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AS Sociology Coursework - Domestic Violence

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AS Sociology Coursework b) Tracey Bush carried out an ethnographic study of domestic violence on a London housing estate. Her study had two main aims which were: 1) To produce an ethnographic account of violent relationships as they are played out in a natural setting. 2) To produce research findings that will illuminate understandings and lead to social policies that will improve the circumstances of those women who live with this violence. Ethnography is an approach that aims to understand the culture of a particular group in society. This approach usually produces qualitative data as it did in this case. During the study, Bush used unstructured interviews. They were informal, in-depth interviews. She first familiarised herself with the interviewees and made them feel more comfortable which encouraged them to talk at length about their experiences. This method has high validity meaning that it presents an accurate description of the violence. However, this study has low reliability meaning that if the study was repeated the answers would change mainly because the questions in this method are open-ended. ...read more.


In the start Bush started by asking general questions and as they got to know each other she moved on to more personal questions. In this study, Bush used snowball sampling as it was hard to contact the abused women. One of the ways she accessed the sample was 'accidentally' finding contacts through field workers, friends, neighbours and acquaintances. Some of the women were sought through 'common knowledge' on the estate. The strengths of this method of sampling are that it can manage to find participants that would be impossible to contact through other sampling methods. Bush continued this study for over two and a half years giving plenty of time to develop rapport with the women she was interviewing. This study produced in-depth qualitative data. The method used had high validity as each woman gave a first hand account of the violence, so she could paint an accurate and true picture of their experiences. However, it had low reliability meaning that if the same research was carried out again it could produce different results and answers. ...read more.


In some ways Bush breached their confidence as the women didn't know their answers would be recorded in a study. The research is low in reliability since unstructured interviews were used in this study as they involve establishing unique relationships with the interviewees. Bush became too emotionally involved therefore her report on the women could be biased. This is a disadvantage of using unstructured interviews. However as the women gave their first hand account of the abuse they had suffered, the study has high validity. All the information and detail given can help Bush paint an accurate picture of the events. Overall the methods used were suitable for this study but triangulation could have been used to improve the reliability of the research. Words: 423 Total Words: 1057 APPENDIX Quote 1: 'Conversations about a woman known to have suffered domestic violence are often tinged with the belief that it is somehow her own fault.' Quote 2: 'Men couple their violence to attempts to convince the women that the abuse is unimportant. These attempts are sometimes successful and women may make little of the abuse.' Sociology in Focus ?? ?? ?? ?? Touba Jamil Sociology Coursework 1 ...read more.

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