Pratical factors

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  • Practical factors (Restrict the sociologists choice of method)
    • Time
      • Some methods usually take more time. E.G participant observation studies and unstructured interviews take more time than social surveys.
    • Finance
      • The finance available affects the number of researchers, respondents and the amount of research time.
    • Source of funding
      • Research sponsored by government, business, voluntary organisations etc. Reflects the concerns of these funding bodies. It is often easier to get funding for quantitive research.
    • Personal factors
      • Researchers have careers, family commitments etc, so they may not be able to do lengthy research in the field.
    • Research subjects
      • Some groups are less open. E.G criminals, so structured research methods are not appropriate.
    • Research opportunity
      • If a research opportunity suddenly appears, the researcher may have no time to prepare lengthy questionnaires or interview schedules.
    • Personal danger
      • Methods involving direct contact with a research group increase the possibility of danger to researchers.


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