Importance Of Sociological Research
Discuss why Sociological research is necessary and why relying simply on personal knowledge may not be enough to clearly understand events in our daily lives.
You must support your response with scholarly sources in APA format. Simply stating your opinion is not enough, back up your opinion with citations.
Research is composed of two words ‘re’ and ‘search’ which means to search again and again. The Webster’s Dictionary defines research as an investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws.
DEFINING SOCIAL RESEARCH
According to P.V. Young, Social Research is defined as “a scientific undertaking which by means of logical and systematized techniques aims to: discover new facts or verify and test old facts; analyze their sequences, interrelationship and causal explanation which were derived within an appropriate theoretical frame of reference; develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories which would facilitate the reliable and valid study of human behavior. A researcher’s primary goal is to explore and gain an understanding of human behavior and social life and thereby gain greater control over them.”
Sociological research studies show how individual lives and society can benefit from particular social programs. Researchers seek to grasp vibrant human issues with scientific procedures. Sociologists go out in the field set up, observe, talk with people, and systematically analyze existing data to try to understand what is going on and why.
WHY WE CANNOT RELY ON ALTERNATIVES TO RESEARCH
- Many people rely on alternatives to research such as personal experience, common sense, experts and authorities, popular media messages, ideological beliefs and values to acquire knowledge and make decisions but more often than not, these resources are misleading and unscientific. These everyday knowledge-gathering strategies suffer from a number of weaknesses, for example, we may not be the most careful observers. In our group of friends, we may not remember who is right and who is left-handed? Or what colour clothing they wore last time we went to class?
- We have to work consciously to observe and note behaviors as there is much we can overlook due to human error. We also tend to “overgeneralize”-that is, to draw conclusions about many based on only a few cases and tend to overlook cases that run counter to our expectations. If we think all football players are politically conservative, we may ignore the ones who are not.
- There may also be an emotional stake in our beliefs about the world that causes us to resist evidence that challenges those beliefs. This tendency may lead to closing one’s mind to new information and can create bias in our approach.
Research seeks to overcome these pitfalls of everyday inquiry.
Young, P. V. (2001). Scientific Social Surveys & Research (4th Ed.). New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Research. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved September 6, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/research
Neuman, W.L. (2014). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (7th Ed.). Essex: Pearson Education.