Examine the Reasons Why Some Sociologists Do Not Use Official Stats in Their Research.

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 171
  • Published : May 15, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Examine the reasons why some sociologists do not use official stats in their research. Official statistics are a source of secondary data. They are produced by the government. They are quantative data. There are two types of Official Statistics. Hard statistics which are objective and can’t be manipulated; statistics on births and marriages are hard statistics. Soft statistics which are more subjective are easy to manipulate; statistics on crime, poverty and unemployment are soft statistics. Positivists favour Official Statistics as they take a scientific approach by using standardised research methods to get the quantitave data which allows them to make generalisations. Official statistics are delivered on a large scale and this is another reason why positivists favour them. However interpretivists say statistics are social constructions and don’t tell you about meanings and motives. Positivists prefer official statistics as they are practical as they already exist. They are also cheap and readily available as they’re in an easy form data. Furthermore they are categorised and in immediate usable form. Official statistics cover most important aspects of social life; especially those the state is interested in such as education, divorce etc. official statistics can provide starting points for research . boys educational underachievement was first identified from official statistics in education. They also provide background data about ethnic, class and gender. Positivists prefer official statistics as sample sizes tend to be done on a big scale; this shows they’re representative. The census survey is done every 10 years; every household has to fill in the form by law; however it gives virtually complete coverage of thousands in the UK. As official statistics produce quantitative data this makes it easy to make comparisons and see trends; however this shows that they’re reliable. As they are standardised each time it usually shows that the same categories and...
tracking img