Research Methods

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  • Created by: jackdow_
  • Created on: 07-06-17 21:03

Choosing a Research Method

Primary Data - Collected by sociologists themselves. 

Methods include :

  • Social Surveys
  • Participent Observation
  • Experiments

Secondary Data - Info that has already been collected.

This includes :

  • Official Stats
  • Documents
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Factors Influencing Choice of Methods

Practical Methods :

  • Time and Money
  • Requirements of Funding Bodies
  • Personal Skills and Characteristics
  • Subject Matter
  • Research Oppurtunities

Ethical Issues :

  • Informed Consent
  • Confidentiality and Privacy
  • Harm to Research Participents 
  • Vunerable Groups
  • Covert Research - Hiding your true agdenda
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Factors Influencing Choice Of Methods - Theoretica

Validity - A valid method is one that produces a true or genuine picture of what something is really like. 

Reliability - Can it be done again and again? Replicable?

Representativeness - Refers to if or not the people we study are a typical cross-section of the group we are interested in. 

If it is representative - it can be generalised. 

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Positivists

PREFER QUANTATIVE DATA, SEEK TO DISCOVER PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOUR - SOCIOLOGY AS A SCIENCE. 

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Interpretivists

PREFER QUALITATIVE DATA, SEEK T UNDERSTAND SOCIAL ACTORS' MEANINGS AND REJECT THE VIEW THAT SOCIOLOGY CAN MODEL ITSELF ON THE NATURAL SCIENCES. 

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Hawthorne Effect

If people know that they are being stufied then they may behave differently than they otherwise may. 

EG - Mayo - Research into factors effecting workers - they didnt respond even when he made conditions worse, etc. 

He concluded that the workers were not responding to changes, because the fact they knew they were being studied meant they wanted to please the experimenter. 

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Durkheim - Study of Suicde

Hypothesis - Low levels of integration of indiviudals into social groups caused higher rates of suicide. 

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