Category Archives: research methods

Research Methods Practice Questions for A-level sociology

AQA A-level sociology Papers 1 and 3 will both contain an ‘outline and explain’ 10 mark (no item) question on sociological theories, and/ or methods. One possible format for this question is what I like to think of as the ‘pure … Continue reading

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Outline and explain two practical problems of using documents in social research (10)

There are a lot of documents available and it can be time consuming to analyse them qualitatively Taking news for example, there are thousands of news items published every day. You also need to distinguish between ‘real and ‘fake news’. … Continue reading

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Outline and explain two practical advantages of using official statistics

Official Statistics are a quick and cheap means of accessing data relevant to an entire population in a country. They are cheap for researchers to use because they are collected by governments, who often make them available online for free—for … Continue reading

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Outline and explain two practical problems which may affect social research (10)

  One practical problem may be gaining access Analysis/ development – Deviant and criminal groups may be unwilling to allow researchers to gain access because they may fear prosecution if the authorities find out about them. Analysis/ development – some … Continue reading

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Outline and Explain Two Reasons Why Interpretivists Prefer to Use Qualitative Research Methods (10)

A model answer to a possible 10 mark question which could appear on the AQA’s A-level papers 1 or 3. If you’re a bit ‘all at sea’ with Intrepretivism, you might like to review your understanding of it first of … Continue reading

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How equal are men and women in relationships these days? Student survey results

Women who do the lioness’s share of the housework, but men and women seem to have equal control over the finances, at least according to two surveys conduct by my A Level sociology students last week. This acts as a … Continue reading

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Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment

In this famously notorious experiment college students volunteered to take on the role of either prison guards or prisoners and spend time in an artificial prison. The Stanford Prison Experiment was meant to last 14 days, it had to be … Continue reading

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Criticisms of Quantitative Research

Bryman (2016) identifies four criticisms of quantitative research: Quantitative researchers fail to distinguish people and social institutions from the world of nature Schutz (1962) is the main critique here. Schutz and other phenomenologists accuse quantitative social researchers of treating the … Continue reading

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The Four Main Concerns of Quantitative Research

Quantitative researchers generally have four main preoccupations: they want their research to be measurable, to focus on causation, to be generalisable, and to be replicable. These preoccupations reflect epistemological grounded beliefs about what constitutes acceptable knowledge, and can be contrasted … Continue reading

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A few thoughts on revising research methods in context/ applied research methods

The ‘applied methods*’ question appears in paper 1 of the AQA’s Education with Theory and Methods exam (paper 7192/1). This is out of 20 marks, and students are expected to apply their understanding of any of the six main research … Continue reading

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