Category Archives: Resarch Methods

The strengths and limitations of secondary data

What is secondary data? Information which has been collected previously, by someone else, other than the researcher. Secondary data can either be qualitative, such as diaries, newspapers or government reports, or quantitative, as with official statistics, such as league tables. … Continue reading

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Qualitative Data – Strengths and Limitations

Qualitative data includes…. Open question questionnaires Unstructured interviews Participant observation Public and private documents such as newspapers and letters. Theoretical strengths Better validity than for quantitative data More insight (Verstehen) More in-depth data More respondent-led, avoids the imposition problem. Good … Continue reading

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Sampling Techniques in Social Research

Selecting a sample is the process of finding and choosing the people who are  going to be the target of your research. Most researchers will have a ‘target population’ in mind before conducting research. The target population consists of those … Continue reading

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YouGov Surveys – What the World Thinks?

The YouGov website is a great source for finding examples of social surveys and results from survey data.   YouGov is company which collects mainly survey data on a wide range of topics from people all over the world, and publishes … Continue reading

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AS and First Year A Level Sociology – Whole Course Overview

An overview of the entire course for AS and first year A level sociology covering the following ‘modules’: Education with applied research methods (‘methods in context‘) Research methods Families and Households. The overview below is taken directly from the AQA’s … Continue reading

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Families in the UK – Seven Interesting Statistics

What’s family life like in the UK today? Below is a statistical overview of family life in the UK – covering such things as households types, and marriage statistics. 1. There were 12.4 million married couple families in the UK … Continue reading

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The Spirit Level – A Summary

The Spirit Level – Why more equal societies almost always do better – Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett This book is relevant to both the module on Crime and Deviance and Theory Methods Based on thirty years of research – … Continue reading

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Seven Examples of Field Experiments for Sociology

Field experiments aren’t the most widely used research method in Sociology, but the examiners seem to love asking questions about them – below are seven examples of this research method. Looked at collectively, the results of the field experiments below reveal … Continue reading

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Is it worth doing a degree?

Is it worth spending £30, 000 or more and three years of your life doing a degree? If we limit our analysis to purely financial considerations and if we focus on ‘median earnings’ – then yes, on average, it is definitely still worth doing … Continue reading

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Research Methods Essays – How to Write Them

Essay planning and writing for the AS and A Level sociology exams – hints and tips The research methods section of the AS sociology 7191 (2) exam (research methods and topics in sociology) consists of one short answer question (out … Continue reading

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