Key issues in Research Methods
1) Sociologists try to make their research valid and reliable 2) You have to take a sample, sociologists try and make their sample represent the population. If a sample is representative then sociologists can generalise. 3) Sociologists aim to be objective and avoid bias. QUANTITIVE data - is numbers and statistics QUALITATIVE data - is subjective opinions, meanings. Gives a detailed picture. Positivists use reliable methods that give quantitative data they say behaviour is influenced by external social factors. They use sources like questionnaires and official statistics. These are objective and reliable. Interpretivists use valid methods that give qualitative data they believe you can only really understand human behaviour using empathy (placing your self in other peoples shoes) Positivism looks at the institutions in society. It's called macrosociology. Interpretivist sociology looks at the individual. It's called microsociology.