Craig 2

Topics: Scientific method, Quantitative research, Research methods Pages: 1 (332 words) Published: March 3, 2015
Examine the view that theoretical issues are the most important factor influencing sociologists’ choice of research methods (20 Marks) Many sociologists argue that theoretical issues are the most important factors to affect choice of method. Theoretical issues revolve around our thoughts as to what we consider society to be like, and whether or not an accurate and truthful picture can be obtained from this. There are four different concerns, regarding the issues that are theoretical, which influence sociologist’s choice of research methods. Validity is a method that produces data that gives a true or genuine picture of what something is really like; this helps the researcher easily find out the truth. The use of qualitative methods such as Participant Observation give a more truthful account, due to the method being able to provide us with a deeper insight through first-hand experience as argued by sociologists. Reliability is another issue that influences sociologist’s choice in research methods. Reliability refers to whether or not your experiment/method will be able to produce results that are an exact copy to the first ones and the ones after that. This results in the method being able to be repeated, which creates a less bias, and instead produces more accurate, research again and again. An example of such methods would be questionnaires as opposed to unstructured interviews. These quantitative methods (questionnaires) can be used as they produce more reliable results than the qualitative methods (unstructured interviews). Another theoretical issue is representativeness which refers to how much of the characteristics you are looking for is represented by the people being studied. For example, if a sociologist is researching delinquency, their research would not be carried out in places that are fully developed or have a lot of wealthy people living there. This is because that specific research would not be representative of that target group as the...
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