Internal Examinations – July 2009
Sociology – Paper 1
Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Answer Question 1 and one question each from Sections B and C respectively.
Section A: Research Methods
Interviewing is a common technique used by sociologists to gather data. Interviews may be structured, semi structured, or unstructured. They usually take place on a one –to –one basis between the researcher and the respondent, but group interviews are an alternative. Those sociologists who prefer to collect quantitative data are more likely to use structured interviews. With this type of interview the researcher takes special care to draw up a carefully worded set of questions. They also try to standardize their performance as interviewers so that they behave in exactly the same way with each respondent. The purpose of all this care is to make sure that nothing ‘irrelevant’ in the wording of the questions or the performance of the interviewer will influence the answers. In this way it is hoped that the data collected will be free from any researcher bias. 1 (a) In sociological research, what is meant by the following terms: (i) Quantitative data (2)
(ii) Respondent (2) (iii) Researcher bias? (2)
(b) Describe two ways in which unstructured interviews differ from structured interviews. (4) (c) Describe two reasons why it may be difficult for an interviewer to behave in exactly the same way with each respondent. (4) (d) Describe two advantages of using group interviews in sociological research. (4) (e) Describe two ways in which the personal characteristics of the interviewer may influence the answers given by the respondent. (4) (f) Describe two strengths and two limitations of structured interviews. (8)
Section B: Culture...