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Research using methods such as participant observation or case studies which result in a narrative, descriptive account of a setting or practice. Sociologists using these methods typically reject positivism and adopt a form of interpretive sociology. See: QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH / ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH / .


Research using methods allowing for the measurement of variables within a collection of people or groups and resulting in numerical data subjected to statistical analysis. By its very nature this is a form of positivism. See: QUALITATIVE RESEARCH / VARIABLES / .

A research design having some but not all of the characteristics of a true experiment. The element most frequently missing is random assignment of subjects to the control and experimental conditions. Examples of this research design are the natural experiment (where nature has assigned subjects to the two conditions) or trend analysis.

The word ‘queer’ was a derogatory term for many years but has now been appropriated by a radical section (the ‘in your face’ section) of the gay and lesbian community to identify gay and lesbian culture or studies. Gay and lesbian studies is becoming as legitimate in the academic community as are women's studies or black studies. Cultural studies is interested in examining gay and lesbian culture as depicted in the writings, films, or art work of the community and in analyzing the public identity of this cultural community. See: CULTURAL STUDIES / IDENTITY POLITICS / .

A period of rapid social change in Quebec symbolised by the 1960 election defeat of the conservative rural-dominated Union National by Jean Lesage and the Liberals on a policy of modernization and nationalism. This resulted in the unleashing of modern liberal ideas and the transformation of social institutions such as schooling the family, politics and government to reflect those values. These changes led to a decline in influence for the church, an increased divorce rate and a decreased birth rate, the creation of modern universities and schools and expansion of the role of government in society. The dynamic new role of government became a focus for the nationalist aspirations of the Quebec people. In 1976 the Parti Quebecois was elected and this led to a 1980 referendum on the issue of changing Quebec's position within Canada from that of a province like others to some form of sovereignty-association. This referendum was defeated and a second, conducted in 1995 on a question of separation with some form of continued economic association, was defeated by a margin of less that 1%.

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Athabaca University ICAAP

© Robert Drislane, Ph.D. and Gary Parkinson, Ph.D.
The online version of this dictionary is a product of
Athabasca University and

*This social science dictionary has 1000
entries covering the disciplines of sociology, criminology, political
science and women's study with a commitment to Canadian examples and
events and names