Sociology key words

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Research Methods
A technique which has been developed to enable researchers to gain empirical evidence or data which can then be analysed sociologically.
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Empirical Evidence
Evidence which can be tested and traced back to the original research: sociological theories from this evidence often carry more authority than arguments based on common sense.
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Data
The raw facts which have been gathered through the adoption of a particular research method.
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Primary Data
Information collected by the sociologists themselves for their own purposes. The information did not exist before.
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Secondary Data
Data which already exists which has been collected or created by someone else. The information did exist before e.g. official statistics.
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Quantative Data
Data in numerical form - statistics. Tables, graphs, helpful for looking at correlations/relationships between factors.
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Qualitative Data
Data in word form giving a feel for what something is like or probing a persons views giving insight into what it's like to be in that persons shoes.
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Positivists
A belief that sociologists should employ similar techniques to those of scientists (observation, classification and measurements).
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Interpretivists
Derived from the idea that we are all individuals and that each person has a unique experience of society.
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Reliability
A reliable research method is one which, when repeated by another researcher, gives the same results.
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Objectivity
The idea that by adopting the methods of the natural sciences that the socialogist can distance him/herself from the respondents and, therefore, obtain more accurate data.
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Operationalising Concepts
Define the terms for the research in a manner which enables the sociologist to draw up a series or closed questions and to quantify the opinions.
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Validity
A valid method is one that produces a true or genuine picture of what something is really like.
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Subjectivity
The idea the whole rationale for sociological to tell their story in their own way. This is done by forming as close a relationship as possible for them to trust you and give you their honest opinion.
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Verstehen
In someone else's shoes. Ability to understand what they are doing and why they are doing it.
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Representativeness
Researchers may choose a sample of people to study - a smaller sub group drawn from the whole group - same characteristics.
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Generalisation
The ability to make something more widespread or widely applicable.
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Sampling frame
This is a list of all the members of the population we are interested in
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Random sampling
This sample is selected purely by random choice
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Stratified sampling
By dividing the population into males and females and then taking a 1% sample of each.Therefore there are equal numbers of each sex and the sample is representative of the population as a whole
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Quota sampling
Instead of choosing the samples for each catagory randomly, the reserchers go out looking for the right nmber of each sortof person.
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Hawthorne effect
This is when the presence of the researcher has an effect on the participant completing the study whcih can then affect the overall results
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Cultural capital
Knowledge, attitudes, values, language, tastes and abilities of the middle class
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Labelling
The process whereby certain scoail groups are associated with certain characteristics
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Labelling theory
This is where an initial label given leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy
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Self-fulfilling prophecy
A consequence of labelling where an initial prediction leads people to act in such a way that their actions make te intial prediction
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Cultural deprivation
Those at the bottom of the class system are deprived of important values, attitudes,experiences and skills which are essential for eductional success
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deffered gratification
Postponing immediate rewards or pleasures, generally with the aim of producing a greater reward at a later date
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Card 2

Front

Evidence which can be tested and traced back to the original research: sociological theories from this evidence often carry more authority than arguments based on common sense.

Back

Empirical Evidence

Card 3

Front

The raw facts which have been gathered through the adoption of a particular research method.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Information collected by the sociologists themselves for their own purposes. The information did not exist before.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Data which already exists which has been collected or created by someone else. The information did exist before e.g. official statistics.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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