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THE SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH INQUIRY

SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH INQUIRY is a carefully planned, systematic and


objective investigation of some questions or problem connected with the
phenomenon.
The following measures must be met in order for a research study to become
scientific:
1. ACCURACY scientific observations are accurate if they reflect the
actual attributes of an observed phenomenon. In other words, scientific
observations correspond to actual conditions and are congruent with
reality.
2. PRECISION scientific observations must be precise or exact. However,
the degree of precision required varies from one situation from
another.
3. OBJECTIVITY refers to the ability to see and accept facts as they are
and not as one might wish them to be.
Ways by which objectivity may be attained:
A. The Use of the Scientific Method
Scientific method is empirical which means something that the
data collected corresponds to the answer of the questions which
comes from the external source.
Scientific method is observed both in the natural and social
sciences.
The data to be gathered are something that can be seen,
touched and taste.
The truth or principles derived from the scientific method
therefore are based on information obtained through the
senses.
B. The Avoidance of Value Judgment
Value Judgment are judgments or statements that reflect a
nonfactual addition to an observation.
C. The Avoidance of Hasty Generalization
D. The Selection of Sample
Characteristics of Science as a Method of Inquiry
1. Observations are recorded in complete detail
Entails the recording of scientific observations in complete detail
immediately after they are made. This is done systematically to
avoid missing data.
Records are kept on file for easy retrieval.
Records also means by which the truthfulness and accuracy of
ones observations or conclusions may be validated by other
researchers.
2. Observations are carried out by a trained personnel
Involves the undertaking of scientific observations by trained
observers.
3. Observations are carried out under controlled condition
The use of hypothesis is necessary as a first step in conducting
controlled observation and/or experimentation.
Controlled conditions as experiments require, are generally more
easily achieved in laboratories than in the human communities.
Hawthorne Effect this phenomenon states that the
respondents awareness that they are being observed generate
responses that result from their consciousness or awareness of
being observed rather than due to the stimuli being introduced.
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4. Observations follow the systematic procedures


a. Formulating the Research Problem
b. Methodology
c. Gathering of Data
d. Analysis of Data
e. Conclusion/Recommendations

MAJOR DIVISIONS OF RESEARCH


The research may be classified as descriptive, historical and
experimental.
1. THE DESCRIPTIVE STUDY
This method is employed in research when the principal aims are to
describe the nature of a situation as it exists at the time of the study
and to explore the causes of particular phenomena (Sevilla et al.,
1992). It focuses on the present time; it discusses what is observed
now. It has no control over what is.
`
The following are the types of descriptive research.
A. Case Study. This involves studying one person or just a few
persons over a considerable period of time. It entails discovering
and studying all the important variables which have contributed to
the history of the subject.
B. Survey. This involves a relatively large number of cases and is
classified into four categories according to scope and subject
matter.
The categories are:
1. Census of Tangibles which covers a small population where
the variables are concrete. The responses are, thus, simple and
accurate;
There is less contradiction in the data since the variables
measured are well defined and clear. Examples of these are a profile of
the teachers in a particular school according to professional
qualifications, the number of students in each college or institute, and
a count of the internet cafs in the vicinity of the university.
2. Census of Intangibles which deals with constructs based on
indirect measures;
The variables measured are not directly observable such as the
alumnis loyalty to their school, students study motivation, and
teachers career fulfillment.
3. Sample Survey of Tangibles which makes use of the
sampling technique;
In certain cases, the objective of the research requires the data
from large groups wherein the census is not advisable. The sampling
technique becomes useful and practical then.
4. Sample Survey of Intangibles which deals with the
measurement of psychological or sociological constructs;

The researcher also engages in this type of survey when he


compares a large population where the variables are not directly
observable.
C. Correlational Study. This is undertaken to determine the extent to
which different variables are related to each other in the population
of interest. Here, one can determine how much variation is caused
by one variable in relation with the variation caused by another
variable.
D. Developmental Study. This employs longitudinal and crosssectional methods. The longitudinal method studies sample
participants over an extended period of time, while the crosssectional method studies participants of various characteristics at
the same point in time.
E. Follow-up Study. This intends to investigate the subsequent
development of the participants after a specified treatment or
condition.
F. Documentary Analysis. The data gathering here is performed by
examining records and documents.
G. Trend Analysis. This type of study aims to seek future status,
specifically to project the demands or needs of the people in the
future.
2. THE HISTORICAL STUDY
This method of research is the critical investigation of events,
developments, and experiences of the past, the careful weighing of
evidence of the validity of sources of information of the past, and the
interpretation of the weighed evidence (Kerlinger, 1972, as cited by
Catane, 2000).
Sevilla and co-authors (1992) enumerate the following as the
three major procedures involved in this method: formulating the
problem, gathering source materials, and criticizing these materials.
They further explained that the chief primary sources in data collection
are documents and remains. As these are the first witnesses to a fact,
they are the only solid bases for historical investigation. Secondary
sources, whose writers did not experience or witness the events but
merely gathered from those who actually did, can contribute in giving
information in the inavailability of primary sources. A system of notetaking is necessary to have an orderly record of the data gathered.
Historical research requires subjecting the sources to external
and internal criticisms. In making external criticism of the data, the
historical investigator verifies their genuiness as he deals with form
and appearance rather than with the meaning of the data. Internal
criticism, on the other hand, involves determining the meaning and
trustworthiness of the statements found within the document. The
researcher here finds out the real meaning of the statements, the
observers competence, truthfulness and honesty.
3. THE EXPERIMENTAL STUDY
In an experimental study, the researcher performs the following:
manipulation of at least one independent variable; control of other
relevant variables; and observation of the effect on one or more
dependent variables. The independent variable, also referred to as the
experimental variable, the cause, or the treatment, is that activity or
characteristic believed to make a difference on the dependent variable
(Sevilla et al., 1992). The dependent variable, also known as the
criterion variable, effect, or posttest, is the outcome of the study, the
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change or difference in groups which occurs as a result of manipulation


of the independent variable.
SYSTEMATIC PROCEDURES OF RESEARCH
I.

FORMULATING THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

Research Problem is the focus of the study. This seeks to study the whys,
hows, and whats of social problem.
Characteristics of a Good Research Problem
a. It should be relevant to the time.
b. It should be related to a practical problem.
c. It should have novelty.
d. It should fill a research gap.
e. It should sharpen the definition of an important concept.
Criteria of a Good Problem Statement
a. Problems should state the relations between variables.
b. Problems should be stated clearly and unambiguously in question form.
c. It should simply possibilities of empirical testing.
Four Major Steps in Formulation of a Research Problem
1. Choosing a Researchable Topic
Possible Sources in Choosing a Topic
a. Research Problem based on a Social Theory
Social Theory is a set of assumptions that explain a social
phenomenon. It may seek to establish or verify the validity of that
particular theory.
b. Research Problem based on a Practical Concern
2. Defining the Research Problem
3. Formulation of Objectives
The following format is suggested in the formulation of the studys
objective;
To determine _____________________________
To know __________________________________
To distinguish ___________________________
(others) _________________________________
The objective should also reflect the population to be studied.
4. Laying Out the Hypotheses
Hypothesis a statement about how various phenomena are
expected to be related to each other. It projects or anticipates: (a)
possible answer to the research
question and (b) the variables or
factors that would explain why the projected
answers are bound to happen.

1.
2.
3.
4.

Characteristics of a Hypothesis
A good hypothesis, according to Garcia (2003), should:
be simple and specific;
be stated in a empirically testable form;
be related to the existing body of knowledge; and
indicate the specific nature of connection (i.e. difference, relationship).

Types of Hypotheses
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1. Null Hypothesis. This is a statement indicating the non-existence


of difference, relationship, or association between two or more
variables or factors.
2. Alternative Hypothesis. This states the nature of the connection
between or among the variables that the researcher expects.
The null hypothesis is often used in many researches because errors in
accepting and rejecting the hypothesis can be easier avoided if the
expectations are in the null form (Sevilla et al., 1992). Garcia (2003)
also explained that no statistical tests have been developed in testing
the alternative or research hypothesis.
II. METHODOLOGY OR PLANNING THE DESIGN FOR DATA
COLLECTION
Research design is the program that guides the investigator in the
process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting observations.
A. Theoretical Framework
Theory is a set of assumptions or general statements that explain
events or phenomena.
B. Types of Data to Collect
Data are the facts one collects through observation or interview.
Two kinds of data
a. Hard data the data that are collected from the natural science.
They are always quantifiable and are basically derived from the
technique of experimentation.
b. Soft Data the data that are collected from social science. These
are fluid and are derived from the social life of the people.
Types of Data to Collect
a. Variables is an empirically applicable concept that takes on two
or more values. The data that are organized into clusters.
Types of Variables
1. Dependent Variables is behavior or attitude being studied.
These are assumed to depend on or are caused by other variables
or factors. Dependent variables are those that are changed or
affected by the independent variables.
2. Independent Variables is that which is thought to affect,
determine or change an individuals behavior.
3. Intervening Variables is an element or a factor that tends to
explain why certain characteristics may not influence behavior as
anticipated. This is a factor that intervenes, prevents, or blocks the
manifestations of a behavior expected by a particular population
exhibiting a particular characteristic.
b. Categories variables are further subdivided into sub-groups.
C. Techniques in Gathering data
1. Survey method using the questionnaire
Survey is any procedure in which data are systematically
collected through some form of solicitation.
Questionnaire it is a set of questions used by the researcher
given to the respondents in order to collect the data.
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2. Interview Technique requires a face-to-face interaction with the


respondent using a predesigned interview guide which the
interviewer uses as he talks with the respondents.
D. Field Study Methods
Field Study entails the observation of human interaction in the
natural setting.
Techniques in the Field Study Method
1. Participant Observationit requires the participation of the
researcher in whatever his subjects are doing or his immersion in
the community being studied.
2. Case Study Method entails the exhaustive documentation of
one case as a representative of the population being studied the
data of which are otherwise difficult to obtain, if it all, through the
administration of a questionnaire.
E. Choice of Sample/Respondents/Informants
Respondent is defined as the individual or a person whom one
intends to interview, observe or study. Only the fraction of a population
is actually studied. The fraction is called the sample which must be
the representative of all groups in the universe.
Universe is the total population from where the sample is derived.
Key Informant provides the investigator insights into the
communitys behavior patterns and their cultural meanings.
III. DATA GATHERING
A. Ways of Gathering Data in a Field Study
Two Procedures in the data gathering in a Field Study
1. Observing directly activities and proceedings and recording them
as they happen or as people render their opinions. In this procedure
the population is conscious that their actions and/or opinions are
being recorded.
2. Another is indirect way of deriving information. The researcher goes
around the area chatting with the residents but subtly finding
means to bridge gaps in the information or data previously
gathered.
B. Data Gathering Tips
1. Cultivate the habit of asking questions. Never satisfied with one
answer.
2. Adapt to the local verbal and nonverbal communications.
3. Engage in a small talk or discussion with your subject population
but always inject research related questions.
4. Record observation in detail. In recording, categorize the questions
and information into the 6 Ws:
a. Nature of the activity (What).
b. Place of the activity (Where).
c. Performers/participants (Who).
d. Date, time, and duration of activity (When).
e. Purpose of the activity (Why).
f. Conduct/action in the activity (how).
5. Field notes have to be reviewed at the end of each day for editing
and structuring, especially if done in short hand.
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6. The use of short hand would greatly help data gathering for a field
survey.
IV. ANALYSIS OF DATA
TABLES summarize the findings of a survey.
Two forms of Tables
a. Marginal or One Way Table it classifies the respondents
according to one particular variable or characteristic.
b. Two-way or Two-variable Table it classifies the respondents
according to two variables. This usually shows the relationship
between the independent and dependent variables.
V. WRITING THE CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION
After analyzing the data a conclusion has to be formulated. This
particular portion should now confirm or dispute the studys hypothesis using
the studys data as bases for analysis and recommendations. The
conclusions should be based on the presented tables in the study.
SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH FORMAT
TITLE PAGE
ABSTRACT OF THE STUDY
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Statement of the Problem
Objectives of the Study
Hypothesis/hypotheses of the Study
Significance of the Study
Scope and Limitation of the Study
Operational Definition of Terms
CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
CHAPTER III
METHODOLOGY
Research Design
Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
Research Paradigm
Operational Definition of Terms
Sampling Procedures
Instrumentation
Data Gathering Procedures
Statistical Analysis of Data
CHAPTER IV
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
(The data will be presented in table/graph then interpret)
CHAPTER V
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, AND RECOMMENDATION