METHODS OF SOCIOLOGICAL ENQUIRY
BSOC 134 solved Free Assignment 2023
BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment January 2023
Assignment – I
Q 1. Explain the phenomenology perspectives in Sociology.
Ans. Phenomenology is a philosophical approach that emphasizes subjective experience and consciousness.
It posits that our understanding of the world is shaped by our lived experiences and interactions with others, rather than by objective facts and data.
This perspective has been applied in sociology to study social phenomena and human interactions, and has contributed to the development of various theoretical frameworks and research methodologies.
History of Phenomenology in Sociology
Phenomenology as a philosophical movement originated in the early 20th century in Germany, with the works of Edmund Husserl and his followers.
Husserl sought to develop a new approach to philosophy that focused on the subjective experience of individuals and the structures of consciousness that underlie it. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This approach emphasized the importance of “bracketing” or “suspending” one’s preconceptions and biases in order to focus on the immediate experience of the world.
In sociology, phenomenology gained popularity in the mid-20th century as a reaction against the dominant positivist and functionalist approaches.
The positivist approach, which was influenced by the natural sciences, emphasized the use of empirical data and objective methods to study social phenomena.
The functionalist approach, on the other hand, viewed society as a system that functions to meet the needs of its members, and sought to identify the structures and functions of different social institutions.
Phenomenology offered an alternative perspective that focused on the subjective experience of individuals and the meanings they attach to their actions and interactions.
It emphasized the importance of understanding the social world from the perspective of the actors themselves, rather than imposing external categories and theories on them. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Key Concepts in Phenomenology
There are several key concepts in phenomenology that are important for understanding its application in sociology.
Intentionality: Intentionality refers to the fact that consciousness is always directed towards an object or a meaning.
In other words, every act of consciousness is directed towards something, and this something is always meaningful to the individual.
Bracketing: Bracketing, also known as epoché, refers to the act of suspending one’s preconceptions and biases in order to focus on the immediate experience of the world. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This is a crucial aspect of phenomenology, as it allows researchers to focus on the subjective experience of individuals without imposing external categories or theories on them.
Lifeworld: Lifeworld refers to the everyday world in which individuals live and experience the world.
It encompasses the individual’s subjective experience of the world, as well as the social and cultural structures that shape that experience.
Intersubjectivity: Intersubjectivity refers to the shared understanding that individuals have of the world, which is shaped by their interactions with others.
It emphasizes the importance of social interaction and communication in shaping our understanding of the world.
Contributions of Phenomenology to Sociology
Phenomenology has made several important contributions to sociology, including the development of new theoretical frameworks and research methods.
Ethnomethodology: Ethnomethodology is a sociological approach that emphasizes the importance of studying the everyday methods and practices that individuals use to make sense of the world. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
It is based on the idea that individuals are constantly engaged in “sense-making” activities, in which they use various resources and cultural practices to create meaningful social worlds.
Ethnomethodology has been influenced by phenomenology, as it emphasizes the importance of studying the subjective experience of individuals and the structures of consciousness that underlie it.
Symbolic Interactionism: Symbolic interactionism is a sociological perspective that emphasizes the importance of symbols and meanings in shaping social interactions.
It is based on the idea that individuals create and interpret symbols and meanings through their interactions with others, and that these symbols and meanings are a key component of social life.
Symbolic interactionism has been influenced by phenomenology, as it emphasizes the importance of understanding the subjective experience of individuals and the meanings they attach to their actions and interactions.
Phenomenological Sociology: Phenomenological sociology is a subfield of sociology that emphasizes the importance of understanding the subjective experience of individuals and the structures of consciousness that underlie it.
It focuses on studying the lifeworld of individuals, and the ways in which social and cultural structures shape that experience.
Phenomenological sociology has been influenced by the work of Husserl and other phenomenological philosophers, and has contributed to the development of new research methods and theoretical frameworks.
Qualitative Research Methods: Phenomenology has also contributed to the development of new qualitative research methods, which emphasize the importance of understanding the subjective experience of individuals and the meanings they attach to their actions and interactions. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Qualitative research methods, such as ethnography and participant observation, allow researchers to immerse themselves in the social world of their subjects, and to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences and perspectives.
Critiques of Phenomenology in Sociology
While phenomenology has made important contributions to sociology, it has also faced criticism from some quarters.
One major critique is that it can be difficult to generalize findings from phenomenological studies, as they are based on the subjective experiences of a small number of individuals.
This can limit the applicability of phenomenological research to broader social phenomena.
Another critique is that phenomenology can be overly subjective and individualistic, and may neglect the broader social and cultural structures that shape individuals’ experiences.
This critique emphasizes the importance of understanding the social and cultural context in which individuals live, and the ways in which these structures shape their experiences and perspectives.
Q 2. What are the basic elements of theory?
Ans. Theories are fundamental to understanding the world around us. They are abstract, conceptual frameworks that explain and predict phenomena and provide a structure for organizing and interpreting observations and data.
Theories are developed through a process of observation, experimentation, and analysis, and they are constantly revised and refined as new evidence becomes available. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Concepts are the building blocks of theory. They are abstract ideas or categories that represent a group of related phenomena.
Concepts are often expressed in words or symbols, and they allow us to classify and organize information in a meaningful way.
For example, the concept of “social class” is a way of categorizing people based on their position in a society’s social hierarchy.
Concepts are often linked together to form propositions, which are statements that describe relationships between concepts.
For example, the proposition “people with higher social class have better access to healthcare” describes the relationship between social class and healthcare access.
Variables are concepts that can take on different values or levels. They are used to describe and measure phenomena that vary across individuals, groups, or situations. Variables are often categorized as independent or dependent.
Independent variables are those that are manipulated or controlled by the researcher in an experiment or study.
They are thought to have an effect on the dependent variable, which is the variable that is being measured or observed.
For example, in a study on the effects of exercise on weight loss, the independent variable would be the amount of exercise performed, and the dependent variable would be the amount of weight lost.
Assumptions BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Assumptions are the underlying beliefs and values that shape a theory. They are often implicit and may not be explicitly stated, but they guide the development and application of the theory.
Assumptions can be based on cultural, social, or historical contexts, and they can influence the way we interpret and understand phenomena.
For example, a theory that assumes that people are rational decision-makers would suggest that individuals weigh the costs and benefits of their actions before making decisions.
This assumption may be based on the belief that individuals are motivated by self-interest and seek to maximize their own outcomes.
The relationships between concepts are a fundamental aspect of theory. Theories describe how concepts are related to one another, and how they interact to produce certain outcomes or effects.
The relationships between concepts can be described in a variety of ways, such as through mathematical equations, diagrams, or verbal descriptions.
For example, a theory of social influence might describe the relationship between the behavior of a group and the behavior of an individual within that group.
The theory might suggest that individuals conform to group norms in order to gain acceptance and avoid rejection, and that this process leads to a convergence of behaviors within the group. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The scope of a theory refers to the range of phenomena that it can explain or predict.
Some theories have a broad scope, meaning that they can be applied to a wide range of phenomena, while others have a narrow scope, meaning that they are limited to specific domains or situations.
For example, a theory of gravity has a broad scope, as it can be applied to objects of all sizes and masses.
A theory of social identity, on the other hand, has a narrow scope, as it is limited to explaining the ways in which individuals identify with and define themselves in relation to social groups.
Empirical validity refers to the extent to which a theory is supported by empirical evidence.
Theories are developed through a process of observation and experimentation, and they must be tested against empirical data to determine their validity.
Empirical evidence can be gathered through a variety of methods, such as experiments, surveys, or observations The validity of a theory is determined by how well it fits the available data, and by the degree to which it can predict new data.
Theories that are supported by a large body of empirical evidence are considered to be more valid than those that are not.
Falsifiability BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Falsifiability is a key element of theory, as it allows theories to be tested and refined. A theory is said to be falsifiable if it can be proven false by empirical evidence.
In other words, a theory must make predictions that can be tested against observations or data. If the predictions are not supported by the data, then the theory can be rejected or modified.
For example, a theory of evolution makes specific predictions about the relationships between different species and the patterns of their genetic variation.
These predictions can be tested against observations of living and fossil organisms, and if they are not supported, then the theory can be modified or rejected.
Parsimony is the principle that the simplest explanation is often the best. In other words, theories should be as simple and straightforward as possible, while still accounting for all relevant data. This principle is sometimes called “Occam’s Razor.”
For example, a theory of gravity that requires complex mathematical equations and numerous assumptions would be less parsimonious than a theory that can be expressed in a simple equation or diagram.
Assignment – II
Q 3. Explain the significance of ideal type.
Ans. The concept of ideal type was developed by Max Weber, a prominent sociologist, in the early 20th century. Ideal types are abstract models or categories that are used to simplify and classify complex social phenomena.
They are constructed by combining and abstracting from real-world observations to create a “pure” or “ideal” concept that represents the essential characteristics of a particular social phenomenon. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The significance of ideal type lies in its usefulness as an analytical tool for understanding complex social phenomena. Here are some key ways in which ideal type is significant:
Ideal type helps to simplify complex social phenomena
Social phenomena can be incredibly complex, with numerous variables and factors influencing them. By creating ideal types, sociologists can simplify these phenomena and identify their essential characteristics.
This simplification makes it easier to analyze and understand these phenomena, as well as to communicate about them with others.
For example, a sociologist studying the concept of bureaucracy might create an ideal type that includes characteristics such as hierarchy, rules and procedures, and specialization of tasks. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This ideal type would help the sociologist to simplify the complex reality of bureaucracies and to focus on their essential features.
Ideal type helps to identify patterns and variations
Ideal types can also help to identify patterns and variations in social phenomena. By comparing real-world observations to the ideal type, sociologists can identify similarities and differences, as well as variations within a particular social phenomenon.
For example, a sociologist studying different types of religious organizations might create an ideal type for each type of organization, such as churches, sects, and cults.
By comparing observations of real-world organizations to these ideal types, the sociologist could identify similarities and differences between different types of religious organizations, as well as variations within each type.
Ideal type helps to develop theories
Ideal types can also be used to develop theories about social phenomena. By combining ideal types with empirical data, sociologists can create theoretical frameworks that explain and predict social phenomena.
For example, a sociologist studying social stratification might create an ideal type of the class system, including characteristics such as economic inequality, social status, and access to power. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
By combining this ideal type with empirical data on social stratification, the sociologist could develop theories about how the class system operates, how it affects individuals and groups, and how it is related to other social phenomena such as education, occupation, and social mobility.
Ideal type helps to compare different societies and cultures
Ideal types can also be used to compare different societies and cultures. By creating ideal types for different social phenomena in different societies, sociologists can identify similarities and differences between these societies, as well as variations within them.
For example, a sociologist studying family structures in different societies might create ideal types for different types of families, such as nuclear families, extended families, and blended families.
By comparing observations of real-world families to these ideal types in different societies, the sociologist could identify similarities and differences between family structures in different societies, as well as variations within each type of family.
Q 4. What is the evolutionist method? Name some thinkers who have used this method.
Ans. The evolutionist method is a way of studying human societies and cultures that emerged in the 19th century.
It is based on the idea that societies and cultures evolve over time, and that they can be studied using a scientific approach similar to the one used to study natural phenomena.
This method was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and many thinkers and anthropologists of the time used it to study human societies and cultures. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The evolutionist method is characterized by several key features:
Unilinearity: Evolutionist thinkers believed that all human societies and cultures followed the same path of development, progressing from a primitive state to a more advanced state.
They believed that this progression was driven by natural laws, and that it could be observed and studied objectively.
Stages of development: Evolutionist thinkers divided human history into several stages of development, each with its own set of characteristics and features.
These stages were usually defined in terms of technology, economic organization, and social structure.
Comparative method: Evolutionist thinkers used a comparative method to study human societies and cultures.
They compared societies and cultures from different parts of the world, looking for similarities and differences that could help them understand the evolution of human societies.
Emphasis on material culture: Evolutionist thinkers focused heavily on material culture, such as tools, weapons, and art, as a way of understanding the evolution of human societies.
They believed that changes in material culture were indicative of changes in social and economic organization. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Some of the key thinkers who used the evolutionist method to study human societies and cultures include:
Lewis Henry Morgan: Morgan was an American anthropologist who is considered one of the founders of modern anthropology.
He used the evolutionist method to study the development of kinship systems, and he proposed a system of classification that divided societies into three stages of development: savagery, barbarism, and civilization.
Edward Tylor: Tylor was an English anthropologist who is best known for his book “Primitive Culture.”
He used the evolutionist method to study religion and mythology, and he proposed a system of classification that divided human societies into three stages of development: animism, polytheism, and monotheism.
Herbert Spencer: Spencer was an English philosopher and sociologist who is best known for his theory of social Darwinism.
He used the evolutionist method to study human societies and cultures, and he believed that societies evolved in a similar way to biological organisms.
Franz Boas: Boas was a German-born American anthropologist who is known for his opposition to the evolutionist method. He believed that human societies and cultures were unique and could not be studied using a universal framework.
He advocated for a more holistic approach to anthropology that focused on the particularities of individual societies and cultures.
Q 5. Elaborate the comparative methods used by Durkheim and Redcliffe-Brown.
Ans. The comparative method is a research method used in sociology and anthropology that involves comparing different societies or cultures in order to identify similarities and differences between them.
This method is used to develop theories about human behavior and social structures. Two important sociologists who used the comparative method in their research were Emile Durkheim and A.R. Radcliffe-Brown. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Emile Durkheim was a French sociologist who is often considered one of the founding fathers of sociology. He used the comparative method extensively in his research, particularly in his studies of religion and suicide.
Durkheim believed that by comparing different societies, it was possible to identify universal patterns of social organization and behavior.
In his book “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life,” Durkheim used the comparative method to study the role of religion in society.
He compared a variety of societies, including Australian aboriginal tribes, Polynesian societies, and ancient Greek and Roman societies.
Durkheim found that religion played a similar role in all of these societies: it provided a sense of social cohesion and a set of shared values and beliefs.
Durkheim also used the comparative method in his study of suicide. He compared suicide rates in different societies and found that suicide rates were higher in societies with weak social ties and low levels of social integration.
This led Durkheim to conclude that social integration was an important factor in preventing suicide. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
A.R. Radcliffe-Brown was a British social anthropologist who used the comparative method in his studies of kinship and social structure.
Radcliffe-Brown believed that by comparing different societies, it was possible to identify the underlying social structures and institutions that governed human behavior.
In his book “Structure and Function in Primitive Society,” Radcliffe-Brown used the comparative method to study kinship systems in a variety of societies.
He compared societies from different regions of the world, including Australia, Africa, and the Pacific Islands.
Radcliffe-Brown found that despite differences in kinship terminology and practices, there were underlying similarities in the way kinship systems functioned.
He argued that kinship systems served as a way of organizing social relations and allocating resources within societies.
Radcliffe-Brown also used the comparative method in his studies of social structure. He compared the political and economic systems of different societies and identified common patterns of social organization.
Radcliffe-Brown argued that social structures were shaped by the environment in which societies existed and that they played an important role in maintaining social order.
While Durkheim and Radcliffe-Brown used the comparative method in different ways, both believed that it was an important tool for understanding human behavior and social structures.
By comparing different societies, they were able to identify universal patterns and underlying structures that could be used to develop theories about human behavior.
Their work helped to lay the foundation for modern sociology and anthropology, and their use of the comparative method continues to influence research in these fields today. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Assignment – III
Q 6. Discuss Feminist empiricism.
Ans. Feminist empiricism is a method of inquiry that combines feminist theory and empirical research.
It aims to use empirical data to challenge gender-based assumptions and biases in scientific research, and to develop new understandings of social phenomena that take into account the experiences and perspectives of women.
Feminist empiricism emerged in the 1980s as a response to the criticism of feminist theory as being too abstract and detached from the experiences of women.
Feminist empiricists argued that while feminist theory was important for identifying the ways in which gender inequalities shape society, empirical research was necessary for testing and validating these theories.
One of the key principles of feminist empiricism is the importance of reflexivity. Feminist empiricists recognize that all researchers bring their own biases and assumptions to their research, and that these biases can affect the data they collect and the conclusions they draw.
To counteract this, feminist empiricists emphasize the need for researchers to reflect critically on their own assumptions and biases, and to actively work to minimize their impact on their research. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Feminist empiricism also emphasizes the importance of collaboration and community-based research.
Feminist empiricists argue that research should not be a top-down process in which researchers dictate the questions and methods used, but rather a collaborative process in which researchers work with the communities they are studying to develop research questions and methods that are relevant to their experiences and perspectives.
Q 7. Elaborate the various stages of quantitative research.
Ans. Quantitative research is a research method that involves collecting numerical data and analyzing it using statistical methods. This approach involves a series of distinct stages, which are outlined below:
Defining the research question: The first stage of quantitative research involves defining a clear research question that can be answered using quantitative methods.
This typically involves conducting a review of the existing literature to identify gaps or areas of controversy that can be addressed through empirical research.
Developing a research design: The next stage involves developing a research design that will allow the researcher to collect the data needed to answer the research question. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
This typically involves selecting a sample of participants or cases that are representative of the population of interest, selecting appropriate measures or instruments to collect data, and identifying any potential confounding variables or sources of bias that could affect the results.
Collecting data: Once the research design has been developed, data collection can begin. This typically involves administering surveys, questionnaires, or standardized tests to participants, or collecting data from existing sources, such as administrative databases or public records.
Preparing and cleaning data: After data has been collected, it must be prepared and cleaned before it can be analyzed.
This typically involves coding the data, entering it into a database or spreadsheet, and checking for errors or missing data.
Analyzing data: The next stage involves analyzing the data using statistical methods. This typically involves using software such as SPSS or Stata to calculate descriptive statistics, such as means, standard deviations, and correlations, as well as inferential statistics, such as t-tests and ANOVA, to test hypotheses and identify significant differences or associations between variables.
Interpreting results: After the data has been analyzed, the results must be interpreted in light of the research question and the existing literature.
This typically involves discussing the implications of the findings, identifying any limitations or weaknesses of the study, and suggesting directions for future research.
Q 8. Discuss ICT impacts in social sciences research.
Ans. Information and communication technology (ICT) has had a significant impact on social sciences research in recent years.
ICT has revolutionized the way researchers gather, store, and analyze data, and has opened up new possibilities for collaboration and dissemination of research findings. Some of the key impacts of ICT on social sciences research are discussed below:
Data collection: ICT has made it easier and faster to collect data from a wide range of sources. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Online surveys, social media data, and administrative data sources can now be accessed more easily than ever before, providing researchers with a wealth of data to analyze.
Data storage and management: ICT has also made it easier to store and manage large datasets.
Cloud-based storage solutions, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, provide researchers with secure and reliable platforms to store their data, while data management software, such as SPSS and Stata, allow researchers to organize and manipulate data more efficiently.
Data analysis: ICT has transformed the way researchers analyze data, providing powerful tools for statistical analysis and visualization.
Software such as R, Python, and SAS provide researchers with sophisticated statistical analysis capabilities, while tools such as Tableau allow for interactive and dynamic data visualization.
Collaboration: ICT has also made it easier for researchers to collaborate across disciplines, institutions, and geographic boundaries.
Online collaboration platforms, such as Slack and Trello, allow researchers to work together on projects, share data and ideas, and communicate more effectively.
Dissemination of research findings: ICT has also transformed the way research findings are disseminated. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Online journals, preprint servers, and social media platforms provide researchers with new ways to share their research findings with a wider audience.
Open-access publishing also allows for greater accessibility and dissemination of research findings.
Ethical considerations: While ICT has provided many benefits for social sciences research, it has also raised new ethical considerations.
Issues such as data privacy, confidentiality, and informed consent must be carefully considered when using ICT for research purposes.
Q 9. What is survey?
Ans. A survey is a research method used to gather data from a sample of individuals or groups.
It involves asking a set of questions to a sample of respondents, and then analyzing the responses to draw conclusions about the population of interest.
Surveys can be conducted using various methods, including paper-based surveys, phone surveys, online surveys, and in-person interviews.
The questions in a survey can be open-ended, allowing respondents to provide their own answers, or closed-ended, providing respondents with a list of possible responses to choose from. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Surveys can be used for a wide range of purposes, including market research, political polling, customer satisfaction surveys, and social sciences research.
They can be used to gather both quantitative and qualitative data, depending on the type of questions asked and the analysis method used.
Some advantages of surveys include their ability to gather large amounts of data quickly and efficiently, their flexibility in terms of question format and delivery method, and their ability to provide standardized, comparable data.
However, surveys also have limitations, including the potential for response bias, the need for careful sampling and questionnaire design, and the potential for low response rates.
Q 10. Discuss various sources of history
Ans. Sources of history refer to the different types of materials and documents that provide information about past events, people, and societies. These sources can be divided into two categories: primary sources and secondary sources.
Primary sources are materials that were created or produced during the time period being studied. They include:
Documents and manuscripts: This includes letters, diaries, journals, official records, treaties, laws, and other written materials.
Artifacts and objects: This includes objects such as tools, weapons, pottery, clothing, and buildings. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Oral history: This refers to information that has been passed down through generations through oral traditions, such as stories, songs, and legends.
Audiovisual materials: This includes photographs, films, and recordings.
Secondary sources are materials that are created after the time period being studied, based on primary sources. They include:
Books and articles: These are written works that analyze and interpret primary sources.
Biographies and autobiographies: These are written accounts of a person’s life, often based on primary sources such as diaries and letters.
Encyclopedias and reference works: These provide information on a wide range of topics, often based on secondary sources.
Histories and chronicles: These are written accounts of past events and societies, often based on primary and secondary sources.
It is important to note that not all sources are equally reliable or accurate. Primary sources are generally considered more reliable than secondary sources because they provide direct evidence from the time period being studied.
However, primary sources may also be biased or incomplete, and must be carefully analyzed and interpreted.
Secondary sources may provide valuable analysis and interpretation, but may also be biased or based on incomplete or inaccurate primary sources.
In addition to these traditional sources of history, modern technology has created new sources of historical information. These include:
Digital archives: These are online repositories of historical materials, including photographs, documents, and audiovisual materials.
Social media: Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can provide valuable insights into contemporary events and social movements.
Big data: This refers to large datasets that can be analyzed to identify patterns and trends over time. BSOC 134 Solved Free Assignment 2023
GIS (Geographic Information Systems): These tools use geographic data to analyze and visualize patterns of human activity and environmental change over time.