Research Methods in Sociology and Anthropology
Western Governors University
Sociology and Anthropology rely upon investigational and research techniques. While some of these may be similar they also differ. Each discipline has its own philosophical justification for their method but any and all approaches to study the society’s culture require some degree of fieldwork.
A. Research Methods in Sociology Scientifically studying human society’s development, origins and organizations/institutions is defined as Sociology. (Wikipedia, 2013). The methods of analysis and…show more content…
Experimental research concentrates on how and why something happens. It is the evaluation of how an independent variable (a manipulated factor) affects a dependent variable (an observed factor). The outcome can be affected by a number of elements; obtaining random and representative samples of the study population, experimenter bias and extraneous variables.
Bias as defined by the expectations of the researcher of what should or should not happen influencing the results. Lack of control on extraneous variables may interfere with the results; only with careful control on extraneous variables can valid conclusions about the effects of specific variables on other variables be drawn. (CliffNotes). The philosophical justification for survey research is cost containment with a large volume of research. It is also one of the most efficient and quick methods to gather large amounts of information. Data analysis can be completed in a short period of time and generalization is better, particularly when the representative sample is of a population. It also helps elimination of bias in result interpretation as subjects have the ability to remain anonymous.
B. Research methods in Cultural Anthropology The study of cultural variation among humans and collecting data regarding the impact of global economic and political processes on local cultural realities is the cultural anthropology branch of anthropology. (Wikipedia, 2013).