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Sampling Techniques

An introduction to quantitative and qualitative data, primary and secondary sources, sampling concepts and techniques.

The Research Process

Commonsense and sociological forms of knowledge; The Hypothetico-Deductive Model of research; Concept operationalisation; Research Project organisation.

Primary Methods


An overview of questionnaires, content analysis and experiments (laboratory and field).

 Primary Methods


An overview of ethnography, interviews, participant  and non-participant observation, subjectivity.

Secondary Methods

Introduction to types of secondary methods; the evaluation of secondary sources; overview of official statistics; historical and personal documents.


Ethical, practical and methodological reasons for the infrequent use of experimentation in sociological research; the concepts of experimental control, dependent and independent variables; causality and correlation; the problems involved in the conduct and use of sociological experiments.

Participant Observation

The concept of empathy and how it relates to Participant Observation as a method of data collection; problems of Participant Observation in context; the concept of an "observer effect".

AS Sociological Methods

Interesting document written by Mary Morgan that provides a comprehensive overview of research methods (and methodology) at AS level.

Research Methods Flipbook

Online Flipbook covering: primary and secondary methods; qualitative and quantitative data.

Overt Participant Observation

Sudhir Venkatesh's "Gang Leader for a Day" study is used as a base for the outline and evaluation of key methodological concepts in overt participant observation. These include:
▪ Access.
▪ Recording Data.
▪ Validity.
▪ Depth and Detail.
▪ Going Native.
▪ Observer Effect.

Research Methods Chapter

This complete textbook chapter taken from the 1st edition of AS Sociology for AQA covers:

1. Sources and types of data

2. The research process: types of sampling.

3. The research process: primary and secondary methods.

4. Research methodology: positivism and interpretivism.

5. Practical, ethical and theoretical research considerations.

Research Methods Chapter

This complete textbook chapter taken from the 2nd edition of AS Sociology for AQA covers:

1. The distinction between primary and secondary data, and between quantitative and qualitative data.

2. Sources of data, including questionnaires, interviews, participant and non-participant observation, experiments, documents, and official statistics; the strengths and limitations of these sources.

3. The relationship between positivism, interpretivism and sociological methods; the nature of social facts.

4. Quantitative and qualitative methods of research; their strengths and limitations; research design.

5. The theoretical, practical and ethical considerations influencing choice of topic, choice of method(s)

and the conduct of research.


Research Methods


Introductory | Deviance | Identity | Education | Family | Global | Media |

Methods | Politics | Inequality | Theory | Religion | Welfare

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