Research Methods in Sociology and Anthropology
Western Governors University
Sociology and Anthropology rely upon investigational and research techniques. While some of these may be similar they also differ. Each discipline has its own philosophical justification for their method but any and all approaches to study the society’s culture require some degree of fieldwork.
A. Research Methods in Sociology
Scientifically studying human society’s development, origins and organizations/institutions is defined as Sociology. (Wikipedia, 2013). The methods of analysis and investigation can be broadly divided into quantitative and qualitative designs. Qualitative design places the emphasis on direct observation, communication with participants and or analysis of texts to understand the social development while quantitative design frequently relies on statistical analysis of numerous cases. (Wikipedia, 2013). Sociologist approach to data collection is completed by one of several research methods; archival/historical method, content analysis, experimental research, longitudinal study, observation or survey research. (Wikipedia, 2013). Survey research is the process of interviewing participants or administering questionnaires and written surveys to a large number of people. (CliffsNotes). The data is then studied to determine trends, differences and similarities. Predications are then made about the participants. The advantage to survey research is inexpensive data acquisition, convenience to participants schedule and larger volume of participant information. However, it does include disadvantages as well. There can be volunteer or interviewer bias and distortion. “Distortion occurs when a subject does not respond to questions honestly”. (CliffNotes). Volunteer bias is not having...
References: CliffsNotes. Sociological Research: Designs, Methods. Retrieved from:
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2013). Cultural anthropology. Retrieved from:
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2013). Ethnography. Retrieved from:
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2013). Sociology. Retrieved from:
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