Develop a sociological explanation of the pattern

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Reference no: EM13707500

An examination of displays of emotion in public settings.

Airlie Hochschild introduced the terms 'emotion work' and 'emotional labour' to identify and explore the ways in which we all do the work of 'managing' the expression of our emotions in different relationships and social settings. Emotion work is necessary to performing particular roles successfully, such as 'parent' or 'friend'. 'Emotional labour' specifically refers to the requirement in some occupations for workers to manage their emotions as part of their employment. For some people, this involves suppressing 'undesirable' emotions. For others, it involves displaying 'desirable' emotions. For example, flight attendants are required to appear calm, happy and friendly, even when feeling stressed or anxious. (See Hochschild, A. R. (1979) "Emotion Work, Feeling Rules and Social Structure."American Journal of Sociology Vol. 85 No. 3: 551- 575; Hochschild, A. (1983) The Managed Heart. University of California Press). What are the emotions observable in Melbourne, and in which groups of people? Are some emotions more appropriate in public than others? Do some people manage to avoid showing emotions at all?

For this research project, choose a public site where you will be able to observe expressions of emotions of a particular category of people (e.g. employees, parents, students). Decide on your sample criteria (e.g. will you be documenting gender or age groups or some other criteria?) and a set of emotions that you will be observing (e.g. happiness, sadness, frustration, patience, etc). Keep in mind that you will need to be able to explain how you measure these emotional states, so define each emotion by an observable trait (e.g. 'happiness' might be observed when there is a smile or laughter, sadness when there are tears). To ensure that your emotional states are measurable, you might focus on a small number of emotional states. E.g. if you wanted to examine whether male carers are more likely than female carers to do the emotion work of showing 'happiness' to children, you might not need to record all emotions of all men and women you see; instead, you might record all instances of men and women smiling when in the presence of children, and all instances when they are not smiling, calling these two states 'happiness' and 'not happiness'. 

  1. Step 5: Analysis and writing up

    It is not likely that you will be able to describe or analyse everything you observed in your research. So, when describing your data and when explaining the patterns you have identified, your task is to focus on and develop an argument about the most interesting or compelling aspect of the research data that you observed. At this point, it is useful to think about the literature that inspired the research topic, whether theoretical or empirical. How do your data contribute to the knowledge in that literature? Do they confirm those conclusions, or add another layer of complexity to understanding the issues? Do your data challenge some part of the existing knowledge or contribute to supporting one side of a debate in the literature? Please note that you are not expected to conduct an extensive or comprehensive search for additional literature. Instead, focus on discussing a small number of items that assist in explaining what you have observed.

    Writing up is a lengthy process, so allow time for drafting and redrafting. We also recommend that you use the following subheadings:

    (1) Title: A short, descriptive summary of the report (a sentence, not a paragraph) preferably including a mention of the setting and, perhaps, something about the pattern you explain or the explanation you develop. Do not use vague titles, like 'Second Year Sociology Assignment' or 'Assignment Two'. The title should appear on the front page, as well as at the top of the first page of your report, e.g., 'Age and Musical tastes in the Crown Hotel'.

    (2) Aims and Background: This is the introduction to your project (and to your paper). It will probably be only four or five sentences long, but it is the most important paragraph in your paper. Briefly state what you were trying to understand (e.g., the setting, questions, or patterns) and why this is interesting (e.g. you might refer to existing literature that is relevant)

    (3) Methodology: In one or two paragraphs, describe how you did your research, e.g. setting, number of hours spent observing and at what times, what was being observed (sample criteria), what recording techniques you used, any ethical issues associated with the research. Try to mention anything about your methodology that may have affected your results. Use texts on observational research methods (and any other relevant sources you identify) to help explain why you did your research in this way.page2image37744 page2image38064

2:

(4) Findings: In one or two paragraphs, describe what you observed (not everything, just the key aspects that are relevant to the argument of your report!) and illustrate your observations with evidence. Provide the evidence at the relevant point in the text, rather than at the end. Some strategies you could use include:

  • -  Provide a diagram of the setting and the pattern within that setting. For example, you might note that people were (or were not) geographically distributed according to sex and draw this in a diagram of the setting that shows the distribution of men and women.

  • -  Provide a table demonstrating how interaction patterns varied by social factors such as age or gender. For example, suppose you observed a pattern in the choice of music made by hotel patrons according to the age category they appeared to fall into, you could create a table like this:

    Table 1: Juke Box selection at Crown Hotel by Age

Type of Music

page3image10616 page3image10936

Estimated Age of Selector (years)

Total

page3image13224

<20

20-29

30-39

>=40

n

%

n

%

n

%

n

%

n

%

Folk

11

21

17

24

15

18

14

25

57

22

Rock

32

60

29

41

16

20

5

9

82

31

Blues

8

15

13

18

26

32

17

30

64

24

Jazz

2

4

12

17

25

30

20

36

59

23

Total

53

100

71

100

82

100

56

100

262

100

Please note that nothing more sophisticated than percentages are required at this level. Please resist the temptation to indulge your computer's ability to produce fancy tables or charts. Be sure to explain how you got the figures for your table in the preceding methodology section or in a footnote to the particular table.

- Provide quotes from your fieldnotes that illustrate a pattern you have identified. When quoting from your fieldnotes, indent and use single space. For example:

The 5 boys spent most of their time this morning playing on the slide and building sand castles. The 6 girls spent most of their time playing house, although two of them played on the slide...

Label your diagrams and tables and give them a detailed title, e.g., 'Figure 1: Geographic Distribution of Men and Women', so that you can refer to it in the text, e.g., 'See Figure 1'. Fieldnotes should be identified with the date and time they were recorded. E.g. (Fieldnotes, Friday 20/3/2015, 3.30pm)

(5) Discussion: This is when you develop a sociological explanation of the pattern(s) you have observed in your research and described in the Findings. Remember this needs to be SOCIOLOGICAL (not, for example, psychological). Refer back to the research literature that inspired your own project. What are you able to contribute to that knowledge on the basis of your own research? Were those explanations effective in understanding your findings? Or is something else necessary for an effective explanation?

(6) Conclusion: In this final paragraph, evaluate your methods and your explanation. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your research? What might be done differently by yourself or others to further improve the methods or explanation? Would you do this research differently if you were to start again? You might also use this opportunity to briefly discuss a couple of things you learned by doing this project, e.g., about sociology, about recognising patterns, about developing explanations, about research, about the team work for a joint essay, or about writing a research paper.

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Reference no: EM13707500

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