Sociology : Research Methodology

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Sociology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Research Methodology

Which of the following research methodologies is considered to be qualitative research?

Possible Answers:

Survey 

Ethnography

Census

Experiment

Meta-analysis 

Correct answer:

Ethnography

Explanation:

Sociological research can be broken down into two main categories: qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative research is characterized by empirical investigations that utilizes statistics, mathematica, or computer techniques to investigate sociological phenomena. It is systematic in nature and is utilized in experiments, surveys, censuses, and meta-analyses. On the other hand, qualitative research is referred to as exploratory research in which researchers investigate the underlying motivations or forces that affect social changes. In ethnographic research individuals often infiltrate a specific social group in order to gather data in the form of notes and observations. They can use this data to create theorizations about groups and propose explanations for social phenomena. 

Example Question #1 : Research Methodology

Which of the following research methods are primarily qualitative?

Possible Answers:

Regressions

Mixed methods

Enthography

Content analysis

Correct answer:

Enthography

Explanation:

Out of the options, ethnography is the only research method that is definitely qualitative because it requires deep observation and reflection. Mixed methods imply a the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods, regressions use statistics, and content analysis can be either quantitative or qualitative.

Example Question #1 : Research Methodology

What is the method of ethnography?

Possible Answers:

Study of how people become organized into particular groups

Firsthand study of people through experimental observation

Firsthand study of people through covert observation

Firsthand study of people using participant observation or interviewing

General study of groups of people

Correct answer:

Firsthand study of people using participant observation or interviewing

Explanation:

The answer is studying people through firsthand participant observation or interviewing because ethnography is a cultural frame of analysis in which the experimenter must understand the group or culture in the field that it takes place and through those people's point of view.

Example Question #2 : Research Methodology

Which research method would you use to study a very large population and to generalize results?

Possible Answers:

Interviews

Surveys

None of these

Participant Observation

Existing Data

Correct answer:

Surveys

Explanation:

The answer is surveys because surveys allows access to a large group of people and requires shorter, simpler answers that can be generalized. The use of interviews, participant observation, or existing data to study a very large group would not be the best choices because the amount of time and data collected with these more in-depth approaches are more suited to smaller sample sizes to make the research manageable. Further, surveys are a method whose results can more easily be generalized across a larger population simply because they use a larger sample size, whereas the other research methods may not have generalizable results because their methods may only be studying a few people in a smaller group and these results may not transfer to larger populations.

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