Mind Map by J T, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by J T over 3 years ago


CIE AS-Level Sociology. Mind map of interpretivism.

Resource summary

1.1 different people in different situations understand/interpret the social world in different ways.
1.1.1 so sociologists can only describe reality from the viewpoint of those who create & define it.
1.2 people are different from inanimate objects (they have consciousness, ability to think, reflect & act instead of simply react)
1.2.1 people cannot be studied in the same way that objects, plants & rocks can be.
1.2.2 needs a more subtle, flexible approach where social behaviour is described in terms of meanings & interpretations people give to behaviour.
1.3 argue that sociology cannot predict behaviour of conscious human beings. Behavioural rules in society are determined by context (changes depending the situation people find themselves in)
1.3.1 eg : teachers tells a student to be quiet, the student's response will vary depending on whether the instruction was given in the classroom/in the street. therefore how people react to the behaviour of others depends on their understanding of the social context in which that behaviour takes place.
2.1 Harris (2005a)
2.1.1 different between methodologies POSITIVISM uses terms like "cause", "law", "fact" to convey idea that human behaviour is governed by forces that individuals social actor is powerless to resist. explanations of behaviours are from "without" (not interacting with the people & behaviour being studied) research is "goal-based" objective is to test whether a hypothesis is true/false research design is rigid, strong & directs researcher through every stage of the process. INTERPRETIVISM explanations of behaviours are made from "within" (how people understand behaviour which they are involved in) by taking advantage of human ability to empathise. (take role of the other) & experience the world in the same way that it is experienced by those who are being researched. eg : to truly understand what it means to be homeless, researcher should become homeless. allows vital insight into why people behave as they do. focuses on collection of qualitative data. information tells the researcher something about the experiences & feelings of the people being studied. less reliable. greater validity (reveals much more about how & why people live their lives in particular ways) research is "goal-free" Lindauer (2005) Researcher can explore whatever they/the people they are studying is important/interesting. research is emergent takes shape as data collection & analysis proceed. exploratory framework is flexible, weak & bends to take account of new research ideas & developments.
3.1 different approach to research
4 Oberg (1999)
4.1 emergent research design built around 4 ideas.
4.1.1 Planning


  • A research issue is identified and a research question takes place.
4.1.2 Data Collection


  • - This research design is non-linear (it does not begin with a hypothesis & end with confirmation/rejection).  - Researcher is not looking for definite answers, so a research question is explored from different perspectives (those of the people being researches/of the researcher themselves) Firestone (1987) Reality is socially constructed through individual/collective definitions of the situation, researcher must use a research design that offers the greatest opportunities to capture this subjective sense of reality.
4.1.3 Data Analysis Schultz et al (1996) data analysis actually takes place throughout the research process, rather than after the data has been collected. it involves a feedback loop where analysis of collected data is used to inform further data collection which in turn informs further analysis. where there is no requirement to collect data to test a hypothesis, analysis is both descriptive & seen from the viewpoint of both researcher & researched.
4.1.4 Evaluation


  • - Research is generally non judgemental. - Readers are left to draw their own conclusions. Firestone (1987) main objective is to help the reader understand how people see their world & situation. Schwandt (2002) social research involves not so much a problem to be solved as a dilemma/mystery that requires interpretation & self understanding.
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