Primary Data

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  • Primary Data
    • Social Surveys
      • Sampling
        • Snowball sampling
          • An initial contact is used to provide further contacts
        • Systematic sampling
          • Taking every NTH name from a list to produce a sample
        • Quota sampling
          • The researcher has a list of the number to be interview - used in market research
        • Stratified sampling
          • Target population is divided into groups E.g age, ethnicity, gender etc. then a random selection is made.
        • Opportunity sampling
          • Selecting those available at the time
        • Random Sampling
          • Everyone has an equal chance of being selected
        • Volunteer sampling
          • Individuals who have chosen to be involved
      • Closed Questions
        • Respondent has to choose from a number of given answers.
      • Open questions
        • Allows the respondent to put forward their own answers.
      • Cross-sectional social survey
        • Large scale research technique taken as a snapshot using questionnaires and interviews
          • CHUBB & MOE: created a survey from 60,000 students from low income backgrounds.
      • Longitudinal survey
        • Is a survey which takes place over a number of years at regular intervals.
          • DOUGLAS: created a survey on parents interest regarding education
        • Advantages
          • The sociologists can see how things have changed over time
          • Avoids people relying on long term memory when answering questions
        • Disadvantages
          • People may drop out of the survey half way through creating inconclusive data
          • Takes a long time
      • Census
        • a survey which is issued every 10 years and funded by the government to find out birth/death/marriages etc.
      • Hypothesis
        • A hypothesis is statement which can be tested to see if it is true or false.
          • Some hypothesis' may involve concepts which are difficult to measure such as social class. OPERATIONALISING is turning a sociological concept into something which can be measured.
      • Pilot study
        • A small scale study in preparation for the real one
      • WHEN USING SOCIAL SURVEYS, LINK IT WITH QUESTIONNAIRES AND INTERVIEWS AS THAT IS WHAT IS NORMALLY USED TO STUDY.
    • Experiments
      • Laboratory experiments
        • Takes place in a closed environment where the variables are closely controlled.
          • BERON & FARKAS: Collected data from 1000's of 3-14 year old's, given a vocabulary test of increasingly hard words, the tester had to read the word and the child had to point to the one that best described it.
            • This experiment was to determine the oral vocabulary growth between social classes.
        • Advantages
          • can be internally valid within the lab.
          • Has high reliability as it can be retested.
          • Used to be able to test a hypothesis
        • Disadvantages
          • Lacks external validity as it is tested under lab conditions so people may act differently
          • Hawthorne effect
          • If they are unaware theyre being tested on it can lead to ethical issues
          • ZIMBARDO: selected 21 students to participate in a simulated prison environment. 1 prison had to be released after 3 days due to depression. MAY CAUSE HARM TO THE PARTICIPANTS
      • Field experiments
        • Field experiments take place in a social environment but still aims to control variables.
          • ROSENTHAL & JACOBSON: Selected a random sample of students from a school in America and told their teachers that they should expect an increase in IQ of the students. They tested the IQ and retested a year later - there was a gain in IQ.
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        • Advantages
        • Disadvantages
          • If they are unaware theyre being studied it could lead to ethical issues
          • Could lead to Hawthorne effect
          • Could lack reliability as it could be difficult to control variables.
      • The Hawthorne effect
        • MAYO & RESEARCH TEAM: set up an experiment in the Hawthorne plant and changed the variables such as light, humidity and hours of work.
          • They concluded that the workers were responding to the fact they were being researched therefore they changed their attitude in order to please the research group.
    • Observations
      • Key terms
        • STRUCTURED OBSERVATIONAL SCHEDULE - a list of types of behaviours that the researcher uses to record their observations.
        • GOING NATIVE - when the researcher becomes one of the group
        • FIELD DIARY -  detailed record of events kept by the researcher
        • GATEKEEPER - somebody who provides access for the researcher to carry out their study
        • VERSTEHEN - empathetic understanding
        • ENTHOGRAPHY- the study of a way a group of people live usually through participant observation.
      • participant observations
        • Where the researcher is actively involved with the group
          • Disadvantages
            • Researcher could go native
            • Used to study small groups so not representative
            • the researcher may have to engage in illegal activities
          • Advantages
            • Used to obtain information from "hard to reach" groups E.g rich & powerful.
            • Be able to get the truth by gaining trust of the participants
            • High in validity as the researcher can see the point of others
      • Non-Participant observations
        • Observing the behaviour of those being studied without joining in.
          • Advantages
            • Researcher not making any decisions or joining in on activities
            • Researcher will be less bias as they wont be drawn into the group.
          • Disadvantages
            • Hawthorne effect
            • Just observing could leave the researcher on the outside looking in, maing the research superficial
      • covert (undercover)
        • Where the group is unaware that theyre being studied
          • Advantages
            • The group will act normally
            • able to enter forbidden areas and be fully accepted and trusted
          • Disadvantages
            • Creates ethical dilemmas as it is wrong to study someone without permission
            • Dangerous if the researcher is discovered
      • Overt (open)
        • Where the group know theyre being observed
          • Advantages
            • Researcher can play a honest open role
            • Researcher may become  a trusted outsider  which could lead them to receive confidents
            • Be able to use triangulation
          • Disadvantages
            • The researcher may be left an outsider
      • Ethnographic research
        • Ethnographic research usually involves observing target users in their natural, real-world setting, rather than in the artificial environment of a lab or focus group. The aim is to gather insight into how people live; what they do; how they use things; or what they need in their everyday or professional lives.
    • Questionaires
      • Types of questionnaires
        • POSTAL: self completion which by post
        • SELF-COMPLETION: filled in by respondent
        • STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS: questionnaires which are read out by the interviewer
      • Administration
        • MULTIPLE CHOICE: respondent is given a choice
        • SCALED: where there is a scale from 1-10
        • OPEN ENDED: where the respondent can answer however they wish
        • CLOSED: where the answer is fixed
      • Key concepts
        • If the research is to be valid then it is important that the questions are worded appropriately and that the researcher is objective and has little involvement
      • Advantages
        • 1) ALICE SULLIVAN used questionnaires of 465 pupils to test bordieus theory of cultural capital. She found a strong correlation between pupils CC and parental CC.
        • 2) Questionnaires can be used to cover large geographical areas making the sample representitive
        • 3) Positivist favour questionnaires as they are high in reliability and can be easily replicated.
      • Disadvantages
        • 1) postal questionnaires have a poor response rate leading to a lack of representativeness. SHERE HITE sent out postal questionnaires to 100,000 but only 4,500 responded.
        • 2) may lack validity as you don't know whether the respondent understood the question or was honest.
        • 3) interpretivists dont favour questionnaires as they lack validity as no opportunities to ask further questions.

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