitative” and “quantitative” approaches than would be suggested by drawing a simple distinction between them.
Social scientists employ a range of methods in order to analyse a vast breadth of social phenomena: fromÿcensusÿsurvey data derived from millions of individuals, to the in-depth analysis of a single agent’s social experiences; from monitoring what is happening on contemporary streets, to the investigation of ancient historical documents. Methods rooted in classical sociology and statistics have formed the basis for research in other disciplines, such as political science, media studies, program evaluation and market research.
Alternatives to social research
Social research is a more structured, organized, and systematic process than the alternatives.
Knowledge from the alternatives is often correct, but knowledge based on research is more likely to be true and has fewer errors.
The alternatives to social research are:
Tradition- means you accept something as being true because ?it?s the way things have always been?.
Personal Experience (seeing is believing)
Overgeneralization occurs when you have some evidence that you believe and then assume that it applies to many other situations, too.
Selective observation occurs when you take special notice of some people or events and generalize from them.
Premature closure operates with and reinforces the first two errors.
Halo effect says we overgeneralize from what we believe to be highly positive or prestigious.
How Science Works
The critical factor that separates social research from the alternatives is that it relies on science.
Social research involves thinking about questions about the social world and following a set of processes to create new knowledge that is based on science.
The natural sciences are the basis of new technology and receive a lot of publicity. Most people first think of them when they hear the word science.
The social sciences are soft sciences. This is not because their work is sloppy or lacks rigor but because their subject matter, human social life, is fluid, formidable to observe, and hard to measure precisely with laboratory instruments.
Science is a social institution and a way to produce knowledge.
Science refers to both a system for producing knowledge and the knowledge produced from that system.
The knowledge of science is organized in terms of theories. For now, social theory can be defined as a system of interconnected abstractions or ideas that condense and organize knowledge about the social world.
Social theory is like a map of the social world; it helps people visualize the complexity in the world and explains why things happen.
Scientists gather data using specialized techniques and use the data to support or reject theories.
Data are the empirical evidence or information that one gathers carefully according to rules or procedures. The data can be quantitative or qualitative.
Empirical evidence refers to observations that people experience through the senses, touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste.
Pseudoscience and Junk Science
The public faces a constant barrage of pseudoscience through television, magazines, film, newspapers, special seminars or workshops, and the like.
Some individuals operating a business, or who strongly embrace a belief system, weave a mix of the outward trappings of science and a few scientific facts with myths, fantasy, or hopes.
Junk science is the term that corporate defenders apply to any research, no matter how rigorous, that justifies regulations to protect the environment and public health.
Sound science is used in reference to any research, no matter how flawed, that can be used to challenge, defeat, or reverse environmental and public health protection.
The Scientific Community
Science is given life through the operation of scientific community, which sustains the assumptions, attitudes, and techniques of science.
The scientific community is a collection of people and a set of norms, behaviors, and attitudes that bind them together. It is a professional community because it is a group of interacting people who share ethical principles, belief and values, techniques and training, and career paths.
The Norms of the scientific community
Behavior in any human is regulated by social norms.
The scientific community is governed by a set of professional norms and values that researchers learn and internalize during many years of schooling.
Norms are ideals of proper conduct.
Diverse social, political, and economic forces affect its development and influence how it operates.
Five norms of the scientific community
Universalism?Irrespective of who conducts research and regardless of where it was conducted.
Organized skepticism?Scientists should not accept new ideas or evidence in a carefree, uncritical manner.
Disinterestedness?Scientist must be neutral, impartial, receptive, and open to unexpected observations or new ideas.
Communalism?scientific knowledge must be shared with other; it belongs to everyone.
Honesty?Scientists demand honesty in all research; dishonesty or cheating in scientific research is a major taboo.
AIOU Solved Assignments 2 Code 4683 Autumn & Spring 2020
Q.2 What do you mean by the term ?Variable? in Social Research? Discuss different types of variables. Give examples to clarify your answer.
You won’t be able to do very much in research unless you know how to talk about variables. Aÿvariableÿisÿany entity that can take on different values. OK, so what does that mean? Anything that can vary can be considered a variable. For instance,ÿageÿcan be considered a variable because age can take different values for different people or for the same person at different times. Similarly,ÿcountryÿcan be considered a variable because a person’s country can be assigned a value.
Variables aren’t always ‘quantitative’ or numerical. The variable ‘city’ consists of text values like ‘New York’ or ‘Sydney’. We can, if it is useful, assign quantitative values instead of (or in place of) the text values, but we don’t have to assign numbers in order for something to be a variable. It’s also important to realize that variables aren’t only things that we measure in the traditional sense. For instance, in much social research and in program evaluation, we consider the treatment or program to be made up of one or more variables (i.e., the ’cause’ can be considered a variable). An educational program can have varying amounts of ‘time on task’, ‘classroom settings’, ‘student-teacher ratios’, and so on. So even the program can be considered a variable (which can be made up of a number of sub-variables).
Anÿattributeÿis a specific value on a variable. For instance, the variableÿsexÿorÿgenderÿhas two attributes:ÿmaleandÿfemale. Or, the variableÿagreementÿmight be defined as having five attributes:
1 = strongly disagree
2 = disagree
3 = neutral
4 = agree
5 = strongly agree
Another important distinction having to do with the term ‘variable’ is the distinction between anÿindependentÿandÿdependentÿvariable. This distinction is particularly relevant when you are investigating cause-effect relationships. It took me the longest time to learn this distinction. (Of course, I’m someone who gets confused about the signs for ‘arrivals’ and ‘departures’ at airports — do I go to arrivals because I’m arriving at the airport or does the person I’m picking up go to arrivals because they’re arriving on the plane!). I originally thought that an independent variable was one that would be free to vary or respond to some program or treatment, and that a dependent variable must be one thatÿdependsÿon my efforts (that is, it’s theÿtreatment). But this is entirely backwards! In factÿthe independent variable is what you (or nature) manipulatesÿ– a treatment or program or cause. Theÿdependent variable is what is affected by the independent variableÿ– your effects or outcomes. For example, if you are studying the effects of a new educational program on student achievement, the program is the independent variable and your measures of achievement are the dependent ones.
Finally, there are two traits of variables that should always be achieved. Each variable should beÿexhaustive, it should include all possible answerable responses. For instance, if the variable is “religion” and the only options are “Protestant”, “Jewish”, and “Muslim”, there are quite a few religions I can think of that haven’t been included. The list does not exhaust all possibilities. On the other hand, if you exhaust all the possibilities with some variables — religion being one of them — you would simply have too many responses. The way to deal with this is to explicitly list the most common attributes and then use a general category like “Other” to account for all remaining ones. In addition to being exhaustive, the attributes of a variable should beÿmutually exclusive, no respondent should be able to have two attributes simultaneously. While this might seem obvious, it is often rather tricky in practice. For instance, you might be tempted to represent the variable “Employment Status” with the two attributes “employed” and “unemployed.” But these attributes are not necessarily mutually exclusive — a person who is looking for a second job while employed would be able to check both attributes! But don’t we often use questions on surveys that ask the respondent to “check all that apply” and then list a series of categories? Yes, we do, but technically speaking, each of the categories in a question like that is its own variable and is treated dichotomously as either “checked” or “unchecked”, attributes thatÿareÿmutually exclusive.
AIOU Solved Assignments 1 Code 4683 Autumn & Spring 2020
Types of Variables
Categorical variable: variables than can be put into categories. For example, the category ?Toothpaste Brands? might contain the variables Colgate and Aquafresh.
Confounding variable: extra variables that have a hidden effect on your experimental results.
Continuous variable: a variable with infinite number of values, like ?time? or ?weight?.
Control variable: a factor in an experiment which must be held constant. For example, in an experiment to determine whether light makes plants grow faster, you would have to control for soil quality and water.
Dependent variable: the outcome of an experiment. As you change the independent variable, you watch what happens to the dependent variable.
Discrete variable: a variable that can only take on a certain number of values. For example, ?number of cars in a parking lot? is discrete because a car park can only hold so many cars.
Independent variable: a variable that is not affected by anything that you, the researcher, does. Usually plotted on the x-axis.
Aÿmeasurement variableÿhas a number associated with it. It?s an ?amount? of something, or a?number? of something.
Nominal variable: another name for categorical variable.
Ordinal variable: similar to a categorical variable, but there is a clear order. For example, income levels of low, middle, and high could be considered ordinal.
Qualitative variable: a broad category for any variable that can?t be counted (i.e. has no numerical value). Nominal and ordinal variables fall under this umbrella term.
Quantitative variable:ÿA broad category that includes any variable that can be counted, or has a numerical value associated with it. Examples of variables that fall into this category include discrete variables and ratio variables.
Ratio variables: similar to interval variables, but has a meaningful zero.
AIOU Solved Assignments Code 4683 Autumn & Spring 2020
Q. 3 What is called research problem? How we narrow down a research question and why it is needed?
A research problem is a statement about an area of concern, a condition to be improved upon, a difficulty to be eliminated, or a troubling question that exists in scholarly literature, in theory, or in practice those points to the need for meaningful understanding and deliberate investigation. A research problem does not state how to do something, offer a vague or broad proposition, or present a value question. Aiou Solved Assignments code 4683;
It is natural to stand at the beginning of a research project and feel overwhelmed by the amount of published research that exists in databases, literature reviews, and reference pages. At the same time, each new research project brings the hope of discovering something new. Overwhelming though a project may be, starting at the foothills of a new thread of research is a great privilege, and is best approached as an opportunity to learn rather than a drudgery. As a researcher/writer, you have the chance to dive more deeply into less frequently encountered pools of knowledge.
Depending on the topic or scope of your research, it is also natural to spend many days and weeks – and in some cases months and years – searching. No matter how great or small the scope of research is, the serious researcher needs to reserve adequate time to perform a thorough survey of published articles. For an undergraduate course project, finding five or six sources might seem like plenty of material to review, but graduate-level writing projects typically involve up to 20 sources minimum.
Please note that the main point here is not to say that it is only the number of research articles matters most, but rather that having a broad spectrum of papers to choose from helps you choose your topic for at least the following two reasons: 1) a larger pool of sources provides you with a broader perspective of the topics within your scope of research and 2) along the way you will find many topics within your field that you DO NOT want to write about! So, one particularly effective way of viewing research is not finding the absolute minimum sources to “get by”, but rather to find a variety of sources that you can use…like an artist uses negative space to “carve” shapes out of a dark background…to guide you toward topics that are more directly relevant to your topic.
The good news is that as you research you may find that some of your sources that were published in the same decade or so will cite and reference each other.
One of the joys and privileges of research is being able to follow your curiosity; if you are truly curious about your topic, and authentically driven to find out as much as you can, then even the articles you don’t find interesting will be useful for a future project, and no energy will be wasted.
Steps 1, 2, and 3: Choosing a Topic
Well, you’ve been researching for a while now, and you are now ready to settle down on a specific topic. You can do this easily by moving through the following steps. (For the purposes of this learning packet, let say that you are writing on the subject ofÿdecomposition.)
Steps 3, 4, and 5: Narrowing Down Your Topic
During the first three steps, you chose a topic. For some, this topic may seem like it’s ready to be written about, but the level of precision required in the context of academic writing requires writer-researcher to go through a few additional steps.
In other words, many articles have already been written that describe various aspects of organic matter decomposition, so we mustÿnarrowÿdown our chosen topic so that we can focus our research efforts on a more precise question or thesis statement.
Narrowing a Topic in Three Steps, Starting from a Topic that Was Selected Using the Three-Step Choosing a Topic Process.
1)ÿMake one or two more words more specific.
In this case, we replaced the words “soil nutrients” withÿnitrogenÿand replaced “organic matter” withÿfood wasteÿto make the topic we wish to write about as precise and as specific as possible.
Example: “soil nutrientsÿnitrogen released byÿorganic matterÿthe decomposition of food waste”
2) OK, we’ve added a few words to make the topic more specific. Now turn the topic into a complete sentence that actually makes a statement.
Example:ÿThe forms of nitrogen released by the decomposition of food waste is poorly understood.
3) Make the sentence as precise and arguable as possible.
If you compare the following example with the previous step, you might notice how the context of decomposition moves from just a generalized process of decomposition to a particular process that involves household waste. In addition, this example makes a firm statement that can be argued and supported.Example:ÿThe amount and value of plant-available nitrogen released by decomposition of household food waste is not well understood because most home composters do not have the tools to measure soil nutrients. Aiou Solved Assignments code 4683,
Methods of Social Research-I Code 4683 Autumn & Spring 2020 Solved Assignments
Q. 4 What are different sources of literature? How literature helps us in each and every step of research process?
Source literature is a term with different meanings. Literature (understood as printed texts) is one kind of information source. In a way, all literature is a kind of source literature. It might, for example, be cited and used as sources in academic writings. However, if used in this broad meaning the concept becomes synonymous with literature and the term thus superfluous and meaningless.
The meaning of “source literature” is relative. From the point of view of a bibliographic index the indexed papers are “source literature”. For example, in the Social Sciences Citation Index is a “source index” covering the journals being indexed. These journals are the “source literature” from the point of view of this index. But from the point of view of the indexed papers are the bibliographical references contained in the single papers “source literature”.
In the humanities, the term “source literature” has a more precise meaning as published sources: Many archives, for example, publish important sources to be used by historians and other scholars as reliable editions of formerly unpublished sources. The publishing of such sources requires knowledge of text philology and other fields. But this kind of expertise put into the publishing of source literature should be differentiated from the kind of expertise needed in order to use the sources in, for example, historical research. A historian may or may not use such “source literature” and on the basis of his research publish a paper, which in the UNISIST model is considered primary literature. Aiou Solved Assignments code 4683
Different types of publications have different characteristics.
Primary sources means original studies, based on direct observation, use of statistical records, interviews, or experimental methods, of actual practices or the actual impact of practices or policies. They are authored by researchers, contains original research data, and are usually published in a peer-reviewed journal. Primary literature may also include conference papers, pre-prints, or preliminary reports.ÿAlso calledÿempiricalÿresearch.
Secondary literature consists of interpretations and evaluations that are derived from or refer to the primary source literature. Examples include review articles (such as meta-analysis and systematic reviews) and reference works. Professionals within each discipline take the primary literature and synthesize, generalize, and integrate new research.
Tertiary literature consists of a distillation and collection of primary and secondary sources such as textbooks, encyclopedia articles, and guidebooks or handbooks. The purpose of tertiary literature is to provide an overview of key research findings and an introduction to principles and practices within the discipline.
How literature helps us in each and every step of research process:
Doing a careful and thorough literature review is essential when you write about research at any level. It is basic homework that is assumed to have been done vigilantly, and a given fact in all research papers. By providing one, usually offered in your introduction before you reach your thesis statement, you are telling your reader that you have not neglected the basics of research. It not only surveys what research has been done in the past on your topic, but it also appraises, encapsulates, compares and contrasts, and correlates various scholarly books, research articles, and other relevant sources that are directly related to your current research. Given the fundamental nature of providing one, your research paper will be not considered seriously if it is lacking one at the beginning of your paper.
- It Creates a Rapport with Your Audience
A literature review helps you create a sense of rapport with your audience or readers so they can trust that you have done your homework. As a result, they can give you credit for your due diligence: you have done your fact-finding and fact-checking mission, one of the initial steps of any research writing.
- It Helps You Avoid Incidental Plagiarism
Imagine this scenario. You have written a research paper, an original paper in your area of specialization, without a literature review. When you are about to publish the paper, you soon learn that someone has already published a paper on a topic very similar to yours. Of course, you have not plagiarized anything from that publication; however, if and when you publish your work, people will be suspicious of your authenticity. They will ask further about the significance of repeating similar research. In short, you could have utilized the time, money, and other resources you have wasted on your research on something else. Had you prepared a literature review at the onset of your research, you could have easily avoided such mishap. During the compilation of your review, you could have noticed how someone else has done similar research on your topic. By knowing this fact, you can tailor or tweak your own research in such a way that it is not a mere rehashing of someone else?s original or old idea. Aiou Solved Assignments code 4683,
- It Sharpens Your Research Focus
As you assemble outside sources, you will condense, evaluate, synthesize, and paraphrase the gist of outside sources in your own words. Through this process of winnowing, you will be able to place the relevance of your research in the larger context of what others researchers have already done on your topic in the past (See Reference 1). The literature review will help you compare and contrast what you are doing in the historical context of the research as well as how your research is different or original from what others have done, helping you rationalize why you need to do this particular research (See Reference 2).
Many Different Types
Depending on your area of specialization, a literature review can take various forms: argumentative review, integrative review, historical review, methodological review, systematic review, and theoretical review (See Reference 1).
- An argumentative review is written to present an opposing view to a given position. This will be valuable to persuade others to join you in supporting your thesis.
- An integrative review is composed of examinations and critical analysis on a given topic to introduce a need for a new research. For example, you can use it on the spreading of a pandemic plague, arguing how the old methods of gathering and analyzing the data were inadequate and how modern technology, such as DNA analysis, will help make the same research more accurate.
- Similarly, a historical review will assess all the historical records of scholarship chronologically while methodological review examines the research methods alone?collection of data, their critical analysis, interpretation, and research results, for example.