Data Collection

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Primary Data

Information collected by sociologists themslevs for their own purposes. These purposes may be to obtain a first-hand 'picture' of a group or society, or to test a hyopthesis.

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Social Surveys

These involve asking people questions in a written questionnaire or interview.

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Participant Observation

The sociologist joins in with the activities of the group he or she is studying.

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Sociologists rarely use laboratory experiments, but they sometimes use field experiments and the comparitive method.

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Secondary Data

Information that has been collected or created by someone else for their own purposes, but which the sociologists can then use.

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Official Statistics

Produced by the government on a wide range of issues, such as crime, divorce, health and unemployment, as well as other statistics produced by charities, businesses, churches and oher organisations.

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The likes of letters, diaries, photographs, official reoprts, novels, newspapers and television broadcasts.

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Quantitative Data

Refers to information in a numerical form.

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Qualitative Data

Any data that is not numerical. GIves thoughts feelings and opinions on a subject.

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