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Research method/types - Essay Example

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In its attempts to discover as well as measure facts about social behavior or society, the research follows the scientific method. Data is collected and analyzed to test a particular hypothesis. Methods of research involve gathering data via structured interviews and questionnaires. These methods always involve studying huge numbers of subjects to enable the findings to be used as the basis for the presentation of general conclusions concerning social behavior. Qualitative research It centers on smaller units of community as well as understanding of social circumstances, and the implications that individuals associate to behavior (Bazeley). The approach is more subjective such that the researcher aims to comprehend as well as interpret individuals’ experiences involved through viewing the world via the eyes of the individuals under study. Methods employed in this research include observation and different forms of interviews. Methods for social research The survey design This most commonly used method by sociologists. This means that most sociologists well understands survey design, questionnaire and interview formats as the associate with data collection, frames of sampling, as well as the use of inferential and descriptive statistics as the way for evaluating research hypotheses (Becker and Bryman, 61-63). The survey research uses group administered paper and pencil questionnaires, mailed self-administered questionnaires, telephone and face-face interviews, and/or some other methods of data collection that would result into quantitative assessment. The survey technique is always known as cross-sectional research. The important fact in describing the survey technique is that some phenomenon (i.e. the main independent variable) is observed; nonetheless, the researcher does not control its variation. Information is always collected only once using the administration of interview schedule or a questionnaire to a group of participants who have been selected randomly. In the Survey design, data is collected ex post facto or after the fact. The weaknesses associated with method include the following: a. Because of the lack of control, it is always problematic to establish causal relationships. b. The survey design always lacks internal validity since there is restricted control over external variables c. Complicated attitudes or behaviors are problematic to assess using survey techniques d. Some types of administering interviews can be very costly and time consuming. However, its strengths include the following: a. Survey design happens in the “real world” b. A huge amount of data collected using a questionnaire can be analyzed within a short time period and less costly c. Generalizability is done well using survey research, particularly when samples are the population representative. Field study design or participant observation This research method involves the direct observation of individuals in natural settings. Field researchers play four unique roles in participant observation research: participant-as-observer, complete participant, complete observer, and observer-as-participant (Cresswell, 78-80). Because every role has its criticism, the choice of the role for conducting field research must consider the nature of the topic under study, ethical concerns, as well as accessibility to a specific setting or group. The following are weaknesses of participant observation: a. The researcher consumes time in field research. b. Participant observation is weak considering demands of internal validity because of absence of control over external variables c. The method is always looked at as too subjective because normally it involves only one researcher in gathering data. d. ...Show more
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Summary

Sociologists can carry out two types of research: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative research This kind of research involves the collection as well as presentation of numerical data that can undergo codification and be subjected to in depth statistical testing (Brannen)…
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