research methods in sociology

Topics: Sociology, Scientific method, Statistics Pages: 4 (1418 words) Published: December 15, 2013
 The question ( Outline the two main troditional approaches to sociology and different perspectives within them. Explain why structulist and interpretivists approaches to sociology influence the development of different approaches to social research and comment on the strengths and weaknesses of different sociological methods and tuypes of data)

Sociology is an attempt to operationalize research and understand social life, the way human beings interact with one another and the nature of society. There are many sociological methods involving a variety of tools and techniques applied to achieve these aims. The type of method of research chosen to by sociologists depends on many things. However the main research methods stem from two distinct theoretical approaches to sociology. These two main perspectives in sociology are positivitivisum, which focuses on maintaining scientific method in its approach to sociology and interpritivisum which instead focuses heavily on individual choice and people’s perceptions of situations. Posotavism is centred on the idea that sociology should aim to be as scientific as possible using the same methods of the natural sciences, (e.g. physics and chemistry). They argue that although it would be unrealistic to expect sociologist to carry out experiments due to an array ethical and practical implications, it is possible and desirable that sociologists should stick using quantitive methods to measure and explore society much in the same way that the established and respected sciences, physics and chemistry measure and explore the natural world. A key idea underpinning positivist thought is that human behaviour is moulded and controlled by the social structures which exist within society such as the family, the education system and the workplace.These phenomena are referred to as social facts. Social facts exist externally to people’s minds yet control and restrain their behaviour. The founder of positivistisum claimed that social...
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