Topic 3. Sociological Methods

This weekā€™s agenda

    • Learn the steps of the research process.
    • Learn different kinds of sociological questions, including factual, theoretical, comparative, and development questions.
    • Understand various research methods sociologists choose, such as survey, ethnography, and in-depth interviews, as well as experiments; and identify the strengths and shortcomings.

Required Reading


Supplementary reading

Study GuideĀ 

Click here.

Group Discussion/Activity

Group Discussion/Activity 1: The ChallengesĀ 

Watch: Jooyoung Lee and the Challenges of his Hip Hop Ethnography

In this short video, a sociologist, Jooyoung Lee talks about the challenges he faced during his research on hip hop in Black community. Identify what his challenges were and discuss how he overcame them. Do you have any strategies to bridge the gap between you, as a researcher, and research subjects, whose backgrounds are often different.

Group Discussion/Activity 2: Research EthicsĀ 

Many social science and scientific research involve human subjects and raise concerns over research ethics. Learn more about the Tuskegee Study by reading “Tuskegee Syphilis Study Recruitment Letter” by Gwen Sharp in The Society Pages. The federal and state governments, thus, reinforce several laws in order to project research participants, who might face some risks. Discuss following questions.

  1. Watch this short video, “This Tuskegee Study Descendant Wants You to Get the COVID Vaccine,” and identify ethnical issues in the Tuskegee Study. Include the systemic racism in your discussion.
  2. Discuss the legacies of the Tuskegee Studies. How has this study affect Black Americans’ decision on the COVID vaccination?