Analysis of a Sociologist's Research of Family Life

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Analysis of a Sociologist's Research of Family Life This essay sets out to cover possible ways of researching the family including case studies. The research methods I will be using in this essay are questionnaires, interviews and observation, which are types of primary research. There are many different types of research methods, two types being primary and secondary research. Primary research is carrying out the research from scratch without using any previous research. Secondary research is using information that has already been collected. The first research method I am going to write about is a study by Young and Willmott called The Symmetrical Family. In this study, men and women were asked to keep a record on the time they spent on various tasks. This method is a questionnaire, which would be primary research because they gathered the information themselves and is quantitative research. Quantitative means that the data is easy to gather and repeat and easy to analyse. The alternative to quantitative is qualitative, which is more in depth and includes information on events and feelings. Using a questionnaire to gather information about can be effective as it gives the opportunity to ask a variety of questions, it can have multiple-choice answers, which give you the answers, or it can have open-ended questions to gain more information. There are negative points in using questionnaires when researching the family as people may lie, or if it is a questionnaire through the post, many people are unlikely to take the time to fill them in. Another method in researching different aspects of family life is through observation this is primary qualitative research. There are various types of observation, participant observation is the researcher becoming a member of whomever they are researching, and non-participant is when the researcher is more like a fly on the wall. Both of these types of observation can be covert or overt. Covertly is the researcher gaining information without the subjects’ knowledge or consent and overtly is the researcher getting permission

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