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Discuss the major research methods stating its strengths and limitations Introduction Sociologists are often concerned with issues that are often similar to those that worry many other people How can mass starvation exist in a world that is far wealthier than it has ever been before Is family beginning to disintegrate as an institution Do films and television encourage violent crimes These are some of the problems and questions which sociologists try to provide answers It is always the aim of sociological theorizing and research to breakaway from the speculative or ill-informed manner in which an ordinary person usually considers these questions Good sociological work tries to make questions asked as precise as possible It seeks to assess factual evidence before coming to conclusions To achieve these aims we must use sound research procedures and be able to analyze the material accurately We have to know the most useful research methods to apply in a given study There are four main methods used in sociological research Research can be carried out by means of participation observation or fieldwork surveys documentary research and conducting of experiments It is important know to the strengths and limitations of these methods and when is it appropriate to use them Issues Concerning Research Methods There are several issues or questions that always arise when considering a research method They are mainly reliability validity generalizabilty and ethicality of the method in consideration Reliability refers to the extent to which a measure provides consistent results A measurement instrument is reliable if it yields the same result each time we use it repeatedly to measure the same object Validity refers to the degree which a measure truly reflects the phenomenon of study Are we measuring what we are supposed to measure Are we asking the right questions If we are the method is in high validity A research method requires that the result be both
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