Resourcd File

902 views

Published on

Published in: Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
902
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
11
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Resourcd File

  1. 1. AS Sociology Unit two: Introducing Research Methods & Methods in Context (Health) Miss Little Name:............................................ Tutor:........................................... 1
  2. 2. Introduction to Research methods Unit two exam paper, Section three: Research methods As part of the AS unit 2 Sociology evidence. To do otherwise would risk course you will study health and illness their work being discredited by other with research methods. sociologists. This part of the course is very important as the research methods section is worth 50 raw marks out of 90. We thus need good, sound evidence to test our theories. But what methods can we use to obtain it? This part of the This topic concerns how sociologists go course is concerned with the different about investigating society. methods sociologists use for collecting The purpose of sociology is to answer questions about social life and the social world. For example why do middle class information about society, and with the issues we need to think about when deciding which methods to use. children generally achieve better exam results than working class children? What causes divorce? How far do the mass media influence people‟s Exam In this section you will answer four exam questions behaviour? To answer One 2 mark question questions like Two 4 mark questions these, One 20 mark question sociologists develop theories. A theory is a general explanation of how or why social life follows the patterns it does. A goo theory is one that explains these patterns. That is, it explains all the available evidence that can be found about the topic being investigated. If a theory does not explain the evidence that we or others have gathered about The small mark questions are very similar to the questions answered in unit one. The 20 mark question is always an examine question. Question Examine AO1 10 AO2 10 Total 20 the topic, we need to replace it with one that does. Sociologists therefore try to ensure Note: This section is worth 30 marks. that their theories are based on sound 2
  3. 3. Unit two exam paper, Section two: Methods in context In the exam you are required to apply a given research method to a particular issue in health such as class and diet, gender and the use of health services and so on. This section of methods concerns one essay worth 20 marks. The essay is an assess question which means you achieve more marks for your AO2 skills. Question Assess AO1 8 AO2 12 Marks 20 Note: This section is worth 20 marks. See you pink AFL booklet for past essay questions on research methods. What the AQA specifications says. The AQA specification for Sociological Methods requires you to examine the following; 1 2 3 4 5 Quantitative and qualitative methods of research; their strengths and limitations; research design. Sources of data, including questionnaires, interviews, participant and nonparticipant observation, experiment, documents and official statistics; the strengths and limitations of these sources. The distinction between primary and secondary data, and between quantitative and qualitative data. The relationship between positivism, interpretivism and sociological methods; the nature of „social facts‟. The theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing choice of topic, choice of method (s) and the conduct of research. For full details of the specification, visit: 3
  4. 4. (A01 skills) Key Terms; Research Methods Like unit one you need to be aware of key sociological terms in relation to research methods. All words listed below are possible two mark questions. You need to use them to demonstrate AO1 skills in your essays. Case study Close ended questions Comparative method Content analysis Control group Correlation Cover participant observation Documents Ethics Experiments Hypothesis Informed consent Interpretivism Interview schedule 4
  5. 5. Interviews Longitudinal study Macro level Micro level Non participant observation Objectivity Official statistics Open ended questions Operationalisation Overt participant observation Participant observation Pilot study Population Positivism Primary data Qualitative data 5
  6. 6. Quantitative data Questionnaires Reliability Representative Response rate Sample Sampling frame Secondary data Selection Social action theories Social survey Structural theories Subjectivity Triangulation Validity Variables 6
  7. 7. Use this sheet for any extra key terms you come across in your wider readings. 7
  8. 8. Researching Social life Big Brother is a television series in which a group of people are required to live together in a house for a period of During that time all their activities several and months. conversations are monitored. Edited versions are shown to a TV audience, which then votes contestants out each week, until the last remaining „survivor‟ is declared the winner. 1. Do you think that people who live in the Big Brother household are representative of the country as a whole? 2. Do you think the people in the household act naturally? If not, why do they behave the way they do? 3. Does Big Brother therefore give a true picture of what life would be like if a group of young people lived together? Explain your answer. 4. Do you think that a lot of what goes on is „edited out‟ by the producers? What kinds of things are left out? Why? 8
  9. 9. What do sociologists set out to do? Sociological research does three main things; Gathers data, makes correlations and suggests or confirms theories. Using the resources available to you explain what this involves in the table below; Gathers data Makes correlations Confirms theories 9
  10. 10. Types of data Types of data Primary Source of data Secondary Source of data Qualitative Interviews Observations Historical documents TV programmes Quantitative Statistical surveys Official statistics Which of the four categories above does each of the following belong in? a) Diaries d) Experiments b) Websites e) Structured interview c) Photographs f) Covert Observation Key terms associated with this section include; Data Qualitative data Primary data Reliability Secondary data Validity Quantitative data Remember to update your glossary 10
  11. 11. Types of data Item A: World war one recruiting poster. Item B: A Hamar woman Item C: Social class and leisure Other non manual Skilled manual Sporting events Managerial/ Professional 24 Unskilled manual 18 Semi skilled manual 15 20 Plays 29 17 8 6 5 Opera 9 3 2 1 1 Ballet 7 3 1 1 1 Contemporary dance Classical music 4 2 1 1 1 17 8 4 2 2 13 8 9 6 5 7 Concerts 19 17 Art galleries/ 30 18 Exhibitions Source: Social trends 2002, Office for National statistics 7 Questions What type of data are items A, B and C, Ask 5 people what the rings around the quantitative or qualitative? Give reasons neck of the woman in Item B indicate. for your answer. Are their observations a) Valid b) reliable? How might a sociologist studying images of gender use item A? (These rings or torques made of iron How might a sociologist use item C? are engagement presents. They indicate her future husband‟s wealth and are worn for life.) 11
  12. 12. The research process Activity two: Choosing a research topic a) English Defence League riots b) Childhood Obesity c) The cult of One Direction Questions 1) Choose one of these topics for research. 2) Explain why you have chosen this topic. 12
  13. 13. When choosing a topic of research several factors may influence the choice of a sociologist. Some of these factors are suggested below. Using your knowledge and the resources available to you, write in the space provided what each category represents. Use examples to emphasise your ideas. Theoretical perspective Society‟s Values Funding bodies Practical factors 13
  14. 14. Choosing Methods What factors may influence a researcher‟s choice of method? 14
  15. 15. Karen Sharpe studied the lives of prostitutes by acting as a „sectary‟ for them. “The central objective of my research was to understand why and how women entered the world of prostitution: to discover the motivating factors, the dynamics of the inductor process, and how they learnt the skills, values and codes of conduct of the business. I wanted to explore the importance and impact of prostitution on their lifestyles and to put5 the „deviance‟ of prostitution into context with other aspects of their criminality. I also wanted to discover how the women themselves and their families and friends, subjectively defined, perceived and rationalised their activities.” 1) Suggest two possible ways of undertaking this. List the advantages and disadvantages of your choice. 2) This research was conducted by a woman. Do you think it would be possible for a male researcher to have done this? Explain the reasons for your answer. 3) Do you think that there is any point in doing this research? Explain your answer. 4) If during your research you found that one of the women was very unhappy and you knew you could help her, but if you did so it would ruin your research- what would you do? 15
  16. 16. Picture right: A lady boy transsexual prostitute in Bangkok, Thailand Item A: Casual Sex Laud Humphreys studied casual sex between gay men in public toilets in the USA. His main method of research was observation. He pretended to be a „voyeur-lookout‟. A voyeur doesn‟t join in but gets pleasure from watching the activities of others. A look out warns of approaching police. Item B: Sex for money Don Kulick used observation to study transsexual prostitutes in Brazil during 1996. The prostitutes are referred to as „travestis‟. „I associated with travesties pretty much continually during those eight months, eating breakfast of sweetened coffee and buttered rolls with them when they woke up about midday, chatting with them as they sat in doorsteps, plucking whiskers from their chins in the late afternoon sun, crowding onto mattresses with them as they lay pressed together smoking cigar sized joints and watching late night action movies on television. Every night from about 8pm until 1 or 2 am, I walked the streets with them at various points of prostitution.‟ Source Kulick 1998. Question Why do you think Humphreys and Kulick chose observations as their main research method? 16
  17. 17. Ethical Issues What ethical issues must a sociologist consider when researching members of society? 17
  18. 18. Researching suicide Item A: Explaining suicide Item B: Understanding suicide In a famous study entitled suicide, first published in 1895, the French Sociologist Emile Durkheim examined the suicide rates of different groups in society. He compared the following groups and, using official statistics, found that in each case, the group of the left had a higher suicide rate than the group on the right. From an interpretivisit view, suicide is a meaning which people give to certain deaths. The job of the sociologist is to discover why particular deaths are defined as suicides. From observations of inquests and discussions with coroners, the British sociologist J. Maxwell Atkinson believes that coroners have a picture of a typical suicide victim. Road deat5hs are rarely seen as suicides whereas death by drowning, hanging, gassing and drug overdose are more likely to be interpreted as suicides. The typical suicide victim is often seen as a lonely, friendless, isolated individual with few family ties. City dwellers: Rural dwellers Older adults: Younger adults Unmarried: Married Married without children: Married with children Durkheim argued that members of each group on the left are more socially isolated than those on the right. For example, married couples without children have fewer ties to bind them together than married couples with children. Durkheim believed that he had found a causal relationship between two social facts, the level of social isolation and the rat5e of sui9cide- the higher the level of social isolation, the greater the likelihood of suicide. Source: Atkinson, 1978. Item C: A typical suicide? (Image) The Drunkards children by George Cruikshank (1848) The maniac Father and the Convict Brother are gone- The poor girl, homeless, friendless, deserted, destitute and gin mad commits self-murder. Source: Durkheim: 1970 1) How do Items A and B illustrate Positivism and interpretivism? 2) Explain Item C from a) Durkheims and b) Atkinsons view. 18
  19. 19. Ethical Research group task Working in groups of three you will research a famous social science study and discover some of the ethical implications faced by the researchers. You will present your study to the class next lesson. The famous studies are shown below. You will be allocated a topic. Standford Prison Laud Humphreys Experiment „Tea Rooms‟ The case of David Reimer Tuskagee Syphilis study The Milgram Study Complete the table Allocated topic of research Group members My role within group Nazi Experiments 19
  20. 20. Ethical research Presentation Things to consider This assignment will test your exam skills including AO1 K&U, AO2 Interpretation, Application and Evaluation. Remember you will present your findings to the class. Your presentation must last between 5 and 10 minutes. If you choose to use PowerPoint you must use up to 30 words per slide only. You may use YouTube clips but you must not depend on them. You must also explain how the clip is relevant to your study. You will be formally assessed. Please see the feedback sheet on the next page. The students with the highest grades will be rewarded. When researching your allocated topic you must answer the following questions: What is the study about? When did it happen? What methods did the researchers use? What are the pros to their research? What are the ethical implications to their research? o Did participants give their consent? o Did the researchers protect the confidentiality of the participants? o What impact did the research have on the participants? o Were the groups vulnerable? o Was the research covert? I.e. did the participants know that researcher was in fact a researcher? What was the overall outcome of the research? 20
  21. 21. Marker: Miss K. L. Little Day: Group Name: Week: Time: AS Sociology Topic Marking Scheme for group presentations mark for detail, then award overall mark for each section 1) Content Introduction and Structure: identifies objectives, purpose, gains audience’s attention logical, clear, comprehensive Key points and Body: displays a good grasp of the subject an accurate account; addresses core issues is appropriate for audience, clear, explicit, specific, well argued Well Researched and References authoritative sources used, clearly referenced Close: provides conclusion, integration and control 1) Content Mark Overall - comments 2) Media Visual aids (1): appropriate, well executed, pictures, tables and diagrams (if used) are used intelligently Visual aids (2): argument/understanding enhanced by pertinent visual aids Media control: planned, well managed, slick, non intrusive 2) Media Mark Overall - comments 1=poor 1 5=best 2 3 4 5 1) Content Mark /5 mode average 2) Media Mark /5 mode average 21
  22. 22. 3) Process/Professionalism: Clear speech: audible, nervousness controlled Personal energy: has enthusiasm, show confidence/control; avoids reading from notes; addresses whole audience, projects personality, Audience engaged: attention captured and sustained Questions: handled effectively and informatively Timekeeping: Finished in allocated time 3) Process Mark Overall - comments 4) Overview - Effectiveness and Reflections: Your overview, reflection and comments 3) Process Mark /5 mode average 4) Overview Mark /5 Add the marks for each section together to mark out of 20 /20 NB: Your audience mark will only count if we have evidence that you used scheme above, for better marks you need to ensure that you include comments as well as marks You may find it helpful to use this sheet as a checklist when preparing your presentation. 22
  23. 23. Ethical Presentation Feedback sheet Listen and observe the presentation of your peers. Write down a WWW and EBI for each group. Additionally, think of a question to ask the group at the end of their presentation. Group Members and Topic WWW EBI Question Key terms associated with this section include; Interpretivism Positivism Ethics Qualitative Remember to update your glossary Quantitative 23
  24. 24. Essay style questions Look at the following 20 mark essay questions. Using your preferred essay templates, plan each essay. You will be expected to write each essay up under timed conditions. Examine the theoretical, ethical and practical factors that influence a sociologist‟s choice of research method. Examine some of the reasons why some sociologists collect quantitative data as part of their research. Examine the reasons why most sociologists prefer to carry out primary research. 24
  25. 25. Lab experiments Read the item below and fill in the blanks Artificial Laws fully controlled cause and effect varied interaction human beings experiments repeatable theories verification scientists The laboratory experiment is often used by natural__________but not very often by sociologists. Experiments are seen as desirable because they enable the research environment to be__________in order that__________relationships can be established. The results are open to__________because they are__________by another researcher. In this way evidence can be built up into__________and_________ However, it is much more difficult to apply this method to__________as they differ from each other in many ways and their reactions may also be extremely__________ Laboratory__________are seen by sociologists as inappropriate for studying social__________as they are such an__________environment. In the exam you must be able to identify advantages and disadvantages of each method of research. Complete the table below. Evaluation of Lab experiments in Sociology A02) Advantages Disadvantages 25
  26. 26. M IC Lab Experiments in context An example of field experiments in the Sociology of health and illness. Rosenhan, ‘On being sane in insane places’ Rosenhan was interested in discovering how staff of mental hospitals made sense of a labelled people as mentally ill. He arranged for perfectly sane „patients‟ to fake the symptoms of schizophrenia (hearing voices), and they were admitted to hospital, unknown to staff as fakes. Once admitted to hospital, they behaved normally. All were diagnosed as schizophrenics, even though they were perfectly healthy. Rosenhanh reversed the experiment, telling hospital staff they could expect patients who would be faking illness. The staff eventually thought they had identified the fake patients, but all those they identified were actually genuine patients who wanted help. Questions: 1. Identify and explain three reasons why the experimental method may not be suitable for sociological research. 2. What aims to Rosenhan have in carrying out his research? 3. In what way could this research me useful to others? 4. Do you think there are any ethical difficulties in this research? 5. To what extent do you think it might be possible generalise this research? Would you need more information to answer this question? 26
  27. 27. Secret Eaters http://www.channel4.com/programmes/secreteaters/4od#3524968 Secret Eaters is a popular diet show on Channel 4 that uses experiments to understand the weight gain of individuals in modern day society. Emma and Paul from Warrington are overweight. They claim that they are healthy and the amount of food they eat does not explain their excess weight. They agreed to take part in a health experiment with channel 4 to see exactly where they are going wrong. Watch the episode and answer the questions. 1) Is the method of research used a lab or field experiment? Make notes in the table below to help you draw a conclusion? Lab Experiment Field Experiment Similarities 27
  28. 28. 2) Consider the following problems and complete the table below; Problems Evidence Are there any ethical issues? Is the study reliable? Is the data valid? Are there any practical problems? Is there any evidence of the „Hawthorne effect‟? 3) What would a positivist say about this method of research? 4) What would an interpretivist say about this method of research? Exam Tip! Remember in the exam to draw reference to Positivism and interpretivism for key AO1 & AO2 marks. 28
  29. 29. 5) What other method of research could you use in order to gain an understanding of weight gain in modern society? Explain why you would use this method and consider the pros and cons. ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... 6) In the Beauty Salon in London, what to the Secret Eaters team do? What kind of experiment is this? Explain. ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... 7) Secret Science: Size matters According to Psychologist Doctor David Lewis many people over eat because of portion size. Over the years on average plates have increased 5cms in size. When individuals put a „normal‟ size portion on a plate the food looks small, we therefore tend to fill the plate up and therefore eat more. To put the theory to the test Dr Lewis and the secret eaters team organise a controlled experiment involving the public. Watch the experiment and complete the table. 29
  30. 30. Question Answer What type of experiment is this? What did the experiment involve? Are there any ethical issues? Is the study reliable? Is the data valid? Are there any practical problems? Is there any evidence of the „Hawthorne effect‟? 8) What were the results of the experiment? ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... 9) How do you think the participants felt after realising they were part of an experiment? ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................................................... 30
  31. 31. Complete the PERVERTED table in relation to Lab Experiments Practical Ethical Reliable Valid Examples Representative Theory Explain Data Uses in studying Health 31
  32. 32. Lab Experiments Quick Check questions Check your answers at www.sociology.uk.net 1. What are the similarities and differences between a lab experiment and the comparative method? 2. State (a) one practical problem and (b) one ethical problem of conducting lab experiments in Sociology. 3. What is the Hawthorne effect? 4. Explain what is meant by (a) an independent variable (b) experimenter bias. 5. Suggest two advantages of using the comparative method. Key terms associated with this section include; Hypothesis Correlation Experimental effect Variables Lab experiment Hawthorne effect Replication Field experiment Experiment bias Remember to update your glossary 32
  33. 33. Exam style questions on Lab experiments Explain what is meant by a „control group‟ (2 marks) Explain the difference between the dependent variable and the independent variable in an experiment. (4 marks) A dependent variable refers to…… (2 mark) Use a cohesion word to link your sentences i.e. „however‟, „whereas‟, „in contrast to this‟……… The independent variable is….. ( 2 mark) Suggest two criticisms of field experiments. (4 marks) Criticism one (1 mark) Explain (1 mark) Criticism two (1 mark) Explain (1 mark) Essay style questions Examine the advantages and disadvantages of using lab experiments in sociological research. (20 marks) (AO1 10, AO2 10). 33
  34. 34. MIC essay question Item D Investigating diet and health Sociologists are interested in the relationship between diet and health for at least two reasons. Firstly, inequalities in health can be caused by class, gender and ethnic differences in diet. Secondly, media pressure to conform to an ideal body image may be leading to an increase in eating disorders. Some sociologists may use unstructured interviews to investigate diet and health. For example, feminists argue that this method gives women a voice and this is useful because women are more likely than men to suffer eating disorders. Unstructured interviews can also be useful for exploring the meanings that members of different social groups give to diet and health. However, interviewees may not always be truthful about their eating habits: for example, when these break religious dietary norms. Other sociologists may use lab experiments to investigate diet and health. This includes controlled and field experiments. Experiments allow participants to act „naturally‟ within a controlled environment however they are not without flaws. Using material from Item D and elsewhere assess the strengths and limitations of one of the following methods for investigating diet and health: Unstructured interviews Lab experiments (AO1 8 marks, AO2 12 Marks) Using your preferred essay template structure, plan and construct an essay to answer the above questions. 34
  35. 35. Preparing to conduct a social survey Many people confuse social surveys with a questionnaire. In your own words explain what is meant by a social survey and questionnaire. Using the resources available to you find out what the stages to conducting survey involve? Choose a topic Determine aim/ hypothesis Operationalise concepts Conduct pilot study Select sample Decide whether face to face, postal etc. Conduct survey Analyse data 35
  36. 36. Types of questions in a survey Activity 1. Choose a topic you are familiar with (e.g. gender and family, class and diet) and design: a) Three open ended questions b) Three closed ended questions: one with yes/ no answers and two others. 2. Different types of question are suited to different research purposes. For each of the following, would you use closed-ended or open- ended questions? If you want: a) To collect information quickly b) Respondents to answer in their own words c) To discuss the reasons behind the respondents behaviour d) The answers to be easily quantified e) To Maximise validity f) To Maximise reliability 36
  37. 37. Operationalising concepts activity In pairs, discuss how you might operationalise the following concepts so you could use them in researching health: Poverty Disability Ethnicity What problems may you encounter when operationalising them? Concept Poverty Operationalise Problems Disability Ethnicity 37
  38. 38. Sample: a selection from the research The sampling population frame: A list of members of the research population Sampling unit: The a member of respondents the research /participants population Why do Sociologists use a sample? 38
  39. 39. Sampling: AO1 skills: Match the term to the correct definition. Use different colours. Sample A member of the research population Sampling unit A list of members of the research population Sampling A selection of people from the sampling frame i.e. frame every nth member. Random sample Members of the sample select each other. Snowball Members of the sample are self selected. sample Stratified The researcher selects a series of different places sample and then chooses a sample at random within the cluster of people within these areas. Systematic A sample which attempts to reflect particular sample characteristics of the research population. The population is divided into strata in terms of age, gender etc and the sample is randomly drawn from each stratum. Cluster sample A stratified sample in which selection from the strata is not random. Quota sample A sample which gives every member of the sampling frame an equal chance of being selected. Volunteer A selection from the research population sample 39
  40. 40. In each of the following cases, suggest both a hypothesis you might wish to test and how you might obtain your sampling frame and your sample: Case The attitudes of family doctors to changes in the NHS. Hypothesis Sample frame and sample The reasons why few female school-leavers in a town go on to computer courses at a local college. A survey of young mothers A survey of football hooligans The attitude of gay men to the police 40
  41. 41. The Health Survey for England 11,520 addresses in the same 720 postcode Read the Item and answer the questions. The Health survey for England (HSE) is part of a programme of surveys commissioned by the information centre for health and social care, and has been carried out regularly since 1994; they have become increasingly broader over time. The study provided sectors as the main sample. Interviews were held with 7630 adults aged 16 and over and 1852 children from the general population. The boost sample resulted in an additional 2673 adults aged 65 and over and 1142 children aged 2-15 being interviewed. information on changing health trends and Response rate: 89% of adults in the general risk households agreed to be interviewed and factors linked to certain health conditions. 97% of older people chosen agreed. Sampling Interview and questionnaire Thr most recent survey, the HSE 2005, The survey used a mixture of interviews and included a general population sample of self adults and children, representative of the interview included questions on core topics whole such as general health, alcohol consumption, population at both national and completed smoking were randomly selected in 720 postcode consumption. Older informants were also sectors. asked about use of health, dental and social eligible for inclusion in the survey. However, where there were three or more children aged 0-15 in a household, two of the children were selected at random. As the 2005 survey was focusing on older people, a booster sample of people aged 65 fruit and The regional level. In total, 7200 addresses At each address, everyone in them was and questionnaires. vegetable care services, cardiovascular disease (CVD) chronic diseases and quality of care, disabilities and falls. Craig, R and Mindell, J (eds) (2007) Health Survey for England 2005. The health of older people: Summary of key findings. Joint health Survey Unit. www.ic.nhs.uk/webfiles/piblications/hseolder/HSESummary.pd f and over was selected which consisted of 1. What sampling frame was used in this research? ..................................................................................................................................................................... 2. How many households were chosen in (a) the main sample and (b) the booster sample? ............................................................................................................................. ......................................... ............................................................................................................................. ....................................... 3. Why do you think they obtained such a high response rate (a typical response rate is lower that 60%)? ............................................................................................................................. ......................................... .................................................................................................................................................................... 4. What problems do you think might occur when interviewing older people? ...................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................. ......................................... 41
  42. 42. Key terms associated with this section include; Social survey Random sample Snowball sample Sample Stratified sample Volunteer sample Sampling unit Systematic sample Remember to update Sampling frame Quota sample your glossary Response sample Quick Check Questions Check your answers at www.sociology.uk.net 1) Explain the difference between an open ended question and a closed ended question. 2) State one advantage of having a hypothesis before starting research. 3) Explain the difference between and aim and a hypothesis. 4) What is a pilot study? 5) What does operationalisation of concepts mean? 6) How may a sample by stratified? 42
  43. 43. Exam style questions on sampling Explain what is meant by the term „quota sample‟ (2 marks) Explain the difference between a sampling frame and a sample (4 marks). A sampling frame refers to…… (2 marks) Use a cohesion word to link your sentences i.e. „however‟, „whereas‟, „in contrast to this‟……… A sample is….. ( 2 marks) Identify two sampling techniques used by sociologists in their research (4 marks) Sample one (1 mark) Explain (1 mark) Sample two mark) (1 Explain (1 mark) 43
  44. 44. Questionnaires Getting you thinking. Go to the website; http://www.seventeen.com/fun/quizzes/fun/good-friend-quiz and complete the quiz. Are you a good friend? Consider the following questions; 1) According to the quiz are you a good friend? 2) Do you think that the conclusion about your strengths and weaknesses as a friend is justified? Explain your answer. 3) Do you think people will answer all questions honestly? Explain your answer. 4) How good a questionnaire do you think this is? Why? 44
  45. 45. Task: Create a questionnaire. 1) Look at the following research topics Health Media Family Religion Pick one of the above and create a research question or hypothesis. Design a questionnaire to help you answer your research aim. 2) After you have completed your questionnaire, find an appropriate sample and ask the participants to complete your questionnaire. 3) Look at your questionnaire results and demonstrate your findings in an appropriate format. 4) Write a detailed evaluation assessing your questionnaire and research experience. Consider the following; Was your questionnaire appropriate? How would you change your questionnaire? How did you feel speaking to participants? Was this an easy experience? Did you find it easy to present your questionnaire findings? 45
  46. 46. Questionnaire design Use the space below to plan your questionnaire and to answer the above questions. 46
  47. 47. 47
  48. 48. Evaluation ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ............................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ............................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................. ............................................................................................................................. 48
  49. 49. What would a positivist say about questionnaires? What would an interpretivist say about questionnaires? 1) We are often asked to return questionnaires by magazines or to telephone, text or email a radio TV programme to give our views. Suggest two reasons why those who respond to such requests are unlikely to be representative. 1) Explain in your own words why non-response is a problem for sociologists. 2) In Michael Schofields (1965) research on the sexual behaviour of teenagers a young girl was asked in a questionnaire, „Are you a virgin?‟ She answered, „No, not yet‟. Identify the problems of questionnaire research that this suggests. 49
  50. 50. In the exam you must be able to identify advantages and disadvantages of each method of research. Complete the table below. Evaluation of pre coded questionnaires in Sociology A02) Advantages Disadvantages Evaluation of open ended questions (AO2) Advantages Disadvantages Evaluation of postal and other self completion questionnaires Advantages Disadvantages 50
  51. 51. Questionnaires in context The 2003 Children‟s Dental Health Survey Postal questionnaires were used in this 2003 Department of Health survey. This was based on a representative sample of 12,698 children aged between 5 and 15 years of age, attending schools in the UK. The sample was first asked to take part in a dental examination at school and then questionnaires were sent by post to parents to collect background data on their children‟s oral hygiene and dental care with a response rate of 61%. What problems might there be with the validity of parents answers to questions about their children‟s oral hygiene and dental care? .......................................................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................................................... Key terms associated with this topic Self completion questionnaire Structured interview Operationalise Coding Pilot study Closed questions Postal questionnaire Remember to update your glossary 51
  52. 52. Questionnaires Quick Check questions Check your answers at www.sociology.uk.net 1. What is the census? 2. What is a respondent? 3. Suggest on reason why data from questionnaires often tends to be limited and superficial. 4. Why might a low response rate result in the findings of a study being unrepresentative? 5. Suggest one reason why questionnaires are seen as an inflexible method. 6. Suggest two reasons why the data from questionnaires may lack validity. 7. Explain what is meant by a correlation. 8. Why might questionnaires be described as „snapshots‟ of social reality? 9. Identify one practical problem researchers might face when using postal questionnaires. 10. Explain why positivists sociologists might prefer to use questionnaires in their research. 11. Suggest two reasons why questionnaires might be regarded as a reliable method of sociological research. 52
  53. 53. Complete the PERVERTED table in relation to questionnaires Practical Ethical Reliable Valid Examples Representative Theory Explain Data Uses in studying Health 53
  54. 54. Exam style questions on questionnaires Explain what is meant by the term „postal questionnaire‟. (2 marks) Suggest two problems with questionnaire research. (4 marks). One problem (1 mark) Explain problem ( 1 mark) Two problem (1 mark) Explain problem (1 marks) Suggest two reasons why the results obtained from a postal questionnaire may not be representative of the population that it aims to study. (4 marks) One reason (1 mark) Explain (1 mark) Two reason (1 mark) Explain (1 mark) Essay style question Examine some of the problems that some sociologists may face when using postal questionnaires in their research. 54
  55. 55. MIC essay question This question requires you to apply your knowledge and understanding of sociological research methods to the study of this particular issue in health. Read Item D below and answer the question that follows. Item D Investigating diet and health Sociologists are interested in the relationship between diet and health for at least two reasons. Firstly, inequalities in health can be caused by class, gender and ethnic differences in diet. Secondly, media pressure to conform to an ideal body image may be leading to an increase in eating disorders. Some sociologists may use unstructured interviews to investigate diet and health. For example, feminists argue that this method gives women a voice and this is useful because women are more likely than men to suffer eating disorders. Unstructured interviews can also be useful for exploring the meanings that members of different social groups give to diet and health. However, interviewees may not always be truthful about their eating habits: for example, when these break religious dietary norms. Other sociologists may use self-completion questionnaires to investigate diet and health. These are usually anonymous, encouraging respondents to answer honestly about their eating habits. Questionnaires also allow researchers to ask about a wide range of social factors to see if they correlate with differences in people‟s diet and health. However, some dietary-related terms, such as „calories‟ or „dinnertime‟, may be misunderstood. 1 4 Using material from Item D and elsewhere, assess the strengths and limitations of one of the following methods for investigating diet and health: EITHER unstructured interviews OR self-completion questionnaires. (20 marks) Using your preferred essay template structure, plan and construct an essay to answer the above questions. 55
  56. 56. Interviews Interview Role Play task In pairs and small groups you will be allocated one of the research questions/ hypotheses below. Research hypotheses and questions A Level students are more likely to binge drink in comparison to vocational students To what extent to young adults (16-19) view teenage pregnancy as a form of social deviance? A Level students are more likely to have an abortion in comparison to other students. Working class families are more likely to eat fast food in comparison to middle class families. You will then be allocated an interview type below. Semi structured Define each interview (AO1) Unstructured Group interview You have 45 minutes to plan, produce and conduct an interview. You must consider the following; Ethics The type of questioning you would use. How you would present yourself to prevent interview bias or effect The environment you conduct the interview How you would find a sample Allocation My Hypothesis My interview type My role within the group 56
  57. 57. Remember, some of you will be performing your interview to the class. With this in mind you must take on a new identity. Complete the character identity card below; What is your name? How old are you? What is your occupation? Summarise character. Think about their personality/ friendships/ criminality etc 57
  58. 58. Plan your interview in the space below 58
  59. 59. Stephen Frosh et al (2002) Asking boys difference does it make being a boy questions from this background? Have you ever thought you‟d not like Stephen Frosh wanted to find out how boys to be? in the early years of secondary school came Are there things you dislike about to an idea of what masculinity means to boys from other ethnic and cultural them and how this impacts upon their behaviour and their learning. backgrounds? Frosh Are there things you admire about undertook two main types of qualitative boys from other ethnic and cultural research: group interviews/ focus groups backgrounds? and informal interviews. In total 78 boys were interviewed. Youth Lifetime Leisure Survey Each interviewer was given a list of topics The following questions were taken from and possible questions which guided them quantitative study into bullying by young though the interview. This is a perfect people. It was part of a Home Office example of qualitative, semi structured national survey and was completed by 4800 interviewing methods. All the answers were people between the ages of 12 and 30. recorded and then transcribed, and the researchers looked for the key themes that emerged. Would you say that students are bullied by other students.... General self description Could you tell me three things you think are important about yourself? a) A lot b) a little c) or not at all? In the last 12 MONTHS, have you been bullied by other students? Ethnicity What ethnic group do you think you belong to? Do you see some boys as belonging to a different ethnic group to you? How Bullying would you describe their a) Yes b) No If yes... how often has this happened in the last 12 months? a) Everyday b) A few times a week c) background? Do you go around with Once or twice a week d) Once every boys from this/ these backgrounds? two weeks e) Once a month Why/ why not? Do you do the same Less often than this g) It varies things with them as boys from your „own‟ ethnic background? Can you imagine having a girlfriend from a different ethnic group? Do you think boys are treated f) In the last 12 months, have other students made you give them money or your personal possessions? a) Yes b) No differently because of where their parents come from? Is your ethnic background important to you? What 59
  60. 60. Questions 1) Draw your own double bubble map and compare the questions in the two paragraphs in the space below. 2) What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of questioning? Stephen Frosh questions Advantages Disadvantages Advantages Leisure survey Disadvantages 60
  61. 61. 3) Which type of questioning do you think is more time consuming? Why? 4) Which type of questioning do you think is likely to lead to greater reliability? Why? 5) Which type of questioning do you think is likely to lead to greater validity? Why? 6) Considering only the second set of questions on ethnicity, do you think that there might be different answers if the questions were asked by; a) Females rather than males? b) African Caribbean origin researchers rather than white researchers? 7) Explain how bias might possibly creep into this form of research interview. 61
  62. 62. Interviewing Item A: Interviewers Brad Eliza Do-little Maggie T Marlon Mary Beard Item B: Three interviews Interview one: An eight year old Black boy from Harlem in New York is interviewed by a friendly White interviewer who presents him with a toy jet plane and asks him to describe it. The setting is formal. There are long silences followed by short two three word answers, which hardly provide an adequate description of a plane. Interview two: Another Black boy from Harlem is interviewed. Again the setting is formal but this time the interviewer is Black and raised in Harlem. The boy responds in much the same way as the boy in the first interview. Interview three: The boy and the interviewer are the same as in the second interview. This time the interviewer sits on the floor, the boy is provided with a supply of crisps and his best friend is invited along. The change is dramatic. The boy is enthusiastic, talkative, and gives a detailed description of the toy plane. 62
  63. 63. Questions 1. You are being interviewed on a) Your sexual behaviour b) Your views on race and racism c) Your views on animal rights Choose an interviewer from Item A. Explain your choices. ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................................................... 2. Explain the idea of interviewer bias using your answers to question one. ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................................... 3. Suggest reasons for the similarities and differences between the three interviews in item B. ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................................... 63
  64. 64. In the box below state the advantages and disadvantages of each interview type. Structured interviews Advantages Disadvantages Unstructured interviews Advantages Disadvantages Focus group interviews Advantages Disadvantages 64
  65. 65. What would a positivist say about interviews? What would an interpretivist say about interviews? Key terms associated with this topic Group interview Focus group interview Interviewer bias Structured interview Non directive interviewing Semi structured interview Rapport Unstructured interview Remember to update your glossary. 65
  66. 66. Complete the PERVERTED table in relation to interviews Practical Ethical Reliable Valid Examples Representative Theory Explain Data Uses in studying Health 66
  67. 67. Interview Quick Check questions Check your answers at www.sociology.uk.net 1) Which of the following do you associate with structured interviews and which with unstructured? a) Rapport f) Similar to questionnaire b) Informal g) Pre-coding questions c) Standardised h) Probing d) Quantitative data i) Findings easily analysed e) Freedom to vary questions 2) What is a focus group? 3) Identify one similarity and one difference between structured interviews and postal questionnaires. 4) True or false? Structured interviews produce valid data whereas unstructured interviews produce reliable data. 5) Give two examples of ways in that an interviewer might influence an interviewee‟s answer. 6) What is the social desirability effect? 67
  68. 68. Exam style questions on interviews Explain what is meant by the term „semi structured interview‟. (2 marks) Suggest two disadvantages that sociologists might find when using structured interviews. (4 marks). One problem (1 mark) Explain problem ( 1 mark) Two problem (1 mark) Explain problem (1 marks) Suggest two advantages of „unstructured interviews‟. (4 marks) One reason (1 mark) Explain (1 mark) Two reason (1 mark) Explain (1 mark) Essay style question Examine the advantages for sociologists in using unstructured interviews in their research. (20 marks) 68
  69. 69. MIC essay question Item D Patients’ experiences of Accident and Emergency services Accident and Emergency (A & E) services operate round the clock, dealing with a wide variety of acute cases, including accidents in the home, cardiac arrests, alcohol abuse and stabbings. Some patients arrive by emergency ambulance, while others walk in off the street. Some may be distressed, confused or violent. A & E departments can suddenly become intensely busy. These settings have hierarchies of authority and may have targets for things such as waiting times. Some sociologists may use non-participant observation to study patients‟ experiences of A & E services. One advantage of this is that they can see how staffs treat different types of patient. Because A & E departments are more open than many healthcare settings, the observer may gain access relatively easily. However, for both practical and ethical reasons, they may see only a small fraction of what goes on. Other sociologists may use structured interviews to study patients‟ experiences of A & E services. One advantage of this is that the interviewer can record answers for patients who cannot do so themselves. It also allows the researcher to gather basic, standardised data on patients relatively quickly. However, hospital staff may not permit the researcher to interview all the patients that they wish to. 1 4 Using material from Item D and elsewhere, assess the strengths and limitations of one of the following methods for investigating patients‟ experiences of Accident and Emergency services: EITHER non-participant observation OR structured interviews. Using your preferred essay template structure, plan and construct an essay to answer the above questions. 69
  70. 70. Observation Look at the three examples of observational studies below and decide which one is most likely to be done using (a) covert participant observation (b) overt nonparticipant observation (c) covert non participant observation. Explain why in the final column. Observing the interactions of mothers and children using a hidden camera. Joining a criminal gang. Sitting in to observe a school lesson. Think! Suggest two reasons why characteristics such as a researcher‟s age, gender, social class, ethnicity or personal appearance may prove an obstacle to „getting into a group. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Why might it be a good idea to avoid taking leadership roles when doing participant observation? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 70
  71. 71. Willian Foote Whyte, Street Corner Society (1955) Four classical studies with This is a study of an Italian-American street corner gang in Boston in the United States. participant observation Whyte spend three and a half years in the area as a participant observer, including living in an Italian house with the group he was studying Laud Humphreys, The Tea Room Trad: Impersonal sex in public places (1970) and he became a member of the gang. Humphreys wanted to study the gay subculture, and James Patrick, A Glasgow Gang Observed observed the sexual activity of gay men in ninety public toilets („tea rooms‟) in American cities in the 1960s. He (1973) Patrick used a covert role to study violent and delinquent teenage Glasgow gang over a period of four months between October 1966 and January 1967. Eileen Barker, The Making of a Moonie (1984) This is a study of members of the Unification Church, a controversial religious sect headed by the Rev. Moon. Barker used overt participant observation over a period of six years, accepting the risk this could mean people initially adopted a covert roles a „gay voyeur‟ (someone who liked watching sex between men) and „watch queen‟- a lookout for other men in case of police interference. Humphreys became an accepted part of the gay scene in Chicago, through visiting gay bars and other parts of the gay scene. Adopting a more overt role, he also interviewed some men. Humphreys noted the car numbers of many gay men who used the „tearooms‟ and, through police contacts, was able to get their addresses and background information for interview research a year later as part of a health survey. Humphreys had to disguise his appearance during this survey so he wouldn‟t be recognised by men he had met. she was studying could be affected by her presence. Questions Suggest ways the personal characteristics of the researcher may have been important in enabling him or her in each case to do the research. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. What difficulties do you think the researcher might have found in each study in; Getting into the group? Staying in the group? Getting out of the group without damaging personal relationships? ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 71
  72. 72. Using the space below write about any (a) ethical difficulties and (b) problems of validity there might have been with any of these examples of research. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. 72
  73. 73. In the box below state the advantage and disadvantages of different types of participant observation. Covert observation Advantages Disadvantages Overt observation Advantages Disadvantages Structured observation Advantages Disadvantages 73
  74. 74. Eileen Barker and the Moonies Read the extract and answer the questions below. “Of course it was known that I was not a Moonie. I never pretended that I was, or that I was likely to become one. I admit that I was sometimes evasive, and I certainly did not always say everything that was on my mind, but I cannot remember any occasion on which I consciously lied to a Moonie. Being known as a non-member had its disadvantages, but by talking to people who had left the movement I was able to check that I was not missing any of the internal information which was available to rank and file members. At the same time, being an outsider who was „inside‟ had enormous advantages. I was allowed (even, on certain occasions, expected) to ask questions that no member would have presumed to ask either his leaders or his peers. Furthermore, several Moonies who felt that their problems were not understood by leaders, and yet would have not dreamed of being disloyal to the movement by talking to their parents or other outsiders, could confide in me because of the very fact that I was both organisationally and emotionally uninvolved”. (Eileen Barker, The making of a Moonie, Oxford: Blackwell, 1984). Questions 1. With reference to the passage above, explain in your own words the advantages Barker found in adopting an overt role. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2. What ethical problems are involved in Barkers admission that she was „sometimes evasive‟? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 74
  75. 75. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3. Barker says „being known as a non-member had its disadvantages‟. What disadvantages do you think she may have come across? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4. Do you consider there are any circumstances in which adopting a covert role in research might be justified? Explain your answer. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5. Humphreys took car numbers of gay men who used public toilets to obtain gay sex and through police contacts, was able to research a year later as part of a health survey. What ethical difficulties do you think this poses? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 75
  76. 76. Karl Pilkington- An Idiot Abroad Watch the first episode of Karl Pilkington‟s „Idiot Abroad‟ and consider the questions. What type of observation does Karl use? ........................................................................... How do you know this? ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................. Do you think that this documentary is representative? Explain. ................................................................................. ................................................................................... What has Karl learned about this culture? ................................................................................... Why does he think this way? ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... Do you think Karl would „go native‟? Explain. ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... Has Karl produced valid information? Can you identify some of the pros and cons Explain. to Karl‟s research methods in China? ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... Does Karl produce reliable information? ................................................................................... Explain. ................................................................................. ................................................................................... 76
  77. 77. M IC Methods in Context Look at the following health related images and select one. Care of the elderly at hospital Postnatal depression of mothers Sexual health of young people Social stigma attached to obesity Consider the following and use the space provided on the following page to write down your ideas and suggestions. How would you set about a participant observation study? Make a list of things you will need to consider. For example what kind of observer role you might adopt (overt or covert). How would you get in and stay in? What steps would you take to ensure your research was valid? What ethical issues would you need to consider? 77
  78. 78. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. 78
  79. 79. What would a positivist say about observations? What would an interpretivist say about observation? Key terms associated with Observation Participant observation Key informant Ethnography Non participant observation Covert research Behaviour schedule Overt research Structured observation Remember to update your glossary 79
  80. 80. Complete the PERVERTED table in relation to observations Practical Ethical Reliable Valid Examples Representative Theory Explain Data Uses in studying Health 80
  81. 81. Observation Quick Check Questions Check your answers at www.sociology.uk.net 1) What do sociologists mean by „verstehen‟? 2) Why can participant observation be described as a flexible method? 3) What problems might the observer have in leaving the group that have been observing? 4) State two advantages of using over participant observation. 5) Why might participant observation not produce: a) Representative data b) Reliable data 6) Suggest two reasons why participant observation may produce valid data. 81
  82. 82. Exam style questions on Observation Explain what is meant by the term „covert participant observation‟. (2 marks) Suggest two reasons why sociologists use „overt participant observation.‟ (4 marks). One reason (1 mark) Explain reason ( 1 mark) Two reason (1 mark) Explain reason (1 marks) Suggest two advantages of „covert observation‟. (4 marks) One reason (1 mark) Explain (1 mark) Two reason (1 mark) Explain (1 mark) Essay style question Examine the problems that sociologists face when using covert participant observation and covert non participant observation in their research. (20 marks) 82
  83. 83. MIC essay Item D Investigating interactions between nurses and patients Nurses work in a wide variety of settings and specialisms, and with many types of patients. Their job often involves high levels of physical intimacy with patients‟ bodily functions, as well as dealing with people who are dying and those in severe pain or distress. Many nurses are members of minority ethnic groups and most are female. Many face harassment or prejudice from patients. From 2013, entry to the profession will be restricted to those with a degree in nursing. Some sociologists may use participant observation to investigate interactions between nurses and patients. It can give the researcher first-hand experience as well as a „behind-the-scenes‟ view of nurses and their attitudes. Participant observation also enables the researcher to approach a subject about which they may know little with an open mind rather than a ready-made hypothesis. However, the participant observer cannot easily obtain a picture of the full range of interactions between nurses and patients. Other sociologists may use self-completion written questionnaires to investigate interactions between nurses and patients. Questionnaires can allow researchers to correlate factors such as nurses‟ and patients‟ age, gender and ethnicity with the kinds of interactions they have. Patients may welcome the opportunity to express their feelings about their treatment anonymously. However, ethical issues may prevent nurses from answering some questions about their interactions with patients. 1 4 Using material from Item D and elsewhere, assess the strengths and limitations of one of the following methods for investigating interactions between nurses and patients: EITHER participant observation OR self-completion questionnaires. (20 marks) Using your preferred essay template structure, plan and construct an essay to answer the above questions. 83
  84. 84. Secondary sources Ethnicity and crime statistics In 2005, Black Caribbean‟s and Black Africans made up around 3% of the UK population, but 15% of the prison population. The police rely on the public to report crimes to them. Evidence indicates that white people are more likely to report Black rather than White suspects. Black males were five times more likely to be stopped by police under the stop and search powers. If arrested for the same offence, Blacks were more likely to be charged than their White counterparts. And if found guilty of the same offence, Black people were more likely to be sent to prison. Research indicates that statistics which link ethnicity and crime result from a series of decisions based on prejudice and discrimination. This is why so many Black people end up in prison. Questions a) What are the statistics in item A actually measuring? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. b) Do they indicate a link between ethnicity and crime? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 84
  85. 85. Crime statistics 1) Suggest three types of crime that may not be reported to the Police. 2) For each example, suggest why this may be so on. 3) Suggest three reasons why the police do not record all the crimes reported to them. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................ ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................. 85
  86. 86. Suicide Statistics Read the following passage and then answer the questions beneath. “Suicide is by definition, the death of a person who intended to kill him or herself. The problem for coroners is they can‟t ask dead people if they meant to kill themselves, so they can only guess at the truth by looking for „clues‟ in the circumstances surrounding the death. Atkinson has suggested there are four main factors which coroners take into account when deciding whether a death in a suicide or not: Whether there was a suicide note. The way the person died, for example by hanging, drowning or a drug overdose. Death in a road accident rarely results in a suicide verdict. The place the death occurred and the circumstances surrounding it; for example, a drug overdose in a remote wood would be more likely to be seen as a suicide than if it occurred at home in bed. A coroner might also consider circumstances such as whether the person had been drinking alcohol before taking the drugs, and whether the drugs had been hoarded or not. The life history and mental health state of the dead person, such as her or his state of health, and whether the victim was in debt, had just failed exams, lost a job, got divorced and was depressed or not. Coroners do not always agree on the way they interpret these clues. For example, Atkinson found one coroner believed a death by drowning was likely to be a suicide if the clothes were left neatly folded on the beach, but another coroner might attach little importance to this‟. 86
  87. 87. Questions 1. How is suicide defined in the passage? 2. Why do you think coroners attach such importance to suicide notes? 3. Suggest two reasons why the presence or absence of a suicide note might be an unreliable „clue‟ to a dead person‟s intention to die. 4. Suggest ways with reasons in which relatives and friends might try to persuade a coroner that a death was not a suicide but an accident. 5. With reference to the evidence in the passage, suggest reasons why sociologists should be very careful about using official statistics on suicide as a record of the real number of suicide in society. 87
  88. 88. What would a positivist say about official statistics? What would an interpretivist say about official statistics? Official statistics Advantages Disadvantages 88
  89. 89. Consider the limitations of Health Statistics 89
  90. 90. Complete the PERVERTED table in relation to official statistics Practical Ethical Reliable Valid Examples Representative Theory Explain Data Uses in studying Health 90
  91. 91. Case Studies and Life Histories Case study activity The only thing that prevented me from enjoying my first year at high school was one person in my class who started to bully me. This led to several other people following his example and my life became a sheer misery. At first, I was upset but able to cope with it, and then I became angry and distressed. I couldn‟t sleep for worrying about the next day. It would be name calling stone throwing and threatening. It all got too much and I decided to tell my Mum and Dad. We all agreed that I had to tell the teacher. The next day though worried, I did. The teacher was very sympathetic and said it must stop. We had lunch meetings to discuss the problems. The bullies were very surprised that they were included instead of being punished. We discussed my feelings at being bullied and we would agree on some plan of action so that I would get support from my friends. Once the bullies realised that they were being included, the bullying ceased. Source: Donnellan 1994 Question Using examples from this activity, suggest some advantages of the case study approach. Case studies and life histories Advantages Disadvantages 91
  92. 92. Longitudinal studies Longitudinal Studies Advantages Disadvantages MIC Activity Imagine you are conducting a large scale longitudinal study of members of Alcoholics Anonymous groups from different social backgrounds who have given up alcohol. 1) What would be the advantage of re-interviewing your sample every year for five years? 2) What problems might you face in carrying out this longitudinal study? 92

×