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Different factors that Influence Sociologist's choice of research methods.

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Different factors that Influence Sociologist’s choice of research methods

There are different factors that influence sociologist’s choice of research. Sociologists have to firstly decide what particular area or topic they want to study, in order for them to carry out their research. When sociologists choose a topic, there are two types of sources available to the sociologists, they are Primary and Secondary. Primary is the data collected by the researchers themselves, usually in the form of questionnaires or interviews. Secondary is the data that is already available e.g. official statistics, diaries, historical documents etc. The researcher then has to decide what type of method they will use for their research.

The topic chosen for research will indicate the method to be used e.g. voting would involve the use of large numbers of people, therefore quantitative methods would be used. Quantitative methods involve reliability and are more practical as they take less time, require less commitment from the researcher and are cheaper.

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th person on a list.

Stratified random sampling divides the population into strata. These strata are based on significant variables e.g. social class, gender, and ethnicity. Samples are then randomly drawn from each strata, and then combined to form the final sample.

In Quota sampling, the researcher sets the quota outlining the number of people required, who meet certain criteria e.g. 10 men under 40. This is a quick and easy method because even if people refuse you simply find another. The main disadvantage is that it is not truly random or representative.

Multi-stage sampling involves taking a selection of a sample, which goes through several stages. Each stage involves the selection of a sample from a previous sample, until you finally arrive at the people you will be using. Multi-stage sampling is usually used for discovering how prospective voters are likely to cast their votes leading up to an election.

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Questionnaires can be very useful in carrying out research, because questionnaires use quantitative data, which is mainly about numbers and statistics. The advantages of quantitative data are, with facts, figures and numbers, you can see trends and patterns. This kind of data can be analysed using computers. You could also use large samples and surveys. Quantitative data is also useful in carrying out research, because it can be reanalysed, so sociologists can use it again, therefore it can be very reliable with this method of research.

After looking at the different factors that influence the sociologist’s choice of research methods, I found that the methods are very different to one another. The correct method should be used with the appropriate choice of research. Ethnical issues should also be considered when do research. Ethnical issues are important when carrying out research, because people give you information and this research can have an effect on people’s lives. This is why ethnical issues are important when carrying out research. Respondents must also be protected from harm, which may arise from the research.

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