Why Do Sociologists Conduct Research

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Why Do Sociologists Conduct Research

  1. 1. NAME........................................................................................................................................ ........ 1
  2. 2. Why do sociologists conduct research? Identify the key differences between qualitative and quantitative research methods? And positivist and interpretivist research methods? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ If you were going to conduct a research project and choose quantitative research methods identify the numerous methods you could use and say whether your research would be primary or secondary. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ If you were going to conduct a research project and choose qualitative research methods identify the numerous methods you could use and say whether your research would be primary or secondary 2
  3. 3. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Using the template/grid below draw a map/diagram illustrating the numerous influences which decide which method social researchers choose to use: 3
  4. 4. Identify the key difference between positivist and interpretivist research methods (make certain you use the terms qualitative and I nfl uences on the choi ce of quantitative in your answer) r esear ch method used by soci ol ogi sts __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Identify the differences between primary and secondary data __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 4
  5. 5. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ _ ___________________________________________ The advantages of qual i tati ve _ ___________________________________________ secondar y sour ces ar e: _ ___________________________________________ ________________________________ Provide some examples of some existing primary research conducted in schools __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Using the templates below identify the advantages and disadvantages of qualitative secondary sources: 5
  6. 6. The di sadvantages of quanti tati ve secondar y sour ces ar e: The di sadvantages of qual i tati ve secondar y sour ces ar e: Using the templates below identify the advantages and disadvantages of quantitative secondary sources: 6
  7. 7. The advantages of quanti tati ve secondar y sour ces ar e: 7
  8. 8. What is the experimental (laboratory) method of research? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ What are the advantages of the laboratory method? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ What are the problems associated with the experimental method? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ 8
  9. 9. ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ What is the relationship between the Hawthorne effect and the experimental method? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ What are field experiments? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Why was the Comparative method useful in Durkheim’s study of suicide? ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ 9
  10. 10. ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Random sampl i ng i s:______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Different Sampling Methods - Complete the following grids and provide an example for each section 10
  11. 11. M ul ti stage or cl uster sampl i ng i s:___________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Systemati c sampl i ng i s:_____________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ Str ati fi ed r andom sampl i ng i s:________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ Quota sampl i ng i s:_________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ Snowbal l sampl i ng i s________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ 11
  12. 12. Imagine you are going to conduct some research in your 6th Form about the quality of 6th Form teaching in your school. You know there are 300 students studying at AS and A2 level. Why is it vital you carry out a pilot study before embarking on such a project? Identify two aspects you’d have to test-out before conducting your actual research. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ a) What would be a representative sample from this number of students (please explain your answer) and which would be the most appropriate sample method to use (please justify your choice) and could you create a sample frame? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 12
  13. 13. For the same project identify as many ethical issues you would have to address while conducting and preparing for research project in a school? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Again referring to the above project, which research method would you choose to use and identify why your choice improves reliability? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Finally once you have conducted your research would your findings be valid considering your sample size and sample method? What is the relationship between representativeness, validity and generalization and why is this relationship important to your project? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 13
  14. 14. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Do questionnaires collect qualitative or quantitative data? Provide evidence to support your answer. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ When designing either open-ended (unstructured) or closed (pre-coded or structured) questionnaires you need to consider several important issues when designing them, these are: When desi gni ng a questi onnai r e I need to consi der the fol l owi ng poi nts 14
  15. 15. Below are the strengths and weaknesses of pre-coded (closed) questionnaires: Strengths Weaknesses Below are the strengths and weaknesses of open-ended (unstructured) questionnaires: Strengths Weaknesses 15
  16. 16. What are postal questionnaires and what is the normal method of delivery and collection? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ What are the advantages/disadvantages of postal questionnaires? Strengths Weaknesses 16
  17. 17. Now you are going to conduct some research in your 6th Form. Your project’s aim is to find out if 6th Form teachers ‘label’ students. You know there are 300 students studying at AS and A2 level and you have decided to use closed -questionnaires for your social survey. You now need to design a closed-questionnaire with ten questions related to the aim, your questionnaire is going to use the ‘scaling-method’ for respondents’ responses. Once you’ve designed your questionnaire you need to conduct a pilot study. Overleaf is a grid to help you address all the issues you might face. Fill this grid so you make sure you address all the issues before you conduct your pilot study. Theoretical considerations: • Position of the researcher • Issues of reliability and validity 17
  18. 18. • Type of data required Practical considerations: • Cost • Time • Access to respondents • Sample size and type Ethical considerations (particularly in a school): • CRB check • Rights of respondents • Anonymity • Confidentiality • Disclosure/publication Now conduct your pilot study. Once completed make any necessary alterations to your questionnaire. In the grid below identify all the possible research methods open to sociologists and select which are qualitative and qualitative. Quantitative Qualitative 18
  19. 19. What are structured interviews? __________________________________________________________________________________ Identify the strengths and weaknesses of structured interviews Strengths Weaknesses 19
  20. 20. Where and why might you use a structured interview rather than a pre-coded questionnaire? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ What are unstructured interviews? __________________________________________________________________________________ Identify the strengths and weaknesses of unstructured interviews Strengths Weaknesses 20
  21. 21. Where and why might you use an unstructured interview rather than a pre-coded questionnaire or structured interview? Of the three which is seen as the most reliable? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Imagine you are going to conduct the same research project examining labelling by teachers in an inner city school. The majority of the school’s pupils are from ethnic minorities. You have decided to conduct a number of open interviews with a sample of Year 11 students who are all taught by teachers who are all white. Identify several ways interviewer bias might affect the validity of social research? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 21
  22. 22. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ How might you overcome this interviewer bias? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ What is the difference between participant and non-participant observation? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 22
  23. 23. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of participant observation Strengths Weaknesses Identify the strengths and weaknesses of non-participant observation 23
  24. 24. Strengths Weaknesses You’ve decided to observe teachers in a classroom setting to see if they label students in lessons. In order to decided which is the best observational method to use you are going to conduct a pilot study to see which the best method is. How will you record what you observe? What ethical problems will you face with each method? 24
  25. 25. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Identify the ways triangulation helps social researchers. Methods combined Examples 25
  26. 26. Why do some sociologists conduct longitudinal studies? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Why are case studies and life histories useful to social researchers? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ 26
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