• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

This essay will cover some aspects of sociological research. It will answer not only questions like what is research, but also briefly illustrate the research process

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Sociology Assignment Topic: Research Methods Student: Chirag Khaitan Student No.: SIC040237 Course: Diploma In Economics Lecturer: Dr.Rhine This essay will cover some aspects of sociological research. It will answer not only questions like what is research, but also briefly illustrate the research process It will then further define the fundamental terms used in sociological research.. What is Research? Research refers to search for knowledge. It is a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a particular topic. In another words, it's a careful investigation or inquiry especially through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge. The Research Process Research is regarded as a cyclical process that generally involves the stages shown in the diagram on the following page. Stage 1: Define the research problem Select a topic for the research. For example, increase in number of crimes in a particular society. Stage 2: Reviewing the literature After defining the research problem, the next important stage is reviewing the literature. It means to look for previous works done by other researchers or as Patrick McNeill quotes in his book Research Method 1985: Every researcher, of whatever status, should spend time reading what other people have written about the area in which they are interested (pg 20). As every action has a purpose behind it, reviewing the literature is no less. ...read more.

Middle

(p. 103). This means that any method that is used needs to give the similar results each time it was used. Thomas and Nelson define validity (1996) as the:- "Degree to which a test or instrument measures what it purports to measure; can be categorized as logical, content, criterion, and construct." (p.214) Official statistics hold a very high degree of reliability in the sense that they are genuine records of what has happened in the past. For example, a researcher may use official statistics, recorded decades ago, in his research which may mislead him/her in this situation. It is because the researcher looking at those data may have asked different questions, which the data he/she used was not really intended to answer. Therefore, it can be said that the research has a low degree of validity. Validity here refers to the degree to which the data collected is a true picture of what is being studied. In another words, it can also be understood as, is the data gathered really the evidence of what it claims to be evidence of. ? Concept and Indicator Sociological research is based on objective and empirical data. One of the ways in which sociologists try to be more systematic and objective in collecting data is to be precise as possible by using clearly defined and explained concepts. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whereas secondary data is information generated by somebody else but used by a researcher in support of his/her work. Examples of primary data are - participant observation, surveys, interviews, questionnaires, direct observation and life histories and so on. Examples of secondary data are - official statistics, government documents, personal documents (e.g. diaries), police, medical and other government records, historical documents; research data collected by other scientists, newspapers can also be a source but are highly subjective and bias. Advantages and disadvantages Secondary data provides useful background information, which the researcher can read up on before starting his/her own research. Reliable secondary research can save time and money. Secondary sources are a cheap and readily available source of information. Furthermore, it also helps in longitudinal studies. Longitudinal refers to the analyzing of data over time. Adding to the advantages, a researcher can access all the literature and can cover all parts of the world by reading published books and internet articles. But the disadvantages are that the information may not be reliable and could be bias. It is impossible to double check their accuracy, problems of validity can crop up as the data collected could be for a different set of reasons. Steve Taylor describes the difficulties of using secondary data in his article 'Measuring Child Abuse'. He points that the police records carry a certain degree of inaccuracy in the figures because of under-reporting (not all cases are reported to the police) and non-recording. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Computer Science section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Computer Science essays

  1. 140 Computing A-Level Revision Questions

    an entity ii) an attribute iii) a relationship ? Give an example of each with reference to a driving school database 121. Explain, with examples : expert system artificial intelligence 122. State a type of high level language which might be suitable for each of the following applications. Give two features in each case which make it suitable: i)

  2. Social Issue Essay

    Many would and do argue that research for example into genetic engineering is completely wrong and that scientists should not "play God". However activities such as stem-cell research are allowing scientists to explore avenues which may have never been thought imaginable, such as the ability that healthy tissue could be regenerated for humans2 (New Scientist, 2007).

  1. Compare and contrast the effectiveness of questionnaires and interviews in sociological research.

    Before designing the questionnaire the sociologist needs to define words clearly, as different people may interpret the same words differently. For example, if I was doing a study of the behavioural patterns of abused children in later life, I could classify 'child abuse' as 'physical or verbal abuse coming directly from a parent to the child'.

  2. Programming Techniques

    After all, the algorithm will probably be difficult enough to follow without the language being difficult as well. Computer languages like this, that the person finds easy to understand, but the computer can't, are called high-level languages. A computer can only understand 0s and 1s, in other words, binary numbers.

  1. Review of the article "Supply Chain Analysis at Volkswagen of America".

    The output of the MIP was a location scenario. The objective function consisted of two factors: total transportation cost (mileage, modes of transportation, and truck load factors) and, fixed and overhead costs of Dc's and processing centers. Truck load factors referred to the average number of vehicles that a truck

  2. Different ways of data capture

    *Another reason why a document may look different on another computer is that the fonts are not the same. A different font will be used and this will change the layout. UPGRADABILITY Upgrades to software are common about every 2 yrs.

  1. Computer Aided Design Package

    Us because of the reasons listed below: * AutoCAD 2005 has more tools that are of great use to the user of the program and these tools make designing CAD drawings faster and easier * AutoCAD 2005 is made by a company called Auto Desk, when you buy the product

  2. With diagrams compare and contrast the relative advantages and disadvantages of digital transmission over ...

    This diagram is shown below: The twisted uses two pairs of insulated, solid copper wires, twisted about each other. The twists serve to limit the crosstalk between adjacent pairs, since usually there are between two and several hundred pairs bundled inside a single sheath.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work