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

Explain with examples how the theoretical perspective of the researcher accepts choice of method.

Extracts from this document...


George Amos 12K - Sociology Explain with examples how the theoretical perspective of the researcher accepts choice of method. The choice of method used to collect data is used by the theory that the given sociologist accepts. Most sociological theories have certain types of data they tend to collect, and certain methods that they choose to adopt. The two techniques used are quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative techniques are used to measure distribution and the extent of a social characteristic. This technique is also useful when comparing two social variables such as social class and educational achievement. The technique provides a percentage or numerical feedback, allowing a statistical approach to sociological research. This type of research relies heavily on secondary data, i.e. research not collected by other parties, such as official statistics and social surveys, especially ones involving a formal interview. ...read more.


These methods are not easily repeated and no two observations may be the same, but that are still very valid. Traditionally, those who followed positivism were the Structuralists, the Functionalists and to a certain degree the Marxists. The Structuralists believe that the system of society took greater precedence than the elements within the system, so individuals are directed by society. Functionalists like Durkheim and Parsons believed that the actions of the individuals in society were controlled by the cultural system that they belonged to. Marx tried to apply more generalised historical social laws to his theories to try and predict society's future. However, some positivists have criticised him for not being scientific enough, and claim that his ideas are merely theoretical. The main body of interpretivism is made up of Phenomenologists and ethnomethodoligists. ...read more.


In modern times, theoretical commitment is not seen as important as structure and action and a mixed of methods is employed. For example Lea and Young have both used in depth interviews and statistics when analysing crime. Important points to take into consideration are that some techniques are better at analysing phenomenon than others. For example you would have great difficulty using social survey or official statistics to study police brutality or new age travellers. Some methods may be rejected as unethical such as covert participant research. Practical considerations are also noted. Time, money and number of collaborators may be affected if research is funded by a particular body. In conclusion, tradition dictates that there are only two choices of research technique that are adopted by different social theories, but in reality however, many sociologists find that the best way to achieve reliable and valid results is by combining both qualitative and quantitative. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology 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 GCSE Sociology essays

  1. A-Level Sociology Theory + Methods Revision.

    No consistency but students made sense of them. Indexicality - People will make sense of a sign, remark or particular action by reference to the context in which it occurs, that is, they index it to particular circumstances. Ethnomethodologists collect data such as experiences of people as well as anecdotes to prove to people the existence of indexicality.

  2. evaluation of methods

    it is followed from the ancient times, the values expected from each individual are high. Whereas the norm in UK is to get love marriage, and the values expected for them to get an arranged marriage is very, very small.

  1. Does the research method of participant observation (P. O.) reveal more about the society ...

    I didn't expect everyone to be scratching their faces and holding buttons as this behavior wasn't much like our own. Because I didn't know the language, behavior and cultural traditions I made prejudgments on what to expect before entering the class.

  2. What is Positivism?

    As humans progress through the above stages each dependant on the preceding, so do the sciences (hence all sciences contribute to sociology) Starting with the purest and simplest and ascending in complexity.

  1. Examine The Political Significance Of Any Carnival Of Your Choice.

    notable political undertone, which was usually part of the performances or shown in the costumes and songs. This political edge to the carnival was highlighted in the early seventies when the tension between the white and black population had slowly been on the increase, mainly due to the high proportion of unemployed that had hit the black population particularly hard.

  2. The Horror and Sci-fi genres: General Theoretical Approaches.

    They both contain strong female leads; an interest in the family; concerns about scientific morality; killing machines, which lack conscious motivation; and forms of body/horror. Obviously, for the purposes of this essay, the issues of femininity, body horror, and most importantly family-interests, take Precedent.

  1. The Comparative Sociological Method

    For example, it was considered quite an honor for a family with a young boy under the age of 10, to be given the privilege on an older man of high society taking their son into his house. The young boy would go and live with this older man.

  2. Our Choice

    I started to hate my parents at that time. Sandra Cisneros also faced serious problems because of her parents' expectation of her. According to Cisneros, "After four years in college and two more in graduate school, and still no husband, my father shake his head even now and say I wasted all that education"(142).

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