LSO120: Introduction to Sociology
Now that we're about halfway through the course, it's time to try putting together your own ideas into a research proposal to study a topic of your choice! Refer back to Chapter 2 and everything we learned about a research model and methodologies. Since then, you have also learned about how sociologists perceive numerous domains of society such as gender, age, race, and culture. Use these examples to guide your brainstorming as you choose an area of interest for this assignment.
Following the 8-step research model from Module 2 (and found on the next page for your convenience), develop a hypothetical research model for a sociological problem that interests you. Think through and explain each step as though you are actually going to do this research. While you don’t actually have to do the research, think and write up a research proposal as if you were going to. See below for short descriptions of each step that will give you some ideas on what kind of information you need to provide. Remember: the more details you include, the better!
1. Select a topic: What social problem do you want to know more about? Why does this topic interest you? Does it connect to any of the topics discussed in this course? What is your sociological perspective of this topic?
2. Define the problem: What exactly do you want to find out? What is the problem? Has it been studied before? If so, what has already been found? Why is this issue problematic? Who does it threaten?
3. Review the literature: What sources would you use? How would you gain access to these sources? Why would you choose these places to look?
4. Formulate a hypothesis: What relationship do you predict between the variables you have chosen? What do you think your research design is going to discover?
5. Choose a research method: Which method would be best for gathering the date you need? Why is this methodology the best one to study this problem? Why did you choose this method over others?
6. Collect the data: How would you go about collecting your data? How would you ensure your data’s validity and reliability? Who is going to collect the data and why? How are you going to find participants (if applicable)? How long is this data collection going to take?
7. Analyze the results: How are you going to organize, sort, and analyze all the data that is collected? Who is going to be involved in the data analysis? How long will this take?
8. Share the results: How would you communicate your findings? Who is your target audience and how are you going to get their attention? Who else are you planning on sharing your results with and why?