Sociological Methods.

HideShow resource information
What is primary data?
Information collected by sociologists themselves for their own purpose.
1 of 81
What are some methods for collecting primary data?
Social surveys-Ask people questions,in a questionnaire/survey.Participant observation-Sociologists joins in with the group they are studying.Experiments-field experiements or labatory.
2 of 81
What is secondary data?
Information collected or created by someone else for their own purposes. But then sociologists can then use/
3 of 81
What are some sources of secondary data?
Official statistics-Produced by the government e.g. crime/divorce. Documents-such as letters/diaries.
4 of 81
Why is using secondary data good?
quick and cheap.
5 of 81
What are some advantages of primary data?
precise.
6 of 81
What is Quantitative data?
Refers to information in a numerical form.E.g. Official statistics.
7 of 81
What is Qualitative data?
Gives a feel for what something is like E.g. what it feels like to get good exam results. Sociologists use participant observation, or in depth interviews/
8 of 81
What are some practical issues with some research methods?
Time+Money-Large scale surveys need interviewers and this is expensive.This may inflluence the sociologists choice of method.
9 of 81
What are some more practical issues?
Personal skills and characteristics-Participant observation requires the ability to mix easily with others. Not all sociologists have these qualities so may find difficulty in using these methods.
10 of 81
What are some ethical issues with sociological methods?
Informed consent,Confidentiality and privacy,Vulnerable groups.e.g young people, Covert research- Researchers identity is hidden from the people being studied.
11 of 81
What are some theoretical issues with sociological methods?
This is what we think society is like our views on issues effects kinds of methods we use-Validity-qualititive methods give a more valid and true picture.Reliable-repeating an experiment makes it more reliable when you get the same results.
12 of 81
What is meant by validity?
A true/genuine picture of what something is really like.
13 of 81
What methods do positivits prefer?
Quantitative data, see sociology as a science.
14 of 81
What methods do Interpretivists prefer?
Qualitative data and reject the view that sociology is a science.
15 of 81
Why does researching pupils create ethical problems?
As pupils need to be protected.
16 of 81
Why might it be hard to uncover real attitudes in schools?
Classrooms are highly controlled settings.
17 of 81
Why might studying teachers overtly be unreliable?
Teachers may put on a 'show'
18 of 81
When conducting experiments what two groups do you have?
The experimental group-Change the variables, The control group-This stays the same.
19 of 81
Why are experiments very reliable?
Other people can replicate it producing the same results.
20 of 81
Why do Positivists favour laboratory experiments?
It achieves their main goal of reliability.
21 of 81
Why do Interpretivists reject the labatory experiments?
It fails to achieve their main goal of validity.
22 of 81
What are some practical problems with labatory experiments?
It cant be used to study the past, only study small samples, impossible to control all variables of society.
23 of 81
What are some ethical problems with labatory experiments?
It is wrong to mislead people, Milgrim lied to all his subjects in his experiment.
24 of 81
What is the Hawthorne effect?
Where the subjects of a research study know they are being studied and begin to behave differently as a result. Undermining the studies validity.
25 of 81
What are two alternatives to the laboratory experiment?
Field experiments and the Comparative method.
26 of 81
What are field experiments?
It takes place in the subjects natural workplace it is normally done covertly to avoid the hawthorne effect.
27 of 81
What is an example of when Field experiments were used?
Rosenthal and Jacobson mainipulated teachers expectations about children's abilities in order to discover what effects labelling has on achievement.
28 of 81
What is the comparative method?
It is a 'thought' experiment, It is designed to discover cause and effect relationships.
29 of 81
How does the comparative method work?
Identifies two groups of people that are alike in all major respects except for one variable they are interested in, Then they compare the two groups to see if this one difference between them has any effect.
30 of 81
What are some advantages of the comparative method?
It avoids artificiality, Can be used to study past events, Possess no ethical problems.
31 of 81
What are ethical problems with conducting experiments on teacher expectations?
They dont involve real pupils so their are fewer ethical issues.
32 of 81
What are some practical problems in conducting experiments in schools?
Schools are large and complex in which many variables may affect teacher expectations.
33 of 81
What are ethical problems with field experiments and teacher expectations?
Major ethical problems.E.g. spurters would benefit from school studies but the others would not it is better done covertly.
34 of 81
What are the two forms social surveys come in?
Written questionnaires, Interviews.
35 of 81
What are the different types of questions?
Close-ended questions-e.g.yes/no,They are easy to analyse. Open ended questions- The person answering is free to give whatever answer they wish.
36 of 81
What is the pilot study?
When there is a hypothesis to test the next stage is to produce a draft of the questionnaire and give it a trial run. This is the pilot study.
37 of 81
What is the aim of the pilot study?
To iron out any problems -Young and Willmott carried out over 100 pilot interviews.
38 of 81
What are the stages of conducting a survey?
Choose Topic-Determine aim/hypothesis-Operationalise concepts-Conduct Pilot study-Select sample-Face to face/post-Conduct survey-Analyse data.
39 of 81
What is operationalising concepts?
Before you can test the hypothesis we need the working definition of our key ideas and concepts.
40 of 81
What is sampling?
A sample is a small sub-group drawn from the wider group that we are interested in.
41 of 81
What is the sampling frame?
This is a list of all the members of the population we are interested in studying.
42 of 81
What are the four sampling techniques?
Random sampling-where the sample is selected purely by random chance. Quasi-Random-Every tenth or hundred name is selected.Young and Willmott did this.Stratified random-Divide sexes and take 1% of each.Quota-Researchers go out to find people.
43 of 81
What is an advantage of having an hypothesis before starting research?
it gives the researcher direction.
44 of 81
What are practical advantages of questionnaires?
They are quick/cheap, No need to train interviewers, Data is easily quantifiable.
45 of 81
Why are questionnaires reliable?
when repeated you will get similar results, When using postal questionnaires there is no researcher influence.
46 of 81
Why are questionnaires useful for testing hypothesis?
Useful for testing hypotheses about cause and effect relationships between different variables
47 of 81
Do questionnaires pose ethical problems?
No, as respondents have no obligation to answer questions.
48 of 81
What are some practical problems with questionnaires?
data is limited, postal questionnaires cause more problems as it is questioned whether the person recieved it and answered it themselves.
49 of 81
What is said about questionnaires acting as snapshots?
They fail to produce a fully valid picture because they do not capture peoples attitudes and behaviour change .
50 of 81
What are the two types of interviews?
Structured and Unstructured.
51 of 81
What are structured interviews?
Are like questionnaires asking people a set of prepared questions they are usually close-ended questions.
52 of 81
What are practical issues with structured interviews?
Suitable for gathering straightforward factual information, they are easily quantified, Training interviewers is easy.
53 of 81
Are structured interviews reliable?
Yes as it is easily replicated.
54 of 81
Why do structured interviews loose vadility?
like questionnaires they often produce a false picture as they give interviewers very little freedom to explain questions. People may lie/exaggerate.
55 of 81
What are some advantages of unstructured interviews?
The interviwer has more opportunity to speak about whats important,they can check the persons understanding, its flexible.
56 of 81
What are some disadvantages of unstructured interviews?
Take a long time to conduct, hard to replicate so are unreliable.
57 of 81
What is interviewer bias?
May ask 'leading questions' where the wording tells them how to answer.
58 of 81
What is the social desirability effect?
Where the respondent seeks to win approval by giving answers that present them in a favourable light.
59 of 81
What are the different types of observation?
Non-Participation-observing a group without taking part,Participant-take part in the event while observing it,Overt observation-people know they are being studied, Covert-Under cover observation.
60 of 81
What are advantages of overt observation?
It avoids ethical problems by deceit, Can take notes more openly.
61 of 81
What are some disadvantages of overt observation?
researcher may get denied permission to observe. It risks the hawthorne effect taking place.
62 of 81
What are advantages of covert observation?
Reduces the risk of the hawthorne effect.
63 of 81
What are disadvantages of covert observation?
It requires the researcher to keep up an 'act' It is immoral and deceives people, reserachers have to lie.
64 of 81
What are some advantages of participant observation?
Good source of qualitative data, gives good insight, it is flexible can be the only type of observation that would work when studying some groups.
65 of 81
What are some disadvantages of participant observation?
Time consuming, personally stressful, many groups do not want to be studied in this way, Not reliable as it is not easily replicated. Studies can be biased.
66 of 81
What are the two ways of collecting official statistics?
Registration, Official surveys.
67 of 81
What are practical advantages of official statistics?
A free source of quantative data, Statistics allow comparisons between groups, they show trends and patterns over time.
68 of 81
What are some practical disadvantages of official statistics?
The goverment collects it for their own purposes not sociologists so there may be none available on the topic. Definitions may vary.
69 of 81
What do positivists thing of official statistics?
Favour it as it provides reliable data.
70 of 81
What are public documents?
such as ofsted reports, they are produced by organisations such as government departments.
71 of 81
What are personal documents?
Letters, diaries.
72 of 81
What are advantages of using documents?
Good for studying the past, cheap source of data, saves time.
73 of 81
What is content analysis?
A method for dealing systematically with the contents of documents e.g. analysising documents produced by mass media such as television.
74 of 81
What are advantages for content anyalysis?
Cheap, easy to find.
75 of 81
What are case studies?
detailed examanitation of a single case they can be used to provide a detailed insight into a particular group.
76 of 81
What are Longitudinal studies?
Follows the same sample/group over a long period of time.
77 of 81
What are some advantages of Longitudinal studies?
Trace developments over a long period of time, easy to make comparisons.
78 of 81
What are some disadvantages of Longitudinal studies?
Samples may become less representative over periods of time, expensive, difficult to analyse.
79 of 81
What are life histories?
Qualitative method is used to understand how individuals construct and interpret their lives, they involve collecting and recording peoples experiences.
80 of 81
What is triangulation?
A technique that aims to obtain a more rounded picture by studying the same thing from more than one view point.
81 of 81

Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What are some methods for collecting primary data?

Back

Social surveys-Ask people questions,in a questionnaire/survey.Participant observation-Sociologists joins in with the group they are studying.Experiments-field experiements or labatory.

Card 3

Front

What is secondary data?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What are some sources of secondary data?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Why is using secondary data good?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
View more cards

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Sociological research methods resources »