The Practice of Social Research (M...

14th Edition
Earl R. Babbie
ISBN: 9781305104945



The Practice of Social Research (M...

14th Edition
Earl R. Babbie
ISBN: 9781305104945
Textbook Problem

Here are some examples of real research topics. For each one, can you name the unit of analysis? (The answers are at the end of this chapter.)

A. Women watch TV more than men because they are likely to work fewer hours outside the home than men. . . . Black people watch an average of approximately three-quarters of an hour more television per day than white people. (Hughes 1980: 290)

B. Of the 130 incorporated U.S. cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants in 1960, 126 had at least two short-term nonproprietary general hospitals accredited by the American Hospital Association. (Turk 1980: 317)

C. The early TM [transcendental meditation] organizations were small and informal. The Los Angeles group, begun in June 1959, met at a member’s house where, incidentally, Maharishi was living. (Johnston 1980: 337)

D. However, it appears that the nursing staffs exercise strong influence over . . . a decision to change the nursing care system. . . . Conversely, among those decisions dominated by the administration and the medical staffs . . . (Comstock 1980: 77)

E. Though 667,000 out of 2 million farmers in the United States are women, women historically have not been viewed as farmers, but rather, as the farmer’s wife. (Votaw 1979: 8)

F. The analysis of community opposition to group homes for the mentally handicapped . . . indicates that deteriorating neighborhoods are most likely to organize in opposition, but that upper-middle class neighborhoods are most likely to enjoy private access to local officials. (Graham and Hogan 1990: 513)

G. Some analysts during the 1960s predicted that the rise of economic ambition and political militancy among blacks would foster discontent with the “otherworldly” black mainline churches. (Ellison and Sherkat 1990: 551)

H. This analysis explores whether propositions and empirical findings of contemporary theories of organizations directly apply to both private product producing organizations (PPOs) and public human service organizations (PSOs). (Schiflett and Zey 1990: 569)

I. This paper examines variations in job title structures across work roles. Analyzing 3,173 job titles in the California civil service system in 1985, we investigate how and why lines of work vary in the proliferation of job categories that differentiate ranks, functions, or particular organizational locations. (Strang and Baron 1990: 479) **

Summary Introduction


A. Men and women, black and white people (individuals)

B. Incorporated U.S. cities (groups)

C. Transcendental Meditation organizations (groups)

D. Nursing staffs (groups)

E. Farmers (individuals)

F. Neighborhoods (groups)

G. Blacks (individuals)

H. Service and production organizations (formal organizations)

I. Job titles (artifacts)


Answer and explanation:

The first topic is focused on men and women, black and white people as individuals, while the second topic is about incorporated U.S. cities as groups. The third topic is Transcendental Meditation organizations as groups, and the fourth is nursing staffs as groups...

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