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Methodology involves methods of investigation and sampling techniques. Sociologists use two types of research to obtain their data; Primary and secondary.

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Introduction

Methodology Methodology involves methods of investigation and sampling techniques. Sociologists use two types of research to obtain their data; Primary- this is where sociologists collect data for themselves, it is first hand information and there a many different methods, these include participant observation, experiments, content analysis, and questionnaires. Secondary data is where sociologists use data that already exists, e.g. other sociologists' research, the Internet, television documentaries, statistics and books. I will be using primary based data as it is my own and is a lot more recent and will be directly relevant to my research. 'Participant Observation' is when the sociologist actually joins the group that he/she is studying. There are two different types, overt and covert. Covert is where the researchers identity is hidden and the group being studied are not aware of this. Overt is where the group is aware that the sociologist is studying them. William Foote used covert observation during his study, 'Street corner gang'. In order to observe the gangs behaviour he joined them. ...read more.

Middle

Many questionnaires are 'postal questionnaires' where the sociologist sends the questionnaire to the respondent who then fills it in and sends it back, this is if the study is macro like the census, my study however is micro and this method is also very expensive, I do not have the type of money needed to do this. Questionnaires are also used in 'structured interviews' where the sociologist is face to face with the respondent and asks questions directly from the questionnaire. This can lead to interview bias and is also quite time consuming. There are different types of questions used: ~~ Pre-coded/closed questions, these are quantitative and are where the respondent chooses an answer from a set of options, these are the type of questions that I have included in my questionnaire as they are generally better for the transformation into statistical answers I can make generalisations based on these, and this is helpful towards my research. ~~ Open ended questions, these are qualitative, the respondent is free to write an answer in their own words, this gives much more detailed information, but is a lot more difficult to measure. ...read more.

Conclusion

labelled I believe it will have an affect on their educational attainment; for males the affect will be negative and for females positive. When carrying out my research I may come across a few problems concerning the questionnaires, this could lead to incorrect data and invalid conclusions. There is a possibility that this could occur if the questions are not answered honestly, or are not understood-this is also why I carried out a pilot study. If I do not receive all my surveys back the sample I have chosen will not be representative. To do this research correctly I will have to focus on certain points due to the fact that I am restricted by factors such as money, time etc. I have focused my study on students currently in year 13 as they have a lot more experience of the education system than any other year group, due to the longevity of their school life. They will remember passed experiences and also have a deeper understanding of the concept due to the fact most of the pupils are 17 +. ...read more.

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