Category Archives: Resarch Methods

Explaining the Increase in Sex Crime Prosecutions

A fifth of Crown Prosecution cases are alleged sex crimes or domestic abuse. In fact, the proportion compared to all prosecutions has nearly trebled in the last decade. Alleged sex crimes and domestic abuse offences now account for nearly 20% … Continue reading

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Sugata Mitra’s Hole in the Wall Experiment

In 1999 Sugata Mitra put a computer connected to the internet in a hole in the wall in a slum in Delhi and just left it there, to see what would happen. The computer attracted a number of illiterate, slum … Continue reading

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Postmodern Methods in Louis Theroux Documentaries

Louis Theroux documentaries are a great example of ‘postmodern’ research methods. I say this for the following reasons: Firstly, these documentaries select unusual, deviant case studies to focus on, which is especially true of the latest series – ‘Dark States’ … Continue reading

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The Internet as an Object of Content Analysis

Websites, social media posts and similar virtual documents are all forms of secondary data, and thus amenable to both quantitative and qualitative content analysis.     There are, however, many difficulties in using web sites as sources of content analysis. … Continue reading

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Bandura, Ross and Ross (1961) – The Imitative Aggressive Experiment 

This classic example of a laboratory experiment suggests that children learn aggressive behaviour through observation – it is relevant to the Crime and Deviance module, and lends support to the idea that exposure to violence at home (or in the … Continue reading

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Comparing Military Blogs and Civil War Letters

This post outlines an interesting comparative research study of secondary documents (‘private’ letters and a more public blog) which could be used to get students thinking about the usefulness of such sources in social research. I’ve taken the summary below straight from Bryman … Continue reading

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Gap Year Blogs – A Thematic Analysis

Snee (2013) was interested in how representations of cultural difference were portrayed in ‘gap year’ narratives. She sought out blogs containing the phrase ‘gap year’ using two blog search engines (Google blog search and Technorati) and also searched some websites … Continue reading

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Longitudinal Studies

Longitudinal Studies are studies in which data is collected at specific intervals over a long period of time in order to measure changes over time. This post provides one example of a longitudinal study and explores some the strengths and … Continue reading

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The strengths and limitations of covert participant observation

Covert participant observation or ethnography is where the researcher does not reveal that he is actually a researcher. There are different degrees to which ethnographic research may be covert – fully covert research is where every member of the group … Continue reading

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Education in the UK – Key Facts and Stats

Official Statistics on schools, teachers and educational achievement provided by the United Kingdom government provide an overview of the education system. They are useful for providing an ‘introduction to the state of education in the U.K’, before embarking on the core … Continue reading

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