SOC 300: Foundations of Social Inquiry Winter 2023 Prof. Brines March 8, 2023 Final Exam Study Guide Note: The Final Exam will be composed of 40 multiple-choice questions. Approximately 70 percent of these will cover class materials presented/discussed after Exam #2 (Feb 20). Thirty percent of the content will cover topics included on Exams 1 and 2. To prepare for questions on "cumulative" content, you are encouraged to review the earlier exam Study Guides (links on Canvas Front Page). Outline of Course Themes since Exam #2 (Feb 20): 1. Causality Simple focal relationships (usually bivariate) Causal hypotheses are predictions about the nature of the cause-effect relationship. Different forms that these predictions may take Making a cause-effect prediction plausible usually requires some explanation or "story" for it: Causal hypotheses with a mediating variable : "c ausal mechanisms " Diagrams of the key or core relationship: pathways and signs Diagrams of causal mechanisms that describe the chain of influence leading from X to Y Getting a Job: Is there a motherhood penalty? Motivations for the study Research options for a study of employer discrimination The Correll et al. (2007) study Part 1: The "lab experiment" Research Design How parenthood is operationalized Key Findings Representing key findings with a path diagram
2 Part 2: The Audit study Research Design Key Findings Non-experimental data and causal analysis Hypothetical example of extreme sports participation and job performance Causal prediction involving X and Y Other, potentially "confounding" factors Antecedent or prior "Z" variables Representing a spurious causal X,Y relationship in a 3-variable path model with "Z" Controlling for "Z" or other confounding factors as the non - experimental counterpart to randomization in experiments. Why this approach is imperfect: Unobserved potential confounders that may generate a spurious X,Y causal relationship 2. Ethnography Research that requires immersion in the lives and social worlds of study participants as lived and experienced in their natural social setting. How ethnography differs from good investigative journalism Approaches to observation (Direct Observation, Covert Observation) In-depth Interviewing Example 1 : Lareau's (2002) study of how social cla ss advantages are conferred by parents to kids Motivating premise Research question Conceptual model of causal mechanism Definitions of childrearing styles Findings
3 Example 2: Calarco's (2012) study of class d ifferences among young students in asking for and getting help from teachers. Comparisons with Lareau's earlier study Longitudinal ethnography Mapping out Calarco's argument Prior theory and evidence as foundations Grounded theory (inductive reasoning) Purposive sampling Mixed method (direct observation, in-depth interviews, surveys) Findings: Contributions to knowledge through new concepts or insights ("poorly -lit path to success") Contributions to knowledge through new patterns of evidence: class differences in students' help seeking 3. Doing Visual Ethnography What to observe: Physical setting, people, relationships, styles of interaction Routine behavior Exceptional or unusual encounters Field notes " Jottings " Analysis 4. Revisiting " The Sociological Imagination " Three aspects of a sociological imagination: Viewing " taken for granted " activity as something to be investigated for deeper, complex meanings behind social life. Individual biographies and the conditions of everyday life seen as the product of and interacting with large-scale social forces A focus on the processes behind social differentiation, categorization, inclusion, exclusion, hierarchies and their consequences.
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