Top-down and Bottom-up approach

Explores the difference between the two approaches

  • Created by: Amira
  • Created on: 13-05-12 20:07

Top-Down Approach- Macro and Structural approach

Functionalist and Marxism:

The best way to understand society is to see how society has an impact on individuals. Society shapes our lives and provides us with the social world in which we live. Our role in society is generally to conform.

Functionalism and Marxism are theoretical approaches which emphasize that any research should bear this in mind and that the researcher should be looking for general patterns of behaviour which individuals may not be aware of.

The favoured research methods used by these sociologists tend to use quantitative methods by POSITIVISTS

This is the view that sociology should try to use more ‘scientific’ approaches and methods- questionnaires and official statistics.

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Bottom-Up Approach-Micro and Interpretive approach

Interactionism Only way to understand society is, by studying the ways in which individuals interpret the world. All research must start at the bottom (individuals) and work upwards (society/world).

INTERPRETIVE sociologists tend to use qualitative methods where it allows the researcher to see the world from the same perspective of those being studied= individuals.

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