Sociology > Studying Society

All about sociology unit 1 stdying society > for aqa .

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  • Created by: Amiin
  • Created on: 18-12-11 14:33

Defining Sociology

> sociology explores the social factors that shape human behaviour and the way that society influences our daily lives.

> sociology is often defined as the study of society. a 'society' can be defined as a group of people who share a culture or a way of life.

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What Sociologists Study

Social Structures               Social Processes                Social Issues

Different groups +             The means by which            Issues that affect
institutions that make        something takes place         groups, communities
up society.                         in society.                            ,individuals in life.

>Families                           Primary socialization.           quality of parenting.
                                          Gender socialization.           teenage parenthood.

>Education System           Secondary socialization.       educational
                                          Labelling.                             underachievement.
                                          Development of social

>Legal System                   Formal + infromal social       knife/teenage crime
                                          control.                                 fear of crime.

>Social Stratification         Discrimination.                       poverty.
  System                                                                         cause/effect > inequality.                                                                                        

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Sociology + Other Approaches


> psychologists focus on individual behaviour + study topics like mental illness.

> sociologists study social influences on human life + focus on goup behaviour.


> biologists look for biological causes/characteristics when studying human
> sociologists view behaviour as social or cultural rather than biological.


> journalistic research is less thorough than a sociologists + can be biased.

> sociologists must select/use evidence in a specific way to avoid critisms.

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Carrying Out Sociological Research (1/2)


1) developing research aims +                 the aims set out what the researcher
    hypothesis                                            intends to investigate + provide the                                                                  study's focus.  a hypothesis is an                                                                  informed guess + is written as a                                                                    statement > its either supported by                                                                    evidence or proved wrong.

2) carry out pilot survey                            its a small scal trial run carried out before
                                                                 the main research.

3) selecting a sample                                instead of surveying the whole                                                                                    population you select a sample                                                                     usingsampling techniques such as                                                                      random sampling.

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Carrying Out Sociological Research (2/2)

4) collecting the data                          sociologists collect data using primary                                                                       methods e.g. questionnaires + observation.                                                              they may also use secondary sources e.g.                                                                official statistics or mas media reports. data                                                              can be qualitative or quantitative.

5) analysing the data                          interpret or make sense of the information +                                                              presenting the results/main findings.

6) evaluation/ conclude                      sociologists write articles in journals +                                                               present papers at confrences. these findings                                                            are evaluated by peers > peer view.

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Sampling Techniques (1/2)

NON-PROBABILITY:     used when a frame is not avaliable, it is not selected                                           randomly so will not represent the whole population. E.G.

>SNOWBALL:              through contact with one member of population the                                       researchers is introduced to others of the same

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Sampling Techniques (2/2)

PROBABILITY:                 each member of the frame has an equal chance of being                                         selected, if selected randomly the results may represent                                           the whole population.

>SIMPLE RANDOM:         each member of population has an equal chance of                                                 being selected.

>STRATIFIED RANDOM: researchers divide the population into strata(subgroups)                                         according to similarities such as age,gender, ethnicity.                                             then a sample is drawn from each sub group randomly in                                         proportion to population.

>SYSTEMATIC:               researchers take every nth term from the frame, e.g.                                                 every 20th name on a school register.

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Quantitative methods

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could include  more information in one slide! but easy to learn. 

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