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The Methodological Triangle.
Experiments
Official Statistics
Surveys / the Census
Longitudinal Surveys
Closed Questionnaires
Unstructured Interviews
Participant observation Overt
Open Questionnaires
Longitudinal Surveys
Participant observation
Covert
Low
Positivism,
Level of Durkheim, `The
Rules of
involvement
Sociological
Methods.' Anti-Positivism,
High
Weber: `Verstehen' = Empathy
Qualitative
High Number of respondents Low
Factors that influence the choice of method.…read more

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Suicide rates collected by
Durkheim
Region/ Country Rates of Suicides per
1,000,000 inhabitants
(1871-75)
Italy 30
Belgium 66
England 67
Norway 76
Austria 78
Sweden 85
Bavaria 90
France 135
Prussia 142
Denmark 277
Saxony 293…read more

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Durkheim
Emile Durkheim wrote a book called "Les Suicide" in1897,
in the book, he argued that it was not an individuals
choice to commit suicide, but instead they were "forced"
by society to do so and on this theory, he complied a list
of countries and stated the likelihood of any individual
committing suicide within it.
Contacting coroners from various regions of Europe, he
complied a list of deaths that year that were suicides.
This was one of the first studies that used official
statistics in it's methodology, Durkheim was fully aware
of the potential and usefulness statistics could bring to
sociology…read more

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What are official statistics?
"Official statistics are quantitative statistics published by
Government agencies or other public bodies"
Official statistics are used to collate facts and figures which
can be used to keep records of a person or persons.
They are used in businesses to analyse the market (i.e.
to see what is, and isn't selling) and they can be used by
Governments as a means of keeping a record on their
citizens.…read more

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Official Statistics in Sociology
Within sociology, statistics are used to determine the factors
which can affect normal life. In other words, sociologists can
compare statistics to see if there is a trend between two
related sets of information. For example, a sociologist
studying the divorce rate in Britain might be able to cross
examine that and the domestic violence rate, to see if they
correlate in some way.
Official statistics can be used in a variety of ways in sociology. It
allows us to compare the levels of ethnic minorities causing
classroom disruption, and which are causing the most, allows
us to compare the suicide rates in Britain according to its
economical situation and the birth and death rate.…read more

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