“No Matter What Research Method Are Used , All Sociological Studies Will Be Affected by the Values of the Researcher”.Explain and Asses.

Topics: Sociology, Émile Durkheim, Marxism Pages: 6 (2060 words) Published: July 17, 2010
“no matter what research method are used ,all sociological studies will be affected by the values of the researcher”.Explain and asses.

In my answer , I will explain ans asses the statement of “no matter what research method are used ,all sociological studies will be affected by the values of the researcher” through interactionist’s , functionalist’s ,postmodernist’s and marxist’s values.

Interactionist claims that people create their own meanings. They react ,reflect on their own behaviour,have awareness and consciousness of their existence. Therefore,to explain social behaviour,interactionist tend to understand individual interpretations,the meanings which individuals themselves giveto that behaviour through rich in ‘quality’ and in-depth study such as participant observation. For example,James Patrick ‘s study on violent Glasgow Gangs. Patrick secretly becoming part of a group and taking a full part in their lives.Patrick manage to be close as possible to the ‘natural’ behaviour of the group in their own environment .He is able to place himself inside the group’s value system. Patrick successfully get to understand and gain data of the group behaviour as well as their interpretations on crime.Thus,James Patrick’s study has show that interactionist’s values on studying people ‘s own interpretations and meaning has influence their choice of method on covert participant observation.Additionally, to support this view ,through interactionist ‘s analysis,Liebow (1967) also choose to do participant observation because he believes the method would provide a clear first hand picture of the life of ordinary people on their terms. By observing what was said and done,where,when, and by whom,he was able to discover how the group of Black Street- Corner men saw and organized their live.Simon Winlow (2001) also prove that he could provide detailed descriptions of the interactionist involved around fights in Sunderland which he observed while doing participant observation as a ‘bouncer’. In short,all those studies has obviously show that interactionist’s values has influence their choices of method particularly participant observation.However,interactionist ‘s choice of method give details explaiantion on human’s social behaviour is doubtful. Particiapnt onservation data not really depicts great picture of social behaviour since there is probability of researcher will be going native and no objective in presenting the data. For instance,Ken Pryce’s study on West Indian life in Bristol (1979). Pryce found himself going to clubs and blues dances,drinking with and talking to local resident well past midnight during his study . He is unable to stand back and analyse the situation objectively. While William Foote Whyte ‘s study on Street Corner society also shows that he is going native and unonjective. When he conduct the study by overt participant observation,he tend to ask respondent permission or opinions about which data can be published in his study . So,this show that his overt particiapant observation did not really potray the interacton between Street Corner members. In which those data will effect his aim of his study.Hence,both study of Pryce and Whyte has show that interactionist ‘s choice of method being influence by their values but not really visualize great explaination on human interaction and social behaviour since researcher may going native and unobjective against James Patrick,Liebow and Winlow .

Furthermore ,functionalist did show that their research method in their sociological studies will be affected by their values.Functionalist view society as a system that is as a set if interconnected parts which together form a whole. They therefore believe that individuals are determined ,shaped and mould by larger society. In which,they analyse the social structure where behaviour takes place and may generate general law or generalization on their social behaviour pattern. To indentify the pattern and...
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