Sociological Research Methods II
Last Updated: Sep 4, 2013
Are you having problems coming up with a topic?
Look at published articles in journals like: Sage Reference
American Sociological Review
Look in a reference book for a overview of a topic:
Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology
REF. HM425.B53 2007
Encyclopedia of Social Theory
REF. HM425.E47 2005
Sociology reference books are also available online in:
Topic vs. Variables
Once you have a topic, go a step further: identify the variables that can be measured. As you have learned in class, there are two types of variables:
You'll need at least one of each to create a hypothesis. Also, it's difficult to know what to search for in Sociological Abstracts until you think about your topic in terms of variables.
- INDEPENDENT: the variable that causes or influences the outcome
- DEPENDENT: the variable that is affected or influenced (by the independent variable)
Topic: I'm interested in the attitudes of different ethnic groups towards the aged.
- Independent: ethnicity
- Dependent: attitudes toward the aged
: Attitudes toward the aged are related to ethnic background.
: Attitudes toward the aged are not related to ethnic background.