Official statistics (secondary quantitative data)

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  • Official statistics (quantitative secondary data)
    • two main sources: day to day activities of government departments and surveys like the census
      • hard stats
        • simple counts that register events such as births and deaths
        • not easily manipulated
        • tend to be valid
      • soft stats
        • more easily manipulated
        • eg/ crime stats / employment
    • The census- survey sent out every 10 years and its a legal requirement that gathers data on all aspects of life helps gov form stats
    • strengths
      • useful for positivsts- quantitative data can analyse and draw correlations, large scale representattive
      • readily available
      • cheap and easy to collect
      • objective and reliable- collected under strict guidelines
      • representative and generalisable
      • can predict future assumptions- such as number of people marrying
      • researchers can establish links
      • ethical as theyre publically available
    • weaknesses
      • rejected by interpretivists
        • view it as invalid, objective cant gain verstehen
      • classifications and definitions may differ (operationalisation)
      • invalid- dark figure manipulated to look better
        • social contructions
      • political bias- Marxists- gov change them to make them look better
      • male bias- feminists- biasd against women doesn't class housework as employment

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