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Soc Methods

AQA Soc Methods

Give the three aims of sociological research. Gather data; make correlations; confirm or undermine theories.
Define subjective. Based on opinions and personal perceptions.
Define objective. Independent of personal opinion and bias; focused on solid evidence and statistics.
What are the (4) differences between sociological research and common sense? - Research is evidence based and the same for everyone - Sociological research can access inaccessible areas - Research is concerned with objectivity - Research can be tested with evidence
What is a correlation? When two factors are related, and the existence of one is likely to increase the existence of the other, such as drug use and crime. They can exist independently, but they make the other more likely.
What is a causal relationship? When one factor directly causes another, such as migration and population increase.
Define a theory. A general explanation of social events.
Define reliability. To what extent repeating the study would produce the same results.
Define validity. How far the research gives a true picture of the subject being studied.
Define representativeness. How far a group of people in a study represents the entire population being studied.
What are the five ways social research is evaluated? Validity, reliability, representativeness, generalisability and objectivity of the research(er).
List the six factors that affect a sociologist's choice of research. The researcher's own identity and values; the researcher's aspirations and credibility; developments in sociology/society; practicality; ethical issues; theoretical beliefs and/or issues with the research subjects.
What are critical sociologists? Critical sociologists are sociologists who believe the role of sociology should be to uncover injustices, exploitation and oppression, such as Marxists.
What are the three main practical issues? Money, time and access.
What are the five main ethical issues? Consent, effects on the participants, effects on wider society, confidentiality, and issues with legality/immorality.
Define structural approach. Structural approaches look at how society as a whole operates, with the interactions of major institutions.
Define positivism. The belief in the fact that sociology can be scientific - supportive of quantitative research methods.
Define interpretivism. The belief that sociologists should study society with regards to how individuals interpret the world and behave accordingly - supports qualitative and observational research.
List the practical issues studying teachers. Teachers are subject to scrutiny, have little free time, and may not want to shine a bad light on their own institution especially if it will reflect badly on themself.
List the theoretical issues studying teachers. It's likely that a teacher's behaviour will change if they're being observed - interviewer bias; teachers may be picked out by seniors to positively reflect the institution; the teacher sample is difficult to make representative.
List the ethical issues studying teachers. It's difficult to gain specific consent; unguarded comments may jeopardise careers unfairly; confidentiality is vital, but the institution may still be able to work out who said what.
List the practical issues studying students. Access may be limited by parents; young children can't consent; DBS checks needed; taking time out of lessons can be disruptive to both parties.
List the theoretical issues studying students. They can't well express complex ideas; the presence of an observer may disrupt behaviour; hard to get a representative sample; they could be dishonest - interviewer bias.
List the ethical issues studying students. Psychological distress may be caused; children are unlikely to say no to an adult (Punch, 2009); vulnerability and safeguarding; taking time out of schooling.
List the practical issues studying parents. Research requires spare time of busy parents; difficulty gaining access, likely outside working hours.
List the theoretical issues studying parents. Representative samples will be difficult to obtain; middle class parents are more likely to be willing/able to participate; parents may feel pressured to be involved to reflect well on them and their child.
List the ethical issues studying parents. Confidentiality; it's difficult to say no.
Define a survey. A way of obtaining information in a standardised manner from a large group, usually in the form of a questionnaire but occasionally structured interviews.
List the three aims of social surveys. To find out facts about the population; to uncover differences in beliefs, values and opinions; to explain aspects of social life.
What is a longitudinal survey? A survey that studies people over a long period of time to get around problems that 'snapshot' analyses give.
List the four main problems with longitudinal surveys. They're expensive and time consuming; you can't obtain retrospective information so they need careful planning; people may drop out, making it unrepresentative; people may alter their behaviour as a result of the self-reflection required for the survey.
List the six methods of sampling. Random, systematic, stratified random, quota, snowball and theoretical.
Give an advantage of random sampling. It's technically the most representative.
Give an advantage of systematic sampling. It avoids picking names from a hat or designing a cpu program.
Give an advantage of stratified random sampling. There can be confidence in the representativeness of a small sample.
Give an advantage of quota sampling. There can be confidence in the representativeness of a small sample, and you don't have to use a sampling frame to achieve it.
Give an advantage of snowball sampling. It can be used to study groups of people with accessibility issues.
Give an advantage of theoretical sampling. It's useful for testing theories about small groups in societies.
Give a disadvantage of random sampling. It needs a large sample to increase the likelihood of representativeness.
Give a disadvantage of systematic sampling. It isn't truly random.
Give a disadvantage of stratified random sampling. It's only possible to use if the sampling frame details the characteristics of the potential people.
Give a disadvantage of quota sampling. It's not always representative as it excludes those who are difficult to access in public such as the elderly, homeless and disabled.
Give a disadvantage of snowball sampling. It's unlikely to give a representative study group because it relies on people who know each other.
Give a disadvantage of theoretical sampling. It makes no attempt to be representative and therefore cannot be generalised.
What is comparative research? The sociological version of an experiment which compares differences in society, either between two societies or the same society at differences.
What is ethnography? Studying cultures and subcultures and providing rich descriptions of these lifestyles, values and social divisions.
Give an example of covert participant research. Amy Flowers (1998) - sexline worker.
Give an example of covert non-participant research. Laud Humphries (1975) - gay voyeur.
Give an example of overt non-participant research. Mirza and Reay (2000) - African-Caribbean supplementary schools.
Give an example of overt participant research. Stephen Lyng (1990) - high-risk group activities.
Give an example of a researcher overcoming barriers of age, gender and ethnicity. Moore (2004), who employed young, female researchers to study young people 'hanging around' so they could fit in.
Give an example of a researcher using a gatekeeper. Bennett (2004) started studying the hip hop scene in Newcastle with the help of a local breakdancer.
Give an example of a researcher whose objectivity may have been questioned. Bourgois (2003), who became friends with the crack cocaine dealers he studied, explicitly allowing them to influence his research with their "comments, corrections and discussions".
Define 'operationalising'. The act of transferring concepts into research in a way which can be accurately and reliably measured.
What three things need to be taken into account when making a questionnaire? Operationalising the concept(s); defining key terms so participants answer with shared understanding; deciding on open or closed questions.
Created by: lottieball17



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