A method of studying social behavior without affecting it. Unobtrusive measures
may be qualitative and quantitative.
Qualiative data is data that cannot be measured. Some examples would be color Ex:
the bird is blue. OR temp. Today is 9 degrees. Quantitative data can be measured.
For example, There are nine people standing in front of me. (numbers)
Primary vs Secondary Data.
Primary data are those that you have collected yourself, whereas secondary data
originate elsewhere. Generally, you will find that you are expected to collect primary
data when using quantitative methods, but that secondary data are more
acceptable when you are using a qualitative method. This is because there are
certain common aspects of qualitative research which involve only secondary data,
such as the study of television or newspaper discourses. If you wanted to
understand the nature of the representation of Romany people on television, you
wouldn’t make your own television programmes! You would use those which exist,
and they would form [your] secondary data.
▪ Primary data - collected by the researcher himself
▪ Secondary data - collected by others to be "re-used" by the researcher
▪ Aggregate Data
▪ conclusions that summarize the analysis of data from many individuals,
without reporting results from any one individual. A summary of data
collected and reported together rather than individually. A summary of
data collected and reported together rather than individually.
◦ unanalyzed data; data not yet subjected to analysis.
Historical research is a type of secondary data analysis to determine past social
attitudes and community structure and how these have changed over time.
Historical research can be accomplished with several types of sources
The ideal type is an abstract model created by Max Weber that, when used as a
standard of comparison, enables us to see aspects of the real world in a clearer,
more systematic way. It is a constructed ideal used to approximate reality by
selecting and accentuating certain elements. Weber used it as an analytic took for
his historical studies. Problems in using the ideal type include its tendency to focus
attention on extreme, or polar, phenomena while overlooking the connections
between them, and the difficulty of showing how the types and their elements fit
into a conception of a total social system.
Time series analysis
Analysis of the pattern (frequency, duration, magnitude, and time) of time-varying
events. These events may be discharge, habitat areas, stream temperature,
population factors, economic indicators, power generation, and so forth. content analysis
manifest contents (of communication) and its latent meaning. "Manifest" describes
what (an author or speaker) definitely has written, while latent meaning describes
what an author intended to say/write. Normally, content analysis can only be
applied on manifest content; that is, the words, sentences, or texts themselves,
rather than their meanings
Qualitative research is collection of research methods that collect verbal or text
data in order to answer sociological questions. This kind of research looks at
processes and explanations in answering these questions.
Three qualitative methods include:
Field research is the systematic observation of people in a natural setting for an
extended period of time
Topics appropriate for field research
• Topics that defy simple quantification
• Attitudes and behaviors best understood in their natural settings
• Social processes over time
Elements of social life appropriate for field research
• Roles and Social Types
• Social and Personal Relationships
• Groups and Cliques
• Settlements and Habitats
• Social Worlds
• Subcultures and Lifestyles
Ethnographies- The scientific description of the customs of peoples and cultures. Field research
covert is hiding something or being private
overt is out loud and clear to see
1) non-participant (complete observer);
2) semi-participant (observer as participant);
3) participant observer (complete participant)
verstehen has come to mean a systematic interpretive process in which an outside
observer of a culture attempts to relate to it and understand others.
Verstehen refers to understanding the meaning of action from the actor's point of
view. It is entering into the shoes of the other, and adopting this research stance
requires treating the actor as a subject, rather than an object of your observations.
It also implies that unlike objects in the natural world human actors are not simply
the product of the pulls and pushes of external forces.
Field research pros and cons
- Weakness: reliability & generalizability
qual data: Stren