Sociological Studies into Social Inequality and Difference

A Summary of Sociological Studies into Social Inequality and Difference; Questionnaire, Interview, Longitudal Study, Observation, Content Analysis and Mixed Methods.

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Questionnaire

Parker et al. 1998

Used questionnaires to find out what sort of drugs young people were using over a period of time. However, in follow up interviews, it was revealed by one of the respondents to the questionnaires:

"The first time we had this questionnaire, I thought it was a bit of a laugh. That's my memory of it' I can't remember if I answered it truthfully or not . . . It had a list of drugs and some of them I'd never heard of, and just the names cracked me up."

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Interview

James, 2007

Studied groups who had a strained relationship with the police. James studied 'New Age Travellers' using 'guided conversations' or semi-structured interviews, that were not tape recorded, but the sociologist took down notes, as the interviewees were catious about their views being directly recorded.

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Longitudal Study

Avon Longitudal Study of Parents and Children or the 'Children of the 90s'

Started in 1991 by Professor Jean Golding.

Studied 14000 mothers and their children, focusing on health and environmental factors or issues.

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Observation

Moore, 2008

Studied the attitudes of a local community to street drinkers who spent most of their time gathering in the high street of an inner-city area. Moore attended all counci and action group meetings, but did not making his presence obvious. Moore also followed and observed professionals who worked with these drinkers on the streets, as well as observing the street drinkers. Moore did not participate becuase he did not want to influence any of the actions of the participants within his study.

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Mixed Methods

Gillies, 2005

To see how class structure can be part of the process of raising children.

A large scale survey of parents of children aged between eight and twelve was conducted in adition to detailed interviews with twenty five mothers and eleven fathers. Gillies used both a qualative and quantative method of research to try and get the best results.

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