SociologyExchange.co.uk Shared Resource

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SociologyExchange.co.uk Shared Resource

  1. 1. 1
  2. 2. 2 MIC Past Paper Questions Jan 09 Using material from Item B and elsewhere, assess the strengths and limitations of one of the following methods for investigating boys’ underachievement: EITHER (i) official statistics OR (ii) unstructured interviews. June 09 Using material from Item B and elsewhere, assess the strengths and limitations of one of the following methods for investigating teachers’ attitudes towards minority ethnic group pupils: EITHER participant observation OR questionnaires. (20 marks) Jan 10 Using material from Item B and elsewhere, assess the strengths and limitations of one of the following methods for investigating the effect of material deprivation on educational achievement: EITHER (i) unstructured interviews OR (ii) offi cial statistics. (20 marks) June 10 Using material from Item B and elsewhere, assess the strengths and limitations of one of the following methods for investigating anti-school subcultures: EITHER group interviews OR non-participant observation. (20 marks)
  3. 3. 3 ResearchMethods Past Paper Questions Essay Jan 09 Examine the disadvantages some sociologists may find when using official statistics in their research. (20 marks) June 09 Examine the problems some sociologists may face when using experiments in their research. (20 marks) Jan 10 Examine the extent to which practical issues are the most important influence when selecting research methods and a research topic. (20 marks) June 10 Examine the problems some sociologists find with using postal questionnaires in their research. (20 marks) Short Jan 09 (a) Explain what is meant by the term ‘longitudinal’ study. (2 marks) (b) Identify two sampling techniques used in sociological research. (4 marks) (c) Suggest two disadvantages of using media reports in sociological research. (4 marks) June 09 a) Explain what is meant by the term ‘triangulation’. (2 marks) b) Suggest one advantage and one disadvantage of a longitudinal study. (4 marks) c) Suggest two disadvantages that sociologists may find when using unstructured interviews. (4 marks) Jan 10 (a) Explain what is meant by the term ‘hypothesis’. (2 marks) (b) Suggest two advantages of using official statistics in sociological research. (4 marks) (c) Suggest two problems that researchers may face when actively participating in the group they are studying. (4 marks) June 10 a) Explain what is meant by the term ‘secondary’ data. (2 marks) b) Suggest two factors that may influence a sociologist’s choice of research topic. (4 marks) c) Suggest two problems of using personal documents in sociological research. (4 marks)
  4. 4. 4 Old Spec Exam Questions Unit 3 Sociological Methods The (a) question (2 marks) Answer with 1or 2 sentences using an example if helpful. All the questions begin with: Explain what is meant by: June 2007- 'operationalising' a concept January 2007- a 'longitudinal' survey June 2006- a pilot study January 2006- a 'snowball' sample June 2005- a leading question. June 2004- secondary sources January 2004- a representative sample. June 2003- a pilot study. January 2003- triangulation. June 2002- a structured observational schedule. January 2002- a longitudinal study. The (b) question (4 marks) Answer with 2 bullet points. June 2007- Suggest two disadvantages of 'covert' participant observation. January 2007- Suggest two problems with 'joining in the activities of the group under study' when carrying out sociological research. June 2006- Suggest two factors that may influence a sociologist's 'choice of topic to be investigated' January 2006- Suggest two problems that the researchers may have faced in using the 'doorstop survey' June 2005- Suggest two types of "sampling procedure"
  5. 5. 5 June 2004- Suggest one advantage and one disadvantage of carrying out "longitudinal research". January 2004- Identify two reasons why "the content of newspapers and television programmes is generally treated with caution by researchers" June 2003- Suggest two reasons why it may be difficult for researchers to persuade athletes "to be open about their drug use" (in the item). January 2003- Suggest two reasons why the researcher item - might have decided to reject postal surveys as a research technique. June 2002- Explain the difference between "overt and covert" approaches to research. January 2002- Identify two types of sampling procedure used in sociological research. The (c) question (6 marks) Anwer with 3 bullet points June 2007- Suggest three factors that may influence a 'sociologist's selection of research method' January 2007- Suggest three disadvantages of 'using questions with fixed response categories' in sociological research. June 2006- Suggest three problems sociologists may encounter when using 'media reports' in their research. January 2006- Suggest three reasons 'why some sociologists find official statistics useful' in their research. June 2005- Suggest 3 ways in which a researcher could increase the resonse rate to a questionnaire posted to potential respondents. June 2004- Suggest three problems associated with using questionnaires distributed through the post or over the internet. January 2004- Suggest three reasons why sociologists might use documents such as letters, diaries or autobiographies produced by individuals in their research. June 2003- Suggest three factors that influence a researcher's choice of method other than in the item. Note- when you see this make sure you do not repeat what is already in the item as you will not get any marks! January 2003- Suggest three practical problems and concerns that might occur when carrying out research in prisons. June 2002- Suggest three reasons why sociological research is often carried out using only a small sample of research subjects.
  6. 6. 6 January 2002- Suggest three problems sociologists may experience in trying to apply the experimental technique to the study of social behaviour. The (d) question (8 marks) Answer with 2 paragraphs All the questions begin: Identify and briefly explain: June 2007- two disadvantages of carrying out field experiments. January 2007- two advantages of carrying out overt rather than covert observation in sociological research. June 2006- two reasons why some sociologists prefer to collect and use primary data in their research. January 2006- two disadvantages of using interviews that are 'informal and in-depth' in sociological research. June 2005- 2 advanges of using postal questionnaires. June 2004- 2 reasons why experiments in a laboratory setting are rarely used in sociological research. January 2004- 2 problems associated with the use of quantitative secondary data in sociological research. June 2003- 2 problems with carrying out covert observation of group behaviour. January 2003- 1 advantage and 1 disadvantage in undertaking a longitudinal study of female offenders. June 2002- 2 advantages some sociologists see in participating in the situation they are researching. January 2002- 2 advantages to the sociologists in carrying out their own primary research rather than relying on secondary sources of evidence. The (e) question (20 marks) Answer with a mini-essay bringing in all the relevant perspectives, concepts and studies. The question will not ask you to make explicit links to an item. June 2007- Examine the reasons why some sociologists use secondary data in their research. January 2007- Examine the factors that influence a sociologist's choice of research method.
  7. 7. 7 June 2007- Examine the reasons why some sociologists use secondary data in their research. January 2007- Examine the factors that influence a sociologist's choice of research method. June 2006- Examine the problems that some sociologists may find when using participant observation in their research. January 2006- Examine the problems that sociologists may encounter when using postal questionnaires in their research. June 2005- Examine some of the practical, ethical and theoretical problems of using experiments in sociological research. June 2004- Examine the reasons why some sociologists prefer to collect and use quantitative data in their research. January 2004- Examine the reasons why some sociologists might use participant observation in their research. June 2003- Examine some of the problems that sociologists may encounter when using questionnaires in their research. January 2003- Examine the uses of different kinds of secondary data in sociological research. June 2002- Examine the reasons why sociologists might use personal and historical documents in their research. January 2002- Examine the different factors that influence the sociologist's choice of research methods. The (f) question (20 marks) Answer with a mini-essay 2-3 sides. Make some links with the items as asked and bring in additional information such as perspectives, concepts and studies. All the questions begin with: Using material from item -- and elsewhwere, June 2007- assess the usefulness of different types of interview in sociological research. January 2007- assess the usefulness of different forms of secondary data in sociological research. June 2006- assess the usefulness of official statistics in sociological research January 2006- assess the strenghts and limitations of different forms of observation in sociological research. June 2005- Assess the usefulness of unstructured interviews in sociological research.
  8. 8. 8 June 2004- Assess the usefulness of participant observation in sociological research. January 2004- Assess the usefulness of different kinds of interview in sociological research. June 2003- Assess the usefulness of official statistics in sociological research. January 2003- Assess the usefulness of unstructured interviews to the sociologists. June 2002- Assess the usefulness of mailed questionnaires in sociological research. January 2002- Assess the usefulness of structured interviews in sociological research. Some tips - usefulness means that you need to go through the strengths and weaknesses of each method with examples from studies. Make a brief plan so that you remember all the main points and contrast with other methods. Remember to discuss validity (how true to life) and reliability (can you generalise i.e if it is a large representative sample. You are allowed to use information from Psychology (e.g. terms/studies) and from other subjects that involve research such as Geography and Business Studies. Be careful not to over use these as it should be mostly Sociology!

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