INFLUENCES ON THE CHOICE OFRESEARCH METHOD…THEORY positivism interpretivism
IN SHORT….Positivism – believes that society can be studies using similar techniques to the natural sciencesInterpretivism – people have personal beliefs, values and interpret the world in different ways. They so not simply respond to forces outside themThese two sets of sociologists have different ideas about society which influences the type of data they are interested in collecting.
POSITIVISM AND RESEARCHMETHODS Society is studied in the same way as the natural world In the natural world there are causes for events, it is the same in the social world Social facts – are the institutions which shape society cause us be behave in a certain way or limit our behaviour through social control These include things like socialization, the education system, the family, the mass media, the legal system and the work place These social facts can be studied like objects in the natural world.
METHODS USED Positivists use quantitative methods They want to be able to check for reliability, find reasons for events and make generalizations They do not study feelings, emotions and motives of people as they believe they can not be quantified. Positivists tend to be macro theorist such as functionalists and Marxists
IDEAS AND METHODS They believe that behaviour is influenced by the meanings that people give to social situations Use research methods to help them to find out how people understand the world around them This process is called VERSTEHEN – understanding human behaviour by putting yourself in the position of the people you are studying Instead of collecting statistical data, they want to get involved with their subject They will use qualitative methods to gain a detailed in depth knowledge of the situation they are studying
COMPARING THE TWO….macro micro Society constrains our individuals and groups create behaviour society Structural approaches Interpretivism approaches Positivist approaches Qualitative methods Quantaitive methods Experience rich data Statistical data Small scale Large scale Unstructured questionnaires Structured questionnaires Unstructured interviews Structures interviews Participant observation Non-participant observation
IN SHORT….. Stay separate Get involved Objective Subjective observe participate