Sampling Methods Essay

1025 Words 5 Pages
Sampling Methods

A great deal of sociological research makes use of sampling. This is a technique aiming to reduce the number of respondents in a piece of research, whilst retaining - as accurately as possible - the characteristics of the whole group.

The purpose of taking a sample is to investigate features of the population in greater detail than could be done if the total population was used, and to draw inferences about this population. In addition, at the practical level, a sample is likely to be both cheaper and quicker to investigate.

All sampling will involve error and sociologists have developed sampling techniques in order to minimize this error. All methods of sampling make
…show more content…
So the test is, does every person in the group have an equal chance of being selected?

Examples of random sampling include; ERNIE, a telephone directory, out of a hat.

An example of systematic random sampling is Willmott and Young's sample of Bethnal Green families.

The technique depends on the mathematical probability that a number of members carefully selected from a larger group will be more or less representative of that group. Of course, the improbable can happen and the sample is unrepresentative of the target population. One way to increase the precision of sampling is through stratification.

Non-representative sampling also occurs in sociology. The logic of this approach is that a non-representative sample might present a more demanding test of a researcher's hypothesis. For example, Goldthorpe and Lockwood tested the embourgoisement thesis (the belief that the w/c were becoming more like the middle class) with untypical affluent workers. They argued that if the hypothesis was not true among affluent workers, it was not likely to be true with any other workers. In other words they gave the hypothesis the best chance of being proved correct.

Stratified sample

When the population to be studied is large and the sample relatively small it may be efficient to use stratified sampling. Random sampling assumes that the list of the
Open Document