The Theoretical Methods Of Quantitative And Qualitative Methods Essay

1652 Words7 Pages
The sociologist is interested in understanding the self, other, and social environment, questioning and searching for an interpretation of the common, everyday, and taken for granted. In order to do this, the sociologist needs to apply some form of research and method, however the most successful direction for doing so has been long disputed. Although sociological method has been subject to many different styles and approaches, being constantly updated with new ideas and concepts, this essay will argue that in order to best reflect upon and develop an understanding of today’s world, the researcher needs to use and apply both qualitative and quantitative methods. To make this argument clear, this essay will first go into the understanding of sociological methods through epistemological and ontological views. Then this essay will explore the debate of quantitative or qualitative methods, and then argue for a mixed methods approach. Finally, this essay will utilise an existing research paper and evaluate one of the many ways to inter-relating quantitative and qualitative method, being the concurrent triangulation design. In conclusion, this essay will prove that through the utilisation of both quantitative and qualitative method, the sociologist has the ability to open "a free space for innovation and creativity" (Martin, Gutman & Hutton, 1988, p.163), in which both methods are able to strengthen each other and further support the interpretation of the phenomena at hand.
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