Research Methods- LT6 Documentary sources

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What is a documentary source and give three examples?
-The term 'document' refers to any text such as written, sound or image, -Examples include personal diaries, government reports, medical records, letters, paintings, photgraphs, radio,
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What are the two types of documentary sources?
-Public documents, -Personal documents,
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WHat are public documents?
Documents produced by organisations such as government departments, schools. charities etc,
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Give an example of a public document?
OFSTED reports,
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What are personal documents?
These are first person accounts of social life such as letters, diaries, biographies,
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Give an example of a personal document?
The Diary of Anne Frank,
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Who provides strengths for all documentary sources?
Interpretivists,
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What is one theoretical strength based on insight gained?
One can gain massive insight into people's feelings, motives and attitudes and hence gain validity,
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Give an example sociologicist who studied girl's feelins and actions about friendship through what?
-Hey -THrough the study of note passing around class,
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What is another theoretical strength based on motives?
One can gain high valid information as documentary sources are written by people with no ulterior motives,
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Give an example with Douglas who studied what?
Douglas examined suicide letters and diaries to find out individual meanings behind suicide,
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What is a practical strength based on time and cost and why?
Documents are usually cheap and quick to use- They are easily accessible to researchers and no time is wasted in primary research,
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What is another pratical strength based on a wide range and comparisons?
It is possible to use a wide range of personal documents from a variety of different sources making it easy to make comparisons as well as to check findings,
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What is an ethical advantage based on public documents?
No permission is needed for public document use as they are in the public domain.
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Who provides disadvantages of documentary sources?
Positivists
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Give one theoretical criticism based on standardisation?
They are often unstandardised and therefore lack reliability
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Give an example of a personal document which could be seen as unstandardised and why?
Anne Frank's diary was only one person's interpretation of the Holocaust,
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Give another criticism based on representation?
Documentary sources are unrepesentative of all people in the target population,
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Give an example with diaries?
Diaries only come from literate groups and becuase of this generalisations can be difficult,
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What is another theoretical criticism based on how genuine a source is?
One can question the authenticity and credibility of documentary sources- Is it geuine? Complete? Sincere motives?
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What is another theoretical criticism based on bias and opinions?
Many documentary sources are subject to bias as the content may reflect the strong opinions of the person sriting the documents at a particular point in time,
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AS a result what can be low?
Objectivity,
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What is another theoretical criticms based on skills from the researcher?
Much of the findings and arguments that come from these sources depend on the interpretation skills of the researcher.
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What problems can this create?
It can create possible problems with researcher bias,
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Give an example with Hey?
Hey's interpretation of the notes may not be the same as the girls who wrote them,
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What is a practical criticism based on understanding a document?
The researcher may need skills to understand a document if it is in a foregin language and the meaning of words may change over time,
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What is another practical criticism based on inaccuracies?
It is difficult to check for inaccuracies,
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What is an ethical crticism?
Has consent been given if the author is still alive? Moreover if the person is deceased there is a danger of exploitation,
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What is a historical document?
Personal or public documents created in the past,
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Give an example sociologists who used what historical documents to study the rise of childhood?
-Aries, -Looked at child rearing books and paintings to study the rise of childhood,
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Who favours historical documents?
Interpretivists
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Give one theoretical strength based on objectivity?
One can try to be objective about an event by using a number of sources about that event and trying to find the common information,
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What is the effect on the findings?
Reliability is increased,
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What is a practical advantage based on the limitations of the past?
Historicla documents are often the only way to research a particular area from the past,
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Give an example with history books?
Using history books to investigate the Holocaust,
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GIve another practical strenth based on a snap shot?
Offers a useful snap shot of a particular event at a particular time which should encapsulate the feelings and emotions of that period,
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Who identifies criticisms of historical documents?
Positivists,
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What is a theoretical criticism based on representativeness?
There can be problems with representativeness- the surviving documents may not be typical of the ones that got destroyed,
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What is a practical criticism based on what 30 year rule?
The 30 year rule prevents access to offical documents for 30 years if they are judged to be secret,
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What is another practical criticism based on interpretation?
There can be problems with interpretation- The sources are from different time periods so meanings of words can change,
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What is another practical disadvantage based on access?
Can be diffiucult to access some documents,
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Give an example about bullying?
COnfidential school records or pupuls diaries about their experiences of bullying can be difficult to access,
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What is content analysis?
A method for dealing systematically with the contents of the documents,
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What is content analysis best know for its use in analysing?
Mass media, such as television news bulletins,
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Although documents are usually qualitiative, what does it turn the information to?
Quantitative data,
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How does the researcher undergo content analysis?
The researcher defines a set of categories and then counts how many times material is classified under that category,
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Give an example sociologist who used content analysis for studying portrayals of men and women?
-Manstead and McCulloch, -SHe used categories to show how many times a woman was shown in the home and a man in the garden,
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Who provides strengths of content analysis?
Positivists,
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What is a theoretical advantage based on systematics?
Data can be examined systematically to identify patterns e.g. over time and between societies,
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What is a theoretical advantage based on bias?
The method is largely free from bias and laregely objective,
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What is another advantage based on replication?
Positivists argue content analysis is easily replicated and therefore high in validity,
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Give an example study by who about gender stereotyping in school books?
-Lobban's research, -Gender stereotyping can easily be repeated as she analysed each story using standardised categories,
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What is a practical advantage based on how accurate it is today?
Information is usually up-to-date,
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What is another practical advantage based on time and cost?
It is relatively cheap and easy to access e.g. newspapers,
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Who provides criticisms?
Interpretivists,
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What is a theoretical criticism based on insight and why?
Interpretivists argue that there is no real insight as counting frequency doesn't show meanings or motives,
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What is another theoretical criticism based on the media and bias?
There is still some subjectivity as recording the media can never triely be scientific. The mass media can be biased,
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Give an example of bias in newspapers?
The reportage of war through newspapers is not objective
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What is a practical criticism based on the mass media and checking?
There is no way to double check data that the media provides,
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What is another practical criticms based on mass media itself?
Much of the mass media deals in stereotypes and sensationalisation e.g. exaggerating details to produce a strong interest,
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Card 2

Front

What are the two types of documentary sources?

Back

-Public documents, -Personal documents,

Card 3

Front

WHat are public documents?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Give an example of a public document?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What are personal documents?

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