C Wright Mills The Sociological imagination is about linking individual experience with social institutions and one's place in history .
"neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both", so we need to develop a way of understanding the interaction between individual lives and society. The Sociological Imagination is the quality of mind which allows one to grasp “history and biography and the relations between the two within society".
a theoretical or analytical study. It will not, as a rule, include the collection of primary data though it may include analysis of secondary data or contain a small-scale empirical study if agreed with your supervisor.
You will need to identify a 'problematic' and develop your own argument through investigating it in depth.
The title is very important. It acts as a focus for your overall project. You must avoid being too broad while also not being too narrow. Getting a title that is interesting (to both you and your supervisor) will help you produce a good piece of work.
Constructing a title is a process and will take you some time. Reading the literature and talking to your personal tutor or people in the department with an interest will help.
What does the literature tell us about the subject and what gaps exist in the literature? How will this study contribute to our knowledge on the subject under investigation? Reading around your subject early is very important.
You will need to think how you will investigate the question you have set yourself. Youmight want to use semi structured interviewing, a social survey, focus groups, observation, and different multi media techniques (for example, video, write and draw etc.).
You do not have to feel restricted to one method - we are keen for students to use a broad range of techniques and social skills. What is important is that you choose the most appropriate method for the question you want to investigate.
Talk this over with your personal tutor in the first place and then with your supervisor. Having a clear sense of what methods you intent to use at an early stage is very important.
Managing the research process – dissertations and extended essays
Key areas that you need to be aware of :
Overall project planning
The organisation of the material you gather
[for dissertations] Planning the various aspects of doing a research project, such as negotiating access, the practical details of fieldwork, accessing secondary data, and
[for extended essays and dissertations] allowing enough time for the analysis and writing up of your research, as well as organising the binding of your dissertation.
Questions or problems to be investigated/Background to topic
Sources and literature searching plan
[no more than 3 pages]
Higher Education Authority’s Guide to Dissertation link
Developed in partnership with the Higher Education Academy's Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics (C-SAP) and Sheffield Hallam University the 'Companion for Undergraduate Dissertations' is a guide which provides support and guidance for students to help them through the dissertation. http://www.socscidiss.bham.ac.uk/s1.html