Sociology - Research Methods

What are the four types of data used by sociologists?
Qualitative, Quantitative, Primary and Secondary
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What are the two main methods of evaluating sociological research?
Whether or not they are high in or lack validity and reliability
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What is reliability?
How replicable a study is, can it be performed in various situations
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What is Validity?
The level to which the research being performed is testing the hypothesis
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Why do sociologists perform research?
They conduct research to test hypothesis and to develop theories
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What are the three types of issues that sociologists have to consider prior to research?
Practical Issues, Ethical Issues and Theoretical Issues
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What are the two types of questionnaire?
Open and Closed
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What makes a good questionnaire?
If the questions are relevant and make sense, answer options don't overlap and are even, specific and relevant. The questions should be objective and the topic needs to be relevant to the sample group
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Which two theorists are a good example of closed questionnaires being used to investigate education
Bowles and Gintis
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Which two theorists are a good example of open questionnaires being used to investigate education
Sewell
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How did Bowles and Gintis use questionnaires to investigate education?
Used closed questionnaires to measure the personality traits of students and compared them to school grade averages, they found a correlation between traits valued by employers and high scores in school
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How did Sewell use questionnaires to investigate education?
Gave 150 African-Caribbean boys open ended questionnaires in 5 different schools. Found that boys are attracted to a masculine culture which undermines the values of schooling and explains underachievement
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What are the main advantages of open-ended questionnaires?
They are high in validity as answers are in depth, easy to replicate and distribute, there is no limitation on answers
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What are the main disadvantages of open-ended questionnaires?
Answers may not be relevant, the answers take time to analyse and cannot be presented graphically and they take time to answer
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What are the main advantages of closed questionnaires?
They are easy to analyse and can be presented graphically, they are easy to distribute and quick to answer, they are very reliable
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What are the main disadvantages of closed questionnaires?
The check boxes may not always be relevant to the person, answers aren't detailed and therefore the research may lack validity. Since answers are written by the researcher they are subject to researcher bias
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What are the four types of interview used by sociologists?
Unstructured, Structured, Semi-structured and focus groups
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What are three advantages of unstructured interviews?
Build a rapport due to conversational tone, can respond to answers with follow up questions increasing validity and depth, overcomes social desirability bias by building a relationship
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What are three advantages of structured interviews?
Easy to analyse data, can compare data, quicker then other interview techniques
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What is a focus group interview?
A type of interview that consists of a researcher and numerous participants who discuss a topic, this allows opinions to be given
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Which two theorists used unstructured interviews in their research?
Sharpe and Willis
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How did Sharpe use unstructured interviews in her study?
Used unstructured interviews to look at the changing attitudes of girls in the late 1900s towards home life and education, the conversational tone allowed data to be rich and detailed however difficult to categorise
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How did Willis use unstructured interviews in his study?
He used unstructured group interviews to gain data on white working class boy's underachievement, found attitudes persisted between education and work
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What are some disadvantages to unstructured interviews?
Difficult to compare as questions are different lowering reliability, may unintentionally ask leading questions, might be difficult to think of questions in the moment
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What are some disadvantages of structured interviews?
They're very formal decreasing validity as participants may not open up, limits both parties from elaborating, not appropriate for sensitive topics
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What are the four types of observation?
Overt, Covert, Participant and Non-Participant
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What is the hawthorne effect?
Changing behaviour because you are aware you are being observed
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What is social desirability bias?
Changing behaviour in order to be liked or seen in a positive light
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What as ethnography?
A type of observation where the researcher lives within another culture for a period of time
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What is going native?
Taking on the behaviour of the group you're observing, losing objectivity in order to gain access or favour
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What are gatekeepers?
People within observation groups who help you gain access
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What are the two main methods of evaluating sociological research?

Back

Whether or not they are high in or lack validity and reliability

Card 3

Front

What is reliability?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is Validity?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Why do sociologists perform research?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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