SAMPLING TECHNIQUES

Ethical Issues in Research and Social Stratification

Ethical Issues in Research and Social Stratification

In the same way that doctors make a promise to use their knowledge only to help people, so are sociologists required to follow a code of professional ethics. They include:

Confidentiality – Information collected from individuals through research must be kept private.

Anonymity – The names of those involved in the research must not be disclosed in discussion or through publication.

Informed Consent – Those partaking in the research must understand what they are involved in, what the research is for and how the information may be used.

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What is social stratification?

Social stratification is the division of society into layers according to income, education and employment. The working classes tend to have less education, a lower income and to work in low-skilled jobs. The middle classes will usually have more qualifications, a better income and more responsibility in the workplace.

Discrimination takes place when someone is treated differently because of their background. This may be linked to their colour, education, sexuality or nationality. Those from poorer or ethnic backgrounds are often discriminated against in the job selection process, so that it becomes more difficult for them to rise up the social ladder.

Social inequality occurs when there is an imbalance between groups of people in terms of wealth and power. Sociologists have observed that discrimination contributes towards social inequality.

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A Top Tip!

Make a copy of this section and put in a place that you often look at. i.e. front of a journal, next to a mirror, on a kitchen cupboard door, etc. That way you can do some cheeky sociology revision whilst doing those things you have to do!

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