scjman
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Hi this forum is dedicated entirely to the research methods element of SCLY4 so feel free to discuss
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mollyx
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That is a good idea setting up a thread dedicated entirely to the research methods I hope the methods in context question is either on interviews or questionnaires, I really don't like experiments!


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scjman
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(Original post by mollyx)
That is a good idea setting up a thread dedicated entirely to the research methods I hope the methods in context question is either on interviews or questionnaires, I really don't like experiments!


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Well you probably won't have to worry about that, as my teacher said sociologists don't normally go for experiments
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mollyx
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(Original post by scjman)
Well you probably won't have to worry about that, as my teacher said sociologists don't normally go for experiments
Aw that's okay then!! You should do a theories thread aswell!


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scjman
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(Original post by mollyx)
Aw that's okay then!! You should do a theories thread aswell!


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What for suicide and science? Can cover those in this thread
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mollyx
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(Original post by scjman)
What for suicide and science? Can cover those in this thread
I meant for all the different theories (the 33 markers) like functionalism, social action theories etc! By the way are you doing beliefs in society? I'm struggling a bit with this unit


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scjman
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(Original post by mollyx)
I meant for all the different theories (the 33 markers) like functionalism, social action theories etc! By the way are you doing beliefs in society? I'm struggling a bit with this unit


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No sorry, I'm doing Mass Media for SCLY3. I could do I guess. Will think about it
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mollyx
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(Original post by scjman)
No sorry, I'm doing Mass Media for SCLY3. I could do I guess. Will think about it
I don't think there's any point in another thread actually!
What are you hoping to come up in this exam?


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scjman
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(Original post by mollyx)
I don't think there's any point in another thread actually!
What are you hoping to come up in this exam?


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I'd be happy for any theory to come up, but rather not methods if possible
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mollyx
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(Original post by scjman)
I'd be happy for any theory to come up, but rather not methods if possible
Yeah I would hate for methods to come up


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AnimeCrazy
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Methods is nice all it is is sociology a science or not and talk about the two opposing groups! And as for the Methods I would love Questionnaire/Interview just like we did last year only thing is I just don't know HOW to revise for it.

I've done all the Crime and Deviance part to it, how should I revise for the 15 marker
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scjman
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OK what I'll do is talk about a method's strengths and limitations. If you have thought of any that I haven't, bring them up. Ok so here is official statistics

Strengths
  • Correlated from data collected on a national level, so presents a reasonably representative sample
  • Quantitative data that is reliable (meaning it can be continually repeated)
  • Easily represented data
  • Relatively cheap and easy to access


Weaknesses

  • Gives little insight at best into social meanings for action
  • Not as valid (accurate) as qualitative methods
  • some sociologists (especially Marxists) would say they are inaccurate by their very nature, as they are correlated by those in power and so makes it more likely that they will represent what they want people to think, instead of the actual facts.
  • Are often quite old. While this can be good if you are looking at past societies, this age must be taken into consideration when looking at modern society
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scjman
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Covert Participant Observation

Strengths

  • Easier to gain trust of participants than overt observation
  • Gain more insight into a group's inner workings as a participant than a outsider
  • Produces data that is detailed and valid
  • Less likely to produce Hawthorne effect

Weaknesses

  • ethical problems posed by required deception
  • if observing a criminal gang, the researcher may have to commit a crime to maintain their trust and this may lead to trouble with the police
  • the researcher may end up becoming too "drawn in" to the group they are researching and thus forget about their research
  • Doesn't produce reliable quantitative data, unlike other methods
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scjman
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Structured InterviewsStrengths

  • Less time-consuming than unstructured interviews
  • Produces quantitative data which is reliable and easy to represent statistically
  • Less expensive than unstructured interviews too
  • Less chance of being overly complicated than unstructured interviews

Weaknesses

  • Some questions are far too complex to be answered by simple "Yes" or "No" questions
  • The rigidity of this method creates a formal atmosphere, which may make many participants feel uncomfortable
  • Participants can lie for various reasons
  • Doesn't produce valid qualitative data
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scjman
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Qualitative Documents (diaries, books etc.)

Strengths

  • Gives good insight into social meaning
  • Gives valid qualitative data

Weaknesses

  • Likely to be biased and/or outdated in some way
  • Doesn't produce reliable quantitative data
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scjman
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(Original post by AnimeCrazy)

I've done all the Crime and Deviance part to it, how should I revise for the 15 marker
I would say consider as many research methods as you can and keep thinking of their strengths and weaknesses
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Riss2013
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HI guys im struggling to answer this question could you please help " using material from item b and elsewhere assess the strengths and limitations of using one of the following methods for investigating social class differences in university enterance "
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scjman
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(Original post by Riss2013)
HI guys im struggling to answer this question could you please help " using material from item b and elsewhere assess the strengths and limitations of using one of the following methods for investigating social class differences in university enterance "
Well you always have to relate it to the topic in hand, namely social class differences in university acceptance. The item will tell you most of, if not all, the information you need. Also, what are the "following methods"?
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Riss2013
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(Original post by scjman)
Well you always have to relate it to the topic in hand, namely social class differences in university acceptance. The item will tell you most of, if not all, the information you need. Also, what are the "following methods"?
Item B
Investigating social class differences in university entrance
Working-class students are less likely than middle-class students to go to university, especially higher-status universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. This could
be because working-class students underachieve due to material factors. Cultural factors, such as a lack of role models or feeling that university is ‘not for the likes of us’, may also play a part. Fees policies, as well as bias in some universities, may also affect students’ aspirations.
Some sociologists may use group interviews to study social class differences in university entrance. For example, a trained sociologist can probe effectively to obtain important insights into students’ motives and aspirations for the future. However, status differences between the interviewer and interviewees may cause problems. Furthermore, peer pressure to conform to group norms may distort the results of the interview.
Other sociologists may use postal questionnaires to study social class differences in university entrance. For example, postal questionnaires can be used to gather straightforward factual data on income, qualifications and university choice, etc. However, the researcher does not know who actually completed the questionnaire. Furthermore, those with more interest in the subject of the questionnaire, or with stronger views about it, are more likely to respond.

Using material from Item B and elsewhere, assess the strengths and limitations of using one of the following methods for investigating social class differences in university entrance:
EITHER group interviews
OR postal questionnaires. (20 marks)

I chose postal questionaires
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scjman
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(Original post by Riss2013)
Item B
Investigating social class differences in university entrance
Working-class students are less likely than middle-class students to go to university, especially higher-status universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. This could
be because working-class students underachieve due to material factors. Cultural factors, such as a lack of role models or feeling that university is ‘not for the likes of us’, may also play a part. Fees policies, as well as bias in some universities, may also affect students’ aspirations....Other sociologists may use postal questionnaires to study social class differences in university entrance. For example, postal questionnaires can be used to gather straightforward factual data on income, qualifications and university choice, etc. However, the researcher does not know who actually completed the questionnaire. Furthermore, those with more interest in the subject of the questionnaire, or with stronger views about it, are more likely to respond.

Using material from Item B and elsewhere, assess the strengths and limitations of using one of the following methods for investigating social class differences in university entrance:
EITHER group interviews
OR postal questionnaires. (20 marks)

I chose postal questionaires
OK
Strengths
  • As income can be quite a sensitive topic (especially if you don't have much), participants may feel more comfortable writing their opinions down than talking about it
  • Postal questionnaires are more time efficient than group interviews, which is good as university students are very busy and probably won't have time for a group interview
  • Can establish patterns in the attitudes of students from different class backgrounds
  • As there is often a language barrier concerning people from working-class backgrounds, we don't know the class of the person who created the questionnaires, so class has less of an impact as it otherwise might

Weaknesses
  • as the Item has said, people at university are mostly middle or upper class, so working-class students are going to be underrepresented for that reason
  • If the person completing the questionnaire is anonymous, how can we be really sure that they are part of whatever social class they have said they are part of?
  • Participant may lie for a number of reasons
  • Only those with stronger views or interests are likely to respond and so the sample's representativeness is at least slightly diminished
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