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Sociology




Sociological
Research Methods


1

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Contents Page

List of contents Page number

I
ntr
oduct
ion 2

What
t
he
speci
fi
cat
ion
says 3

Types
of
dat
a (
pri
mar
y /
secondar
y
quant
it
ati
ve
/
qual
it
ati
ve) 4

Fact
ors
i
n f
luenci
ng
choi…

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What the specification says

Topic area Know and Revised
understand

The
dist
inct
ion
bet
w een
pri
mar
y and
secondar
y dat
a

The
dist
inct
ion
bet
w een
quant
it
ati
ve
and
qual
it
ati
ve
dat
a

St
ages i
n t
he r…

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Types of data ­ primary and secondary




Primary data i
s i
nfor
ma t
ion
col
lect
ed
by soci
ologi
sts
themsel
ves
for
t
h ei
r
own
purpose.

These
purposes ma y
be t
o obt
ain
a f
ir
sthand
`pi
ctur
e'
of
a…

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Secondary data
is
inf
ormat
ion t
hat
has
been col
lect
ed
or
creat
ed
by
someone
else
for
t
hei
r
own
pur
poses,
bu t
whi
ch the
soci
ologi
st
can
then
use.

Two methods to gather secondary data:

Statistics

Written data

Pri
ma r
y…

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Numerical, statistical, Experiments (e.g. media and
percentages, trends, ratios, violence)
science, objective Covert Participant Observation
POSITIVIST (study society like aPOSITIVIST (study society like a
science) science)
QUALITATIVE DATA Overt participant observation Letters
Description, words, subjective, Unstructured Interviews Personal histories
about people's feelings and Opinion poll data on voting Photographs
experiences,…

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method will have to be changed to suit the rules and method to suit the people being asked and also how the
guidelines depending on the level of consent. results will be presented.

Effects on research participants Vulnerable groups

If the research is done via an experiment then more guidelines…

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(
dema nd
char
acter
ist
ics
).
Also,
peopl
e do
not
spen d
mu ch
ti
me
thi
nking
about
answers
and
the
cl
osedended nat
ure
of
questi
ons may r
estr
ict
al
l
possibl
e answers/
ma ybe
ambi
guou s
in
meani
ng .…

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After choosing a topic, the target population has to be identified and a sample selected. If it is large and fairly
reflects the people being studied then generalisations can be safely made. Throughout the whole process
sociologists need to be aware of ethics.




Interpretivism

Interpretivists argue that the study of…

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They
adopt
the
posi
ti
vi
st
approach
of
tr
ying
to
quanti
fy
aspects
of
soci
ety
and compar
ing
one t
heory
agai
nst
another
t
heor
y usi
ng
emp i
ri
cal
data
and a
range of
methods.
Thus
they
suppor
t
the
idea
of
mixed…

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