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Examine the reasons why positivists prefer quantitative data whilst interpretivists prefer
qualitative data. (20 marks)

Positivism and Interpretivism are two schools of thought within the choice of
research topics. Their beliefs on how to study society and sociology differ, as positivists
strive for objectivity in their work, whilst interpretivists prefer…

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results can be obtained by other sociologists as, for example, the questions on structured
interviews are already pre-set. These methods are also representative as they are usually
carried out on large samples of the population, as they tend to be quicker and cheaper than
an unstructured interview, for example.


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study gives us a genuine picture of the gang's behaviour. In contrast, a positivist would
struggle to interpret this study due to its data type, as it is not numeric and therefore not
easy to analyse or put it into a graph to establish cause and effect, for example.




A great essay which applies the concept of positivism and interpretivism with regards to quantitative data. This is great for structure and can also be used as a great revision tool for recap.



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