Tag Archives: interpretivism

Some (Relatively) Recent Examples of Participant Observation Studies

Participant observation is one the main research methods on the A level sociology syllabus, but many of the examples in the main text books are painfully out of date.  This post provides some more recent examples of research studies which … 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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Assess the View that Theoretical Factors are the most Important Factor Influencing Choice of Research Method (30)

Just a few thoughts on how you might answer this in the exam.  Introduction – A variety of factors influence a Sociologist’s decision as to what research method they use: the nature of topic, theoretical, practical and ethical factors. Theoretical … Continue reading

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Is Sociology A Science?

This post contrasts the Positivist view that sociology can be an objective science with the Interpretivist view that we need an interpretive understanding of human action; it then looks at Bruno Latour’s view that scientific knowledge is socially constructed, Thomas … Continue reading

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Positivism and Interpretivism in Social Research

Positivism and Interpretivism are the two basic approaches to research methods in Sociology. Positivist prefer scientific quantitative methods, while Interpretivists prefer humanistic qualitative methods. This post provides a very brief overview of the two. Positivism Positivists prefer quantitative methods such as … Continue reading

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