Views society as a system with interdependent parts that work together to produce relative stability. When each part operates properly, a stable and relatively harmonious society exists. (Macro perspective)
Views society as a system largely dominated by social inequality and social conflict. Societies are viewed as being in a constant state of change, characterized by disagreements over goals and values, competition among groups with unequal amounts of power and hostility. (Macro perspective)
Focuses on small-scale, day to day interactions among people. Society is viewed as the ultimate outcome of an infinite number of episodes of interactions each day in which individuals interpret social messages and base their responses on these interpretations.
A problem or question is identified. Research is reviewed. A theory is formulated. A hypothesis is made. Research is designed to test the hypothesis. Data is collected and analyzed, and empirical generalizations are drawn. Conclusions are arrived at through the research.
The most commonly used data-gathering technique in sociology. It involved the systematic collection of information about attitudes and behaviors through personal or telephone interviews or self-administered questionaries. Particularly helpful in studying attitudes or values.
Seems to identify cause-and-effect relationships in carefully controlled conditions. (Typically conducted in laboratory settings, but can be done in natural settings.) Research consists of an experimental and a control group which are as similar as possible. The experimental group receives the independent variable (potential “cause”). When change is identified, the dependent variable (potential “effect”) can be contributed to the independent variable. This type of research can be used in health settings to test the effectivemess of health education materials, innovations in teaching medical students, and new payment mechanisms.
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