As humans we are necessarily curious about others. On a daily basis we wonder why others behave in the manner that they do…we wonder why that driver did that or we wonder why women/men do the things they do.
The connection between research (collecting data or making observations) and theory (the attempt to explain various behaviors) needs to be understood. Theories need support (observations) and data/observations need organization (theories).
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So, I want you to make a series of observations this week. For example, you could sit and eat lunch at McDonald’s and observe how the restaurant fills up…do people sit in a particular way? Do they maximize the space between them or sit close to others?
This McDonald’s example is just that…you may make observations on ANY human behavior. Be sure to make your observations over a period of time at least 2 days…3 or 4 days would be best. Once you finish your observations I want you to construct a theory (a sociological explanation) of why the people you observed behaved the way they did…then share a summary of your observations and your “mini” theory on discussion board.
Your work must include: A description of where/when/who you observed, a brief description of your findings. What were the patterns that you observed? And a “mini” theory that attempts to explain the patterns that you observed. Remember your “mini” theory should employ the sociological perspective. That is, look for the social forces or social circumstances that influence people’s behaviors.