Research Methods

Research Methods
Learning Objectives

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There are four types of research methods you can choose from: experiments, field research and surveys.
Learn why research on different topics is more effective.

Sociologists study the world to identify problems or patterns and then set out to research them. To design a study, they use research methods. These could include a systematic, systematic, scientific method to collect data, or an ethnographic research using an interpretive framework. sociologyresearchtopics.com Research design planning is a crucial step in any sociological research.

Researcher must be cautious when entering any social environment. There are times to keep your identity private and other times to make it public. There are times for interviews and others to observe. While some participants should be informed, others shouldn’t be aware that they are being observed. It would be inappropriate for a researcher to walk into a crime-ridden area at night, shouting, “Any gangs around?” Or if he walked into a coffee shop, and said that he would observe the baristas, they might behave differently. This is the Hawthorne phenomenon, which means that people will change their behavior when they know they are being observed as part of a study. Some research will not allow for the Hawthorne phenomenon. Sociologists need to be clear about the purpose of any study in most cases. Subjects should be aware they are being monitored and some artificiality could result (Sonnenfeld 1985).

For other reasons, it is impossible to make sociologists’ presence invisible. This option is not available for researchers studying prison behavior, early education, or Ku Klux Klan. Researchers are not allowed to simply observe the behavior of prisoners, kindergarten classes, or Klan meetings. Other methods are required in such situations. The study design is shaped by the studies. Researchers choose the methods that are most relevant to their study topics, and that align with their overall research approach.

When planning research designs, sociologists typically choose from four types of social investigation methods: field research (or experiment), survey, field work, secondary data analysis, and use of existing sources. Every research method has its advantages and disadvantages. The study topic strongly influences the choice of method.

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