Positivism, interpretivism and sociological methods

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Positivism

Sociology as a science

Quantitive data

Macro approach

Statistics

Formal/structured methods

Experiments/surveys

1 of 4

Interpretivism

Personal beliefs, values and interpretations

Sociology isn't a science

Qualitative data

Micro approach

Informal/in-depth/open ended methods

Participant and non-participant obsevation

2 of 4

Structural and positivsist approaches

Large scale

Functionalism and Marxism (how society controls individual behaviour)

Scientific

Controlled, formal, structured

Non-participant observation

3 of 4

Social action and interpretivist approaches

Small scale

Understand individual meanings and interpretations

Qualitative

Personal documents

Uncontrolled, unstructured, informal

Participant observation

4 of 4

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