Describe each of the major research methods covered in the textbook, and then select the one that you believe is most useful in conducting sociological research. Defend your choice by explaining the basis for your choice. The following video may provide insight for writing your answer: “Renzetti interview: Discussion of Methodology”. (click here for transcript) In it, Professor Renzetti provides an example of the process by which survey research on victimization is conducted in acquiring both quantitative and qualitative data.
When researching a topic there are 7 different methods to chose from to conduct your research. The first is survey, which is when you collect data by asking a series of questions. The second method is Participant Observation or in other words “fieldwork”. This is when the researcher participates in a research setting while observing what is happening in the setting. The third method is Case Studies which is when a researcher focuses on a single event, situation or even individual.
The purpose is to understand the dynamics of the relationships, power or even the thought processes that led to some particular event. Forth we have Secondary Analysis, which is the analysis of data that have been collected by other researchers. Fifth we have The Study of Documents or recorded sources. Then sixth is Experiments, which is the use of control groups and experimental groups and dependent and independent variables to test causation. And lastly we have Unobtrusive Measures which is observing the behavior of people who are not aware that they are being studied (Henslin 2010).
After studying these 7 different methods I believe that the method that would be most useful when conducting research would be surveys. I think that because there are so many different ways to conduct a survey and you are able to send surveys out all over the world (Henslin, Qualitative Methods Video, 2008) it leaves a broad range of possible information to obtain for research. It also gives the people answering the surveys the option of having their identity known or keeping it confidential, yet still being able to provide feedback.
I think that people are more willing to participate in a research project if they know that their identity will not be known. I believe that when conducting an anonymous survey people are more open in their answers and are not afraid to be completely honest because they know that they will not be judged based on their answers because no one knows whose answers are whose. So I think the possible amount of surveys and the idea of being kept unknown makes it easier to get a lot of data to do your research and compare.