• 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

    Comparing questionnaires to other research methods, we can see the difference in the data collected and why each theorist likes a particular research method. For example, interviews are preferred by feminists as they allow you to collect qualitative and in-depth information about the participant.

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

    Such distortion can often invalidate entire studies, with results lacking the neutrality and objectivity to be considered truly accurate and reliable. However, they lack the depth of unstructured interviews; interpretivists argue that such an in-depth approach is required to understand the complex issues involved with education, social class and poverty

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

    seem to have a more restricted or context bound code which to not help them through school. Bernstein believed that the middle classes could switch from one code to another but the working classes were only able to use to restricted code.

  2. Assess the usefulness of Postal Questionnaires

    The researcher has to hope the questions asked mean the same to all the respondents as they do to the researcher. This is a problem that can - to some extent - be avoided by conducting a Pilot Study before the real survey.

  1. Which has the greatest impact on educational attainment – gender, social class or ethnicity?

    quotes "(9) they possess the code of the message" and that this gives them a great advantage over working class children when it comes to speaking or writing. Sociologists such as Wedge and Prosser (10) (1958) looks at other areas with in social class they discuss the physical condition of the home in their study.

  2. 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.

  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. 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