Sociology examples

James Patrick (research oppurtunity)
He used participant observation to observe a gang, he was invited to spend time with them 'out of the blue' as he looked quite young and knew one of the members.
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Roland Meighan (researching schools)
He found heads sometimes viewed research negatively because, of effects on classroom behaviour, they don't veiw children as competent to judge teachers and the effects on dicipline
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Beyon And Akinson (researching schools)
They note head teachers often steer the researcher away from sensitive situations making research less valid
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Stanley Milgram (Ethical problems)
He told participants of a lab experiment they were assissting in research on learning. They were ordered to administor shocks to other participants if they got questions wrong. However the research was actually on how people obey orders.
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Elton Mayo (Hawthorne effect)
He was researching factors effecting workers' productivity but found that people worked well through all conditions as they were aware they were being observed and wanted to please the researcher.
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David Rosenhan (Ethical problems and field experiments)
A team of researchers presented themselves at mental hospitals claiming they had been hearing voices. However once in the hospital they stopped acting strangely. Despite this they were still treated as if they were mentally ill.
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Emile Durkheim (the comparative method)
He did a 'thought' experiment and argued from this that Catholism produced higher levels of intergration than protestants and therefore have a lower suicide rate. He then tested this against official statisics and found it to be true.
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Harvey and Slatin (lab experiments and teacher expectations)
They did a lab experiment in which they showed a sample of 96 teachers photos of children from different social classes. They found lower-class children were rated less favourable and showed teacher labelling.
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Charkin et al (lab experiments and teacher expectations)
48 university students each had to teach a child. 1/3 were told he was highly motivated and intelligent, 1/3 that he was poorly motivated and the rest told nothing. He found they treated him differently because of this.(ethical issues-real child)
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Rosenthal and Jacobson (field experiments and teachers expectations)
They did an IQ test on pupils, teachers were told 20% were likely to have an IQ spurt, these pupils were selected at random. They found after a year the spurters had improved more and teachers expectations had had an effect. (unethical-real pupils)
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Young and Willmott (pilot studies and sampling frame)
They carried out over 100 pilot interviews to help them design their study. This made sure all the questions were worded correctly, easy to understand and analyse. They used an electoral register as their sampling frame. 54/987 refused-representative
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Helen Connor and Sara Dewson (advantages of questionnaires)
They sent nearly 4,000 questionnaires by post to 14 higher education institutions around the country.
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Shere Hite (disadvantages of questionnaires)
She sent out 100,000 questionnaires about 'love, passion and emotional viloence' but only 4.5% were returned
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Marten Shipman (researchers meanings)
He says that pre-decided catergories force 'pruning and bending' of data. He says questionnaires imposes a straitjacket that distorts the respondants meanings.
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Michael Rutter (Disadvantage for questionnaires in education)
Through the use of a questionnaire he found a correlation between class size and achievement. However he wasn't able to find explanations so his research was unvalid.
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Aaron Cicourel and John Kitsuse (unstructured interviews)
They always followed up their questions with 'How do you mean?' in order to get more infomation and making their research more valid. This is an advantage of unstructured interviews over structured ones.
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Hilary Graham (feminist view on interviews)
She belives that they are patriarchal and give a distored, invaild view of womens experiences. The researcher is in control which mirrors womens subordinate postion. They treat women as individuals rather than in the context of oppression.
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William Labov (rapport and sensitivity)
He found whilst interviewing balck american children that they appreared tounge tied and 'linguistically deprived'. However when he adopted a informal approach (the interviewer sitting on the floor and a friend being present)the children spoke freely
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Hartley Dean and Peter Taylor-Gooby (the interviewee's view)
They used unstructured tape-recorded interviews in their research of experiences of unemployment. The interviews could be up to 90 minutes long giving very valid data.
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Ann Oakley (interviewer bias)
She admitted as a mother herself she found it difficult to remain dettached whilst interviewing children.
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Margret Mead (Culteral differences)
She has been criticised because when interviewing adolecents from Samoa in the western specific, as she couldn't speak the language, she couldn't tell she was being deliberatly mislead.
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Howard Becker (Improving the validity of interviews)
He used aggression, disbelief and 'playing dumb' to extract sensitive infomation from school teachers that they might not have told him otherwise. However the researcher needs to have special in order to do this.
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Di Bentley (Building a rapport with children)
She started each interview by showing the child a 'jokey' picture of her and her daughter togther. She maintained a relaxed atmosphere which help maintain the validity of the research however it decreases the reliability as it's hard to standardise.`
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Bell (teacher in disguise)
He notes that children may not respond well to researchers as they are seen as 'teachers in disguise'.
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William Whyte (types of observation)
His study of 'Street corner society' was done covertly to all but one key member of a group who knew his true purpose. The research took his four years to complete.
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Eileen Fairhurst (making contact)
She found herself in hospital because of back trouble and used the oppurtunity to conduct a study.
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Maurice Punch ('going native')
He found that in striving to be accepted by the tightly-knit patrol group he was researching he started acting as a policeman himself as he was 'overidentifying' with them.
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Laud Humphrey (covert observation)
Laud Humphrey's tea room trade 'There is only one way to watch highly discreditable behaviour and that is to pretend to be in the same boat with those engaging in it'
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James Ditton (covert observation)
He was coverting studying theft among bread deliverymen but in order to take notes had to go to the toliet. This aroused suspision and eventually led to him being found out.
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John Howard Griffin (covert obervation)
'Black Like Me' He thought interviews were useless because black people have learnt that if they say something umpleasing to a white person they will make their life miserable. Because of this he turned black in order to experience racism first hand.
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N.A Flanders-(FIAC) (Structured observational methods)
Flanders system of interaction analysis categories. This system is used to measure pupil-pupil and pupil-teacher interaction quantatively
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Sara Delamont (validity of FIAC)
She argues that the FIAC is unvalid as simply counting classroom behaviour and classifying it into a limited number if pre-decided categories ignores the meaning pupils and teachers attach to it.
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Eggleston (practical issues of covert observation in schools)
He took 3 months to set up his cover role for his observations in a school.
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Wright (practical issues of covert observation in schools)
When she was carrying out her search in a school she found that there were few black teachers and she found her African Caribbean ethnicity produced antagonistic reactions from some white teachers, however black pupils often held her in high esteem.
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Ronald King (practical issues of covert observation in schools)
He tried to blend into the background in an infant school by spending short periods of time in a classroom so children became familiar with his presence. He avioded eye contact and politely refused to help pupils so he wasn't seen as a teacher.
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Willis (Representativeness of observation in schools)
Willis did a study on 12 boys in one school, this produced very insightful data but it was ver unrepresentative as there are around 4,000 secondary schools, 30,000 primary schools and 350 collages.
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Hammersley (Reliability of covert observation in schools)
He found that on one occasion he had to take notes on the back of a newspaper when listen to a conversation in a staffroom. As he was unable to take proper notes this decreased the reliability of his notes.
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Emile Durkheim (practical disadvantages of official statistics)
He found there were no statistics specifically on the religion of suicide patients as the state has no use for the infomation. However this was crucial to his hypothesis.
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British Crime Survey (Representativeness of official statistics)
In 2002 it used a sample of 33,000 adults so was very representative.
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British Crime Survey (validity of 'soft statistics)
In 2002 it found only 42% of crimes were reported to the police and the ploice only reported 3/5th of this.
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John Irvine (Capitalist view on official statistics)
He argues official statistics serve the interests of capitalism.
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John Scott (assessing documents)
He argues that documents need to be assessed in terms of authenticity, credibility, representativeness and meaning.
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What are DCSF and LEAs?
Department for Children, Schools and Families, Local Education Authorities. Both of these collect a wide range of officail statistics.
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What added CVA?
Contextual Values Added. Introduced in 2006 by the labour goverment.
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Valerie Hay (issues with using personal documemnts in a school)
She used notes passed between girls in classrooms, however it was hard to obtain these as the girls were used to hiding them.There could be ethical issues with documents if used without informed consent (eg Hay covertly took some notes off desks)
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The Kendal Project (Case studies)
It is an ongoing case study of religious belief and practice focused on one town which is being used to test a range of different theories aborut religion.
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National Child Development Study-NCDS (Longitudinal Studies)
It is a birth cohort study tracing the lives of all those born in the same week in Great Britain in 1958. However from 1958-1999 it lost 1/3 of its sample.
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Eileen Barker- The Making of a Moonie
She used triangulation when doing her research on the Moonies. She used in-depth interviews, questionnaires and non-participant observation.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Roland Meighan (researching schools)


He found heads sometimes viewed research negatively because, of effects on classroom behaviour, they don't veiw children as competent to judge teachers and the effects on dicipline

Card 3


Beyon And Akinson (researching schools)


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Stanley Milgram (Ethical problems)


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Elton Mayo (Hawthorne effect)


Preview of the front of card 5
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