Find Your Free Essay Examples

After Successfully Completing

After successfully completing Introduction to Sociology there were many new insights developed, and new information learned. There were many different theories, and many methods introduced. Throughout the class, a big theme was social investigation. Social investigation is defined as an activity where a person or group of people study and individual, or multiple.

The criteria of social investigation are as following: objectivity, meaningful connection, balance between objectivity and personal feelings. Objectivity in this situation means keeping your beliefs and values separated from the situation, as well personal opinion and any prejudices that may arise, this also means making conclusions based on evidence and not on opinions. The next one is meaningful connection, this entails building good personal rapport between each other. This is to make the Subject feel comfortable while under observation. The final criteria is keeping a balance between personal feelings and investigation. This is critical because once personal feelings are involved the results may be skewed by personal feelings. The frameworks for social investigation is divided into three sections. The first one is Positive Sociology. This is the study of society based on a systematic observation of social behavior. The next one is Interpretive Sociology. This is the study of society that focuses on the meanings people attach to their social world. In simpler terms this means putting yourself in another persons shoes and trying to understand their feelings from their point of view. This is essential in trying to understand someones emotions and unless you were to try and see it from their perspective it may not make sense. The final one is Critical Sociology. This is the study that focuses on the need for change (Cherry, 2018). This can include trying to bring about change in society, focusing on the inequalities and struggles of people in society. Key requirements of sociological investigational to apply sociological perspective. This means applying factors of their environment and connecting it to the individual. The other is to be curious and ask questions, this is done to show interest, make the subject of research more comfortable, and also helps to better understand them. (Stangor, 2015)

Many different research methods are used to get results and gather information. Research methods are different types of investigations used in order to get facts. The most commonly used research method is surveying. Surveying is both quantitative, (which according to the textbook is research that collects and reports data primarily in numerical form. This type of research requires data being gathered by using tools, equipment, and surveys) and qualitative research which is focused on what is seen and is looking to explain and understand why as oppose to Quantitative which is looking for how many or a correlation between anything that can be measured with numbers.(Schaefer 2018). The reason it is the most commonly used method is because it can measure a large amount of a population or society at once and give you quantifiable results. The least used method would be experiment. By definition this is “formal test of specific variable and effects that are performed in a controlled setting where all aspects of the situation can be controlled, used to demonstrate cause and effect.”(Stangor, 2015) There are many disadvantages to using the experiment research method. They are subject to human error, a lot of variables are controlled by humans which could lead to inconclusive results, personal bias can arise, the test subject can create fake results, some results may only happen one time and would not be able to be replicated, and so on. In the research method there are 7 steps : find and establish the problem, review the previous discoveries and research in order to better understand the topic, formulate a hypothesis (what are you trying to test), find your method of research, carry out the research, interpret your results, and finally reporting your research and findings, establish what was discovered and why it is significant. (Tugend, 2018)

Two theories or theorist I found interesting was first the Hawthorne effect. The Hawthorne effect states that there is a tendency in people to try and perform better when under the impression that they are being observed. This theory was based off of an experiment in Hawthorne, Chicago in which its purpose was to study the effects of physical conditions on work efficiency. Two groups of workers were used as the test subjects. Their work environments and conditions were changed numerous times and productivity was increased. In conclusion of the experiment they found that it wasn’t the changes being made that was increasing productivity but instead the fact that someone was concerned of the working conditions.(Tugend, 2018) Another theory I found interesting is the Zimbardo effect. I was first introduced to this theory while watching the movie “The Stanford Prison Experiment.” Philip Zimbardo conducted and experiment in which he sought to study prisoners and guards in a simulated prison situation in which people were selected from a college and half were placed as prisoners and the other half were guards. The goal was to understand the process that motivates aggressive and submissive behavior within prisons, or any other types of total institutions.

The sociological perspective has changed my outlook on a lot of many different situations. The main way it changed how I see things is by teaching me to eliminate my self and any personal feelings from a situation in an attempt to better understand it. Before I would always have trouble understanding how or why people felt a certain way but that was because I wasn’t taking the many different variables in their life into perspective and trying to see it from my point of view. The biggest lesson learned is my reality isn’t another persons reality. Reality for an individual is built through the lessons and experiences they went through in their life.

In conclusion I have learned many different things such as : social investigation, which consist of objectivity, meaningful connection, balance between objectivity and personal feelings. I have learned many different research methods, such as experiments, or surveying and why these methods are used instead of others. Many different theories and theorist were introduced to us and new ideas were presented to us causing the way I think to be changed. I also learned of the many limitations that comes with social science, human behavior is too complex for sociologist to predict and individuals response precisely, humans respond to their environment differently, the presence of someone investigating their behavior can cause them to act differently, social patterns changing over time causing something that may have been true and applied in a different period in time to not be true anymore, and it is very hard to remain unbiased. Furthermore I can say I have learned a great amount of information from this class and has expanded my mind and outlook on many different situations.