Challenges of Sociological Research

Topics: Scientific method, Research, Sociology Pages: 1 (319 words) Published: September 23, 2012
1. When doing sociological research in the real world, you are bound to face many methodological challenges, problems, and pitfalls. There are several research methods that sociologists use. One method is ethnography, which involves firsthand studies of people using participant observation. Another way is by using surveys in which questionnaires are sent directly to groups of people. Experiments and life histories are research methods too. Experiments are used to test a hypothesis under controlled conditions and life histories consist of biographical material about one individual. Lastly, triangulation is the use of multiple research methods to produce a more accurate data. Along with all of these methods come issues. One major problem is researcher bias. Researcher bias is when a particular someone is doing research and their personal beliefs and values are reflected on the overall interpretation. Another problem is ethical violations of which could be intended and non-intended. An example of ethical violations would be if someone wanted to do some research on the insides of drug deals and that someone dressed as the one who wanted drugs, the police wanted the men in her group and some of those guys were working as drug dealers. The person who wanted the drugs would ultimately be setting them up to get arrested and sent to jail. Human subjects review refers to answer the question if the ends justify the means. Several studies take place and the results of those studies are then put up against the advances and benefits of human life.

Participant observation is used as a more popular methodological approach to sociological research. Participant observation tries to get around the researchers bias by becoming unknown in the situation they are being placed in. You become a part of the group instead of an outcast because that way, the people you are around will act normal rather than different because they know they has someone observing them.
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