The Practice of Social Research by Earl R. Babbie

By Earl R. Babbie

This thorough revision of Babbie's standard-setting publication for the direction (known because the "Bible of social study methods") bargains scholars a complete, uncomplicated advent to the sector of analysis tools as practiced by way of sociologists and different social scientists. Emphasizing the significance of the study approach, the e-book indicates scholars how social scientists layout study stories, introduces the range of statement modes utilized by sociologists, and covers the "how-to's" and "whys" of social r

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S. sociology. His focus on the nature of interactions particularly influenced George Herbert Mead (1863-1931), Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929), and others who took up the cause and developed it into a powerful paradigm for research. Cooley, for example, introduced the idea of the "primary group," those intimate associates with whom we share a sense of belonging, such as our family and friends. Cooley also wrote of the "looking-glass self" we form by looking into the reactions of people around us.

Contrary to the beliefs of some, their data indicated that higher welfare payments were associated with lower crime rates" In other words, welfare programs have the function of decreasing rather than increasing lawlessness. In applying the functionalist paradigm to everyday life, people sometimes make the mistake of thinking that "functionality," stability, and integration are necessarily good, or that the functionalist paradigm makes that assumption. However, when social researchers look for the functions served by poverty, racial discrimination, or the oppression of women, they are not justifying them" Just the opposite: They seek to understand the functions such things play in the larger society, as a way of understanding why they persist and how they could be eliminated.

At that level, however, X and Y still have rather general meanings that could give rise to quite different observations and measurements. Operationalization specifies the procedures that will be used to measure the variables. The lowercase x in Figure 2-2, for example, is a precisely measurable indicator of capital X. This operationalization process results in the formation of a testable hypothesis: for example, Riley E. Dunlap Department of Sociology, Washington State University THEORETICAL UNDERSTANDING Ycauses X HYPOTHESIS X = f( Y) Theoretical expectation il il Lx;;' Operationalization x = f(y) Testable hypothesis f(y) Observation (hypothesis testing) FIGURE 2-2 The Traditional Image of Science.

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