sociological methods- essential concepts

closed questions
questions with a specific response e.g. yes or no
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correlation
statistical relationship between two variables. it does not necessarily mean that one causes another
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ethical factors
moral concerns about the benefits and potential harm of research to the people being researched
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gatekeeper
a person who can allow a reasearcher access to an event, group or situation
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generalisation
if sociologists choose to be representative of the population, they will be able to generalise the whole of society
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hypothesis
a testable statement performed through research
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interpretivism
an approach favouring the use of qualitative methods such as participant observation. it allows the researcher to see the world from those being studied
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laboratory experiments
an experiment conducted in an artificial setting under highly controlled conditions
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objectivity
when a researcher's values does not have an impact on their work
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operationalisation
the process of defining concepts in a way which makes them measurable e.g. class is defined by income
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population
all the people with the characteristics a researcher wants to investigate
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positivism
the view that sociological research is based on scientific principles. they tend to use quantitative methods
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primary data
collected directly by the researcher themselves
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qualitative data
information from a range of sources which aren't statistical and are more in depth e.g. unstructured interviews
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quantitative data
statistical, numerical data e.g. statistics
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reliability
the quality of repeatability. if the same piece of research were to be repeated by different sociologists, then it should produce the same results
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representativeness
situation where the study is a cross section of the group they wish to generalise about
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secondary data
information obtained from sources originally colected by someone other than the sociologist doing the research
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subjectivity
where personal opinions and feelings influence judgement
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theoretical factors
impact that a sociologist's views can have over their choice of research methods e.g. positivists take a macro view of society and use quantitative methods
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validity
the extent to which data gives a true picture of the subjecy being studied. it provides an accurate measurement of topic being investigated
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Card 2

Front

statistical relationship between two variables. it does not necessarily mean that one causes another

Back

correlation

Card 3

Front

moral concerns about the benefits and potential harm of research to the people being researched

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

a person who can allow a reasearcher access to an event, group or situation

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

if sociologists choose to be representative of the population, they will be able to generalise the whole of society

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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