STUDYING SOCIETY

Remember it & Test it!

Remember it & Test it!

How does sociology differ from other subjects?

Sociology – groups of people within society

Biology – biological causes of behaviour i.e. nature

Psychology – individual behaviour

Journalism – opinion

The research process involves:

1.)Research aims and hypothesis

2.) Pilot study

3.) Sample

4.) Data collection

5.) Data study

6.) Analysis

Sampling techniques:

Systematic sampling – researcher selects every ‘nth’ item from sampling frame

Stratified random sampling – population is divided into subgroups and a proportional sample is taken from each.

Snowball sampling – one interviewee leads to another and another

Quantitative data (numbers/figures) can be collected through:

Primary data: Structured questionnaires, structured interviews, postal questionnaires, hand delivered questionnaires

Secondary data: Government statistics, opinion polls

Qualitative data (words) can be collected through:

Primary data: Participant and non-participant observation, unstructured questionnaires, unstructured interviews

Secondary data: Journalism, research publications

Ethical issues in sociological research:

Confidentiality, informed consent and anonymity.

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Test It!

What is meant by the term socialization?

How is a sociologist’s idea of ‘gender’ different from a biologist’s idea of ‘sex’?

What difference in approach does a sociologist take compared to a journalist or psychologist?

What is the difference between quantitative and qualitative data? Give examples.

What is the difference between a structured and unstructured interview? What might be the benefits and limitations of each?

What secondary sources of data can you identify? In each case identify their limitations.

What ethical issues might you come up against when undertaking sociological research?

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Some top tips!

  1. Print out the Test It! Questions – it will allow you to replicate exam conditions and also allows you to give your eyes a rest from the computer screen whilst doing your crucial revision.
  2. Make a copy of the Remember It! 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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