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Using materials from the items and elsewhere assess the view that practical issues are the most important factor in deciding what research method(s) to use.

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Introduction

Using materials from the items and elsewhere assess the view that practical issues are the most important factor in deciding what research method(s) to use. (20 Marks) In sociology, sociologists will often have to do research into certain topics to gain a deeper understanding of them. There are many methods of research that a researcher could use if they were researching into society, such as observation, questionnaires, surveys, or interviews. When choosing between these methods a researcher must consider many factors, practical, ethical and theoretical. Sociologists are often uncertain about which issues, practical, ethical or theoretical are the most important. Practical issues will determine the type of research method adapted. The researcher has to take into account if access to a particular group can be obtained. Almost all sociological experiments have practical issues that must be looked at and sorted out. They are therefore very important to be considered when embarking upon an investigation. Some practical issues that must be considered are the: Cost - how much money will the experiment cost to the researcher? Time - how much time would be required for the research? ...read more.

Middle

We can see many ethical issues arising when adapting a covert role the researcher is denying the participant of informed consent.Some examples of ethical issues are:Informed consent - a researcher should get the subject's permission to be studied before researching them. Protection from harm - the subject's of any study should not be endangered or put in situation that could cause them harm, physically or psychologically. Privacy - when investigating someone the researcher must take the person's right to privacy into consideration and should not intrude on their private life. Deception - a subject in a sociological experiment should not be lied to or deceived in order to get them to participate. They should be told the truth about any experiment or what will result from that experiment. Confidentiality - when a person is involved in an experiment, they should have be sure that any personal information shared with the researcher will not be told to anyone else. A sociological researcher must take all these things into account when deciding on what research method to use. So we see how ethical issues are very important in any considerations for research methods. ...read more.

Conclusion

They will use methods such as open interview, observation and detailed case studies. So this just shows how a researcher must think about theoretical considerations before deciding on a possible method for their research. But in certain opinions, issues of theory will not affect an experiment as much as a problem practically would, which means that practical issues are much more important as they affect whether research actually goes ahead whereas theoretical considerations wouldn't stop research from continuing. In conclusion, a researcher should take practical factors, ethical issues, and theoretical issues into consideration before choosing which method to use in conducting their research. These issues must be considered to ensure that a research method is the right one used for both the investigation and the researcher. If they weren't taken into consideration, then any research done could end up being worthless and redundant. All of these factors are therefore important but in my humble opinion, practical issues are most important as they will actually stop research from happening whereas ethical and theoretical problems will not; an investigation can be morally wrong and theoretically unbalanced but without things like money and time it would not even be an investigation. Erin Kelly Sociology Ms McNamee ...read more.

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