Monthly Archives: January 2016

Structured Non-Participant Observation in Education

The most commonly used form of observation in education are lesson observations carried out as part of OFSTED inspections – technically these are a form of quantitative non-participant structured observation: OFSTED inspectors have half a dozen criteria to look out … Continue reading

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Participant Observation to Research Education

A brief summary of Young, Gifted and Black (1988) by Mairtin Mac an Ghaill and a consideration of the practical, ethical and theoretical advantages and disadvantages of the method in this educational context. In Young, Gifted and Black (1988) Mairtin Mac … Continue reading

Posted in education, Ethnicity, research methods, Social Action Theory (Interpretivism and Interactionism) | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Learning to Labour by Paul Willis – Summary and Evaluation of Research Methods

Participant Observation in the Context of Education Given the practical and ethical problems of conducting participant observation in a school setting, there are only a handful of such studies which have been carried out in the UK, and these are … Continue reading

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Interviews in Social Research: Advantages and Disadvantages

An interview involves an interviewer asking questions verbally to a respondent. Interviews involve a more direct interaction between the researcher and the respondent than questionnaires. Interviews can either be conducted face to face, via phone, video link or social media. … Continue reading

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The Functionalist Perspective – Class Notes for A Level Sociology (Year 2)

These class notes on Functionalist Theory should be all you need to revise this topic for your A level sociology exam The key ideas of Functionalist perspective are as follows – There is such a thing as a social structure … Continue reading

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Sociological Perspectives on Single Person Households

Why are increasing numbers of people all over the world living alone? (Scroll down for a video summary) According to a recent book by Eric Klinenberg: Explaining the Rise of Solo Living, this is a global phenomenon and mainly reflects … Continue reading

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How Old are Twitter Users?

‘Who Tweets’ is an interesting piece of recent research which attempts to determine some basic demographic characteristics of Twitter users, relying on nothing but the data provided by the users themselves in their twitter profiles. Based on a sample of 1470 … Continue reading

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Field Experiments: Definition, Examples, Advantages and Disadvantages

Field Experiments take place in real-life settings such as a classroom, the work place or even the high street. Field experiments are much more common in sociology than laboratory experiments. In fact sociologists hardly ever use lab experiments because the artificial … Continue reading

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Laboratory Experiments: Definition, Explanation, Advantages and Disadvantages

This post focuses on strengths and limitations of laboratory experiment, applied to the psychology and sociology… Laboratory experiments take place in controlled environments and are the main method used in the natural sciences such as Physics, Chemistry and Biology. There … Continue reading

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Experiments in Sociology – An Introduction

Experiments aim to measure the effect which an independent variable (the ’cause’) has on a dependent variable (‘the effect’). The key features of an experiment are control over variables, precise measurement, and establishing cause and effect relationships. In order to … Continue reading

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