Sociology and Anthropology
By: Ashley Tenney
Sociology studies society and social behavior through many different methods. The most popular methods are cross-cultural, survey, observational, experimental, case study and correlational. The survey method is the interviewing or giving questionnaires to a mass number of people. This data is then analyzed to learn about similarities, differences and trends among the selected group. This analysis can then be used to predict trends in the population. The philosophical justification for questionnaires is that it offers information that is the result of the subjects’ opinions of their reality. The results of these surveys are used to gather data that is objective, discernible and measurable. The supporters of this research method believe that any information resulting from any other means must be forgone due to its inaccuracy (“Write Essay 3 Pages”, 2012). Advantages to this method include the convenience for the population, being able to reach a large group relatively inexpensively, as well as guaranteeing anonymity and encouraging truthful responses when mail-in surveys are used. Disadvantages can include bias on both the part of the interviewer as well as the person being interviewed. Interviewers may inadvertently project their feelings on to the person they are interviewing. The people that are willing to be interviewed may respond differently than the people that are not willing to be interviewed. Another disadvantage is that people may distort their answers, or respond untruthfully. Cross-cultural research is formatted to show variations among different groups of people. Most of this research involves direct observation, participant observation as well as surveys. Participant observation involves an observer to become part of their subjects’ community. A big advantage to this method is the ability to study the community fully and then analyze the information as it pertains to the social,...
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