Sociological Research Online: Journal Index

A very useful and wide-ranging compendium of resources developed by Bill Trochim from Cornell. Aimed at people involved in applied social research and evaluation. Lots of resources and links to other locations on the Web that deal in applied social research methods.

Important Methods and Techniques of Sociology

Kohn, M.L. (ed.) (1989) Cross-National Research in Sociology, Newbury Park: Sage.

Compare and Contrast Two Methods of Sociological Research.

Discusses the appropriateness of qualitative and quantitative methods for feminist research. A paper by Nicole Westmarland in Forum: Qualitative Social Research.

Sociological Methods Of Research

historical events
Used to explain social change
Compare data to find trends
Analyzes experience during formative years affect on worldviews
Generations X, Y, and Z
Gen XYZ Merits
Looks at larger picture
Objective - dealing with data
Makes it easier to recognize trends
Helps understand the effects of historical events on the population
Sidewalk -
Mitchell Duneier
Between A Hard Rock and Postmodernism - Kurt Borchard
Participant Observation
-Form of ethnography
-Studies the life of a group or people by sharing in their activities
Duneier follows the vendors throughout the day & experiences what they do to survive
-Wake up before dawn to find merchandise
-Selling dust masks & crates to stand on
Ethnography -
A form of field research
Explores how a subgroup of people live
Postmodern ethnography goes beyond traditional methods
Involves the use of new media
Allows us to step into someone else's shoes
Forces us to feel a sense of empathy
View world problems, not just individual problems (racism, education & "real" jobs)
-Bathroom situations
-4 Year college degree man is homeless, teens who dropout to care for family
-Man claims it's their "choice" to be living on the streets
Examples in this article -
Borchard went to Las Vegas to understand the effects of postmodernism on the public
Better understanding how society has changed in the last decades due to postmodernism by studying how people act in Las Vegas
Use of various research styles allows a greater understanding of the social world, alternative views, and a better version of truth
Personal experience impacts opinion- creates bias

Research- way to limit personal bias while coming to a conclusion
Proves a way to check other peoples' research
Result: more valid and reliable sources
The Merits of Ethnography
Alwins' Use
Provides the researcher with personal stories instead of quantitative data/statistics
Captures emotional behavior
people act the way they do
Focused on better understanding why they live the way they do and what influences their actions
Further proves how everyone is participating in something greater than his or her self.
Goes beyond social stereotyping
Describes some generations as characterized by events (Baby Boomers, Depression Generation)
Trust in government - decreases for all generations showing historical event
Trust in people - decreases with generations, shows cohort replacement
"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas"
Do the unique formative experiences of cohort become distinctively imprinted onto members' worldviews, making them distinct generations over the course of their lifetimes, or do people of all cohorts adapt to change, remaining pliable in their beliefs throughout their lives?
Finding Out How The Social World Works- Michael Schwalbe
Types of Questions
Empirical question- answerable with accumulation of data (counting)
Aesthetic question- answer depends on personal taste (subjective)
Moral question- judgement of right vs.

Quantitative Methods in Sociological Research; Social ..

An introduction to Checkland's soft systems methodology, popular in business and management research. Developed by Chris Jarvis for the Business Open Learning Archive Project.


Linda Hantrais is Director of the European Research Centre, Loughborough University. She is convenor of the Cross-National Research Group and series editor of Cross-National Research Papers. The main focus of her research is cross-national theory, method and practice, particularly with reference to social policy. She has conducted a number of comparative studies, including ESRC/CNAF/European Commission-funded collaborative projects on women in professional occupations in Britain and France and on families and family policies in Europe. Her recent publications include a co-edited book, with Steen Mangen, on Cross-National Research Methods in the Social Sciences (Pinter, 1996).

Essay and Questions on Doing Sociological Research

Marsh provides a strongly argued case for the contribution of survey-based explanations. She responds to the anti-survey perspective found in parts of sociology and argues that these critiques are ill conceived and misunderstand what survey research can accomplish in achieving sociological understanding.