Role Of Sociological Imagination

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Sociological imagination played a key part in the life of every individual (Pedro & Rosane Rocha, 2019). The idea can be receiving through messages, observation and the effect of other individuals in surround (Susan, 2015) (Adam et al., 2013). Sociological imagination is about how an individual perceived the idea of what their personal values are and how society is effecting their thoughts. The word sociological played the role as defining sociology, demonstrating the development, concerns or structure that is functioning in society (Susan, 2015) (Adam et al., 2013). Imagination is about creating ideas through the minds and thoughts, proving the ability of a mind to be able to think outside of a box and becomes creative with those thoughts (Adam et al., 2013). Imagination is the part of a mind where thoughts, and ideas are scattered and running around in the head, and it is the responsibility of that individual to pieces the puzzle together (Susan, 2015) (Adam et al., 2013). By putting these two terms together, a complex term is formed called sociological imagination (Susan, 2015).

This is the key idea that played in the mind of every individual, and not only does it affect an individual but in addition society as a whole (Pedro & Rosane Rocha, 2019). In multiple studies, it has been proven the mind of a person can be changed or influences by another person in the same setting or the community as a group (Susan, 2015) (Adwoa A & Rose, 2015). An example that can be used that the standard beauty for all the women in society (Pedro & Rosane Rocha, 2019) (Adam et al., 2013). There are many different body types and what is considered as a beauty to an individual, but society applied that standard and therefore it put a pressure on an individual to meet up to that requirement (Pedro & Rosane Rocha, 2019) (Adwoa A & Rose, 2015). In a qualitative research study in the past, a woman was questioned if she thinks she is weight, and she responded with a yes (Pedro & Rosane Rocha, 2019) (Adwoa A & Rose, 2015). By assuming, she could be or could not be overweight, but in the standard of beauty for a woman, she could be considered as overweight (Pedro & Rosane Rocha, 2019).

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For women who are skinny, and still answered society that they are overweight proving that the community as a whole have a lot of effect in the mind of a person, and changing the way they should think about themselves (Adwoa A & Rose, 2015) (Pedro & Rosane Rocha, 2019) (Adam et al., 2013). The role of sociological imagination to played in can manipulated or change a person in a negative way more than the positives points, because people were becoming more dependent on others for their choices and decisions (Pedro & Rosane Rocha, 2019) (Adwoa A & Rose, 2015). The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate a better understanding of what is sociological imagination, and qualitative research. In this paper, these topics will be connected to interpret a better explanation of why these two terms are greatly related to each other, and will the conflict between these topics can greatly effect a research study (Adam et al., 2013). This paper will include the negative effect of the role in a study and how in the future it can be avoided to have better research result (Adam et al., 2013).

In this section of this essay, it will explain the differences between a qualitative and quantitative research to build a better understanding before connecting the ideas together with sociological imagination from the previous mention. What is qualitative research, and how it is understand in a way that is different from quantitative research. A qualitative research is a non-numeric research conducting based on responses from interviews and surveys, hypothesis and predictions (Suzanne, 2014) (Adam et al., 2013). Compares to quantitative, qualitative is more complex because are multiple steps before concluding a conclusion (Suzanne, 2014). In quantitative, numbers are involved to explained the data in numerical way, while qualitative uses the research, and responses from participation voluntary or observation to create a hypothesis, and from there a proposal of experiment is conducted and put into test. Interviews, surveys are used to gather a sample from a population, and then those responses are compiled to create a research experiments (Suzanne, 2014) (Janice, 2005). There are differences in a qualitative study and a quantitative study, and most individuals tends to get them mixed up.

In a quantitative study, the research allows sample data to be collected and focus on the number and measurement of that data using numbers and statistical analysis (Suzanne, 2014). By doing so, these numerical data can be used to support the hypothesis if there is a connection between the above variables, and how it is statically significant in the relationship of the data (Suzanne, 2014). The result of a quantitative researches are revolves around prediction, generalization and explanation of the given data (Suzanne, 2014). Therefore, the numerical data in these research needs to be precise and accurate to make a determination of the conclusion (Janice, 2005).

In a qualitative research, data are collected in an open-ended way, using resources to develop a theme (Janice, 2005). This way it allows the researcher to explore the nature and variety of others aspect relating to their themes or topics (Suzanne, 2014). An example of how a qualitative study is conducted is by using a natural setting or a specific setting and place the voluntary participants in the spot and from that, the researcher will test what they had planned for these participants and observed their natural habit reactions and record (Suzanne, 2014) (Janice, 2005). Based on a journal article written by Campbell Suzanne in 2014, it is stated that there are five strategies to conduct a qualitative research which are narrative research, theories, case studies, ethnographies and phenomenological research (Suzanne, 2014). To explain further, the ethnographies research is used to conduct study from cultural groups in their normal environment (Janice, 2005). In theory research, the person conducting that research are responsible to be coming up with theories, hypothesis and transition those to what they learned during the observation of their experiments (Suzanne, 2014). The third research is phenomenological research solely focus on the individual personal experience and lastly is case studies, which similar to observation but they put the participants in a process of an activity or so and conduct a research (Suzanne, 2014) (Janice, 2005).

The role of sociological imagination is influential to qualitative research experiments and researchers (Adam et al., 2013). Bringing back the idea from the beginning of this paper explaining what sociological imagination is, how it effects the personal values and society values as a whole (Kathryn and Stephanie, 2015) (Adam et al., 2013). As a researcher, when they take up participants or any sample size, the responses and theory have to be precise to have a proper experiment then it will produce a better result (Kate, 2011) (Adam et al., 2013). The role of sociological imagination can manipulate, be a bias in responses and observation, or another word is called the Hawthorne effect (Kate, 2011) (Kathryn and Stephanie, 2015).

The data in qualitative can be manipulated depending on the participants (Kate, 2011). During a given interview as an one on one with each other, the interviewee will be less self-conscious when answering questions individually, but since the interviewee is still in front of an unknown individual, the interviewer, they might try to based their answered on the interviewer reaction, and therefore those answers might or might not be truthful enough to be complied as evidence for a case study (Kate, 2011) (Kathryn and Stephanie, 2015). This could a result of the participant themselves understand what they want to answer, know what their answer should be, but the reaction of the interviewer, which can be considered as the community or society that influences their thinking and makes them have a change of mind to what they originally wanted to say (Kate, 2011) (Kathryn and Stephanie, 2015). When the interviews are given in a group, as a whole, the majority of participants will become more self-conscious since it will not have hidden anonymous, and their answers and themselves becoming more dependent on others in surrounding (Kate, 2011). This is one of the many ways to explain how the role of sociological imagination influential the progress of a research (Kate, 2011).

Another way to explain the influential of sociological imagination in qualitative researches are biases (Kathryn and Stephanie, 2015). Biases are what researchers are wanting to avoid at all cost to not have their data to be messed up. To have biases in their samples, data, and resources it can make a distortion to the final outcomes, which required the researchers to be more attentive. This bias is talking about how something, or someone can be the influences on an individual (Kate, 2011) (Kathryn and Stephanie, 2015). This is different from a sampling bias (Kathryn and Stephanie, 2015). The sampling bias is about taking a sample from a group that might excluded others, which makes the sample unfavourable since the samples were collected from certain individuals (Kate, 2011) (Adam et al., 2013). The bias that are being discussed are respondent bias and Hawthorne effect on individuals.

The researcher can become bias and makes their questions in an interview, wordy, leading and unaffected (Kate, 2011) (Kathryn and Stephanie, 2015). These kinds of questions are what make a participant flustered, and therefore their responses are drives in the directions of those questions (Kate, 2011) (Kathryn and Stephanie, 2015). Those answers most of the time might result in it being untrue, but the researcher might or might not know, depends on what their decisions are (Kate, 2011) (Kathryn and Stephanie, 2015).. The researcher can influence the participant into changing their minds by having following up questions, it creates a tensions between two individual, but this will result in the findings toward their research experiments to be unworthy since those findings are biases, forceful and leading (Kate, 2011) (Kathryn and Stephanie, 2015). The interviewers are considered as the community, and society they are the people that makes the most influences during a research, a complied of data and the ending game of the experiment (Adam et al., 2013). Bringing back the first example that was mentioned at the beginning. When a skinny person, or average looking woman being interviewed and asked about their body size, if they were overweight, they would most likely to choose to answer yes toward the question (Pedro & Rosane Rocha, 2019) (Adwoa A & Rose, 2015). This is because of the beauty standard that is set out for every individual woman in the community, and this standard were created by the people in society, and community (Pedro & Rosane Rocha, 2019) (Adwoa A & Rose, 2015). If they were doing a research on psychology, anorexia or the confidence of a woman, the research would have a lack of answered, since the answered are socially influenced and would result in a low percentage of confidence women (Adam et al., 2013).

What is the Hawthorne effect? According to a journal article written by Phillip Sedgwick and Nan Greenwood in 2015, the Hawthorne effect is the changes in behaviour to an observation and assessment (Phillip and Nan, 2015). This can create an observation bias, and the experiment might be lack of natural findings (Adam et al., 2013). This effect happens when the participants either realized what the research study is about, know that they will be observed by either outsiders or researchers. They will have self-conscious toward themselves, embarrassment, feeling uncomfortable and nervous knowing that they are being observed (Phillip and Nan, 2015) (Adam et al., 2013). This will result them to react in the expected way, instead of the unexpected, and because of this result it can be no surprise to the researcher, it could be just another piece of evidence adding on the pile. (Phillip and Nan, 2015). If this were a group research, their reactions might become dependent on others (Phillip and Nan, 2015) (Adam et al., 2013). They will start thinking if this was the right way to react to this situation, or was that the right way of reaction to that incident (Adam et al., 2013) (Phillip and Nan, 2015). They might have lost their minds, that they might not realize that they did not show any reaction during the study at all, this will waste the time of the researcher to having to redo or reviewed their method of doing it again and again (Phillip and Nan, 2015).

These challenges that are created or influences by the sociological imagination can be make the progress of future researches to become more difficult (Catherine et al., 2010). Due to those cases, researchers will need to become more attentive toward their thesis, journal articles, proposal, experiments and final outcomes (Catherine et al., 2010) (Adam et al., 2013). This will consume more times that it should be, and the time to create one proposal at the beginning and following it through until the end will be time consuming, and most researcher will not that much time to stay with one experiment at all of time to be monitoring them nonstop (Catherine et al., 2010). These challenges can make one simple research to be a huge complication, and keep dragging it longer than it needed to be (Catherine et al., 2010) (Phillip and Nan, 2015). A selection of group for participants might result in sampling bias, interviews that are conducted can become respondent bias for the interviewee that got led by the interviewers, or the researcher themselves (Catherine et al., 2010) (Adam et al., 2013). When doing experiments, as a group it can become the influenced with the Hawthorne effect and create undesired reaction, or responses from both sides (Catherine et al., 2010) (Phillip and Nan, 2015). Therefore, there should be ways that can counterattack these kinds of challenge to create a better way to conduct a research, for participants and researchers, so there will be a benefit for both sides. In the next section of this paper, a discussion of how to avoid these situations are mentioned, and if not avoidable, there will be ways to counter-attack these situations for better result in a research. (Adam et al., 2013) (Catherine et al., 2010). It cannot completely get rid of sociological imagination in a result, but a way to deal with it better.

To deal with sampling bias or another word selection bias, there is a way to avoid that problem from occurring when conducting surveys among the populations (Jimmy, 2010-2011). This is an error that most researcher makes when handling out surveys to conduct a sample, and it result in their data to be validity and original (Jimmy, 2010-2011). People that are used as sampling should be picked out randomly, there could be a strategy for doing so, but by using randomly method to choose a sample would decrease the risk of the sample being bias (Jimmy, 2010-2011). This is one of the many ways in dealing with selection bias.

When facing response bias, because of the options that are given to the participants that they want to or not answers the survey, this will limit the amount of responses (Dmitriy A et al., 2010). To avoid this from happening during a research study, making sure that the survey that is given to participants are engaging, interesting and less scientific language (Dmitriy A et al., 2010). Review the questions that given to participants, making sure the questions are not repeated in different way, this can exhaust the participants from answering them (Dmitriy A et al., 2010). More importantly, avoid having leading questions which can result in having high chances of it being biases, since leading questions are meant to lead the answer toward the desire outcomes (Dmitriy A et al., 2010). Given responses need to either have open answers or a more variety of choices to avoid the participant to become conflicted with what to choose because it might not match with what they wanted to say, and in the end might choose to pick any other answer to get on with it. When doing these questions, the researchers need to conduct them in proper manner, meaning researching these questions before hand can enhanced a better result (Dmitriy A et al., 2010). By researching them beforehand, researcher does not need to give open-answered, but the limited of their given choices are enough for participant to understand what they want to say (Dmitriy A et al., 2010). If having too many open answered, result in a time-consuming to be reading them and categorizing them properly.

Lastly, this is where it is discussed to deal with Hawthorne effect. This can be problematic in most research study due to because disclosure to an experiment is a must when consenting a participant, and therefore it gives away the key point of the research and the participant knows about the progress of what will happen to them (Phillip and Nan, 2015). There is a method that a researcher can use is reactive effects or covert observation (William and Damien, 2018. The convert observation method gives the researcher the ability to go undercover during a research or experiment, and from their they can observe the participants in their natural environment without their knowledge (William and Damien, 2018) (Phillip and Nan, 2015). This is one of many ways a researcher can use deception during their research (William and Damien, 2018. This can increase the validity of their research and better result at the end.

In closing, sociological imagination can play a great influential in qualitative researches, such as case study, interviews and observation during an experiment. It can see as a negative effect because of all the aftermath consequences to resulting an unreliable data, biases and not truthful (Phillip and Nan, 2015). As a researcher, when dealing with these kinds of challenges, there will be a way to deal with and each one of those problems when they occurred. To avoid biases in an interview, it is required to have less leading and wording questions toward the participants to avoid them from being self-conscious and flustered (Kate, 2011) (Kathryn and Stephanie, 2015). To not the Hawthorne effect during an experiment, is to not reveal to participant the start game, therefore more natural behaviours and reactions can be observed (Phillip and Nan, 2015). Case studies, proposal and interviews should be revisited and revised to avoid conflict, primary and secondary data should be reviewed to avoid missing out an important piece of evidence (Adam et al, 2013). As having sociological imagination play as an influential toward these researches, but there will be a way to encounter them as it goes. To be to overcome these complications, and challenges (Catherine et al., 2010). A research can be less time consuming, faster and the result will be more desired toward others research and could become a great influential for future research and analysis (Catherine et al., 2010).


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