Methods in Context: Crime in England and Wales

Keeping abreast of the various statistical sources and data on crime can be both time-consuming and somewhat confusing for teachers and students – both in terms of the volume of data and the reliability and validity of different data sources. For these reasons the Office for National Statistics statistical bulletin is a brilliant resource for […]

Left Realism: The Islington Crime Surveys 1986 – 2016

One of the initial features of Left Realism, as it was developed by writers such as Young, Matthews and Lea, was the use of a very particular survey method aimed at gathering large amounts of data about a relatively small location: the local crime survey carried-out, in this instance, by Young et. al. (1986) in […]

Research Methodology: Neo-Positivism

As Jurgenson (2014) notes, positivism reflects the idea that, “if enough data can be collected with the “right” methodology it will provide an objective and disinterested picture of reality” and it is, in this respect, based upon two fundamental beliefs about the social world: 1. It involves patterns of behaviour that are capable of being […]

Research Methods: Triangulation

Over the past few years the concept of triangulation has become increasingly central to an understanding of both research methodology and methods – their strengths, weaknesses and limitations in particular – at High School and A level and it’s a topic I’ve already addressed a few times in one form or another. If you want […]

Of Methods and Methodology 6 | 3: Theoretical Research Considerations

Theoretical research considerations – from methodological perspective to questions of reliability and validity – form the third part of the P.E.T. (Practical, Ethical, Theoretical) triumvirate of research considerations and they represent an important counterweight to the idea that sociological research simply involves choosing the right tool for the job. In everyday life, when faced with […]

Of Methods and Methodology: 5. Triangulation

methodological pluralism While it’s necessary, for the sake of illustration, to differentiate between different sociological methodologies, this doesn’t mean positivism and interpretivism simply occupy their own unique social space into which the other cannot enter – an idea reflected in the notion “positivists” would not use qualitative methods for methodological reasons, because such methods “lack […]

Of Methods and Methodology: 4. Postmodernism

A methodology is a framework for research that focuses on how it is possible to collect reliable and valid data about, in this instance, the social world. It’s shaped by two main considerations: 1. Our beliefs about the fundamental nature of the social world (ontological concerns). 2. How we believe is possible to construct knowledge […]

Of Methods and Methodology: 2. Interpretivism

A methodology is a framework for research that focuses on how it is possible to collect reliable and valid data about, in this instance, the social world. It’s shaped by two main considerations: 1. Our beliefs about the fundamental nature of the social world (ontological concerns). 2. How we believe is possible to construct knowledge […]

Of Methods and Methodology: 1. Positivism

A methodology is a framework for research that focuses on how it is possible to collect reliable and valid data about, in this instance, the social world. It’s shaped by two main considerations: 1. Our beliefs about the fundamental nature of the social world (ontological concerns). 2. How we believe is possible to construct knowledge […]

Sociology in Focus for A2: Methodology Resources

If you’ve bagged yourself a copy of the Sociology in Focus for AQA A2 textbook and you’re wondering what to do with it beside read it, help is at hand with the addition of the resources originally produced to complement and supplement the text. These, in no particular order, consist of: Overview Map: An introductory […]