Sociology Research Methods: strengths and weaknesses

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Qualitative strengths and weaknesses

Validity: Using open questions. Therefore can elaborate.

Verstehen (understanding)

Low reliability

Low representation and generalisbility. This is because it is a small sample.

Bias: People can lie


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Quantitative strengths and weaknesses

High reliability

High representation and generalisability: large sample

Low validity: not using open questions




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Questionnaires strengths and weaknesses

High representation and generalisability22,000 people in the sample. 

Low validity: participants had difficulty remembering/guessing their activities

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Interviews strengths and weaknesses

High validity: open ended questions

High validity/verstehen

Ethics- Choice of schools

        - Most pupils achieved regardless of free school meals

        - Makes it hard to identify poor children

        - Confidentiality

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