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

Assess the strengths and limitations of using questionnaires to investigate how cultural and material factors affect educational attainment.

Extracts from this document...


A.L. Assess the strengths and limitations of using questionnaires to investigate how cultural and material factors affect educational attainment. A questionnaire is a set list of questions. Positivists see questionnaires as useful because they produce statistical data which correlations and cause and effect relationships can be drawn. Positivists in particular see questionnaires because they produce statistical data from which correlations and cause and effects relationships can be drawn. Advantages of using questionnaires are very useful for getting large quantities of basic educational information quickly and cheaply. The pupils are geographically scattered group. It is easier to research a large sample size of pupils. This can easily be done by posting the questionnaires to them. Positivists see this as useful because they want to be able to make generalisation by using a representative group. ...read more.


Also, questionnaires are particularly useful for testing hypothesis about cause and effect relationships between different variables. For instance, analysis of respondent's answers could show whether there is a correlation between children's attainment and adequate housing and income. We might find, for example, pupils who lac material necessities such as adequate and housing and income tend to be low achievers. From this analysis we can make statements about the possible causes of low achievement and predictions about which children are most likely to under achieve. Because questionnaires enable us to identify the possible causes, they are favoured by positivist as they see to discover laws of cause and effect. A disadvantage would be the researcher might be culturally biased. ...read more.


For example, respondents may lie. In this case, the researcher might ask questions about the pupils values of their children?s' education. Some would give 'respectable' answers they feel ought to give rather than the truth. So, this will eventually produce inaccurate data. In conclusion, using questionnaires on investigating cultural and material factors on educational attainment is useful method because it provides a reliable data. That is, if repeated by another researcher, a questionnaire should give similar results to those gained by the researcher. On the other hand, using questionnaire can be a disadvantage because the respondent may lie and so it will affect the accuracy. Also, Interpretivist would reject the use of questionnaires because they impose the researcher?s framework of ideas of the respondents. Questionnaires fail to achieve the main interepretivist goal of validity. Thus, interpretivist would prefer a method that would produce valid date e.g. unstructured interview. ...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 Sociological Differentiation & Stratification 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 Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of questionnaires, as a research method

    The researcher should also tell the participants all the relevant aspects of the research so that they can make a fully informed decision. Also, if a participant is under the age of 18, the researcher needs to get parental consent before they can take part in the research.

  2. Assess the usefulness of Postal Questionnaires

    findings, which is generally time consuming and more costly when compared to postal questionnaires. Whilst postal questionnaires produce mostly reliable data interviews are more prone to getting valid data, as long as the interviewer is able to keep their own views to themselves and create a comfortable environment for the

  1. Examine the ways in which factors in pupils' home backgrounds may affect their educational ...

    This leaves the working class at a disadvantage as formal education is based on the terms of an elaborated code. However Bernstein's distinction between the classes is over simplified, as even if there was a clear working class when he was writing in the 1960s this is not the case

  2. Assess the strengths and limitations of using official statistics for investigating the effects of ...

    However, marketisaition increased the importance of money in determining success. Smith and Noble (1995) suggest it produced an increased polarisation between poor/underfunded, underachieving schools in low income areas and successful, well resourced schools in affluent areas.

  1. Sociology - Cultural Factors in Educational Attainment

    This suggests that Hyman believes that the cultural deprivation is caused by the limited value on education in the working class background. On the other hand, Marxist sociologists Wefhorst and Hofstede (2007) argue that cultural capital is a significant factor in explaining ability levels.

  2. Class differences in educational attainment.

    Therefore they can only do what they are taught meaning that they cannot do as well as others because they have not been taught how to do what they can. Finally they have a subculture with different goals, values and beliefs to others.

  1. Assess the strengths and limitations of using interviews for the study of educational achievement ...

    Therefore the researcher needs to build a rapport with the participants in order to make the participants feel more comforted, or perhaps use group interviews for the same effect. Furthermore, since they are children, there are gate keepers such as teachers, the governing body and parents who have to give consent for the research.

  2. Access the strengths and limitations of using the secondary sources of data

    Official statistics produce a vast array of quantitative data which counts as its strength due to the objective approach quantitative data provides. In some cases, official statistics are the only source of information of sociologists' concern. Their easy accessibility and low cost positions them on preferential means of collecting information.

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