Research methodology: system of methods a researcher uses to gather data on a particular question. (positivism) auguste comte: objective scientific methods used to study the natural sciences could be applied to the social sciences. Experiment, measurement, systematic observation - based on sensory experience. For much of sociology"s history it was believed that the objective outsider would provide the best research. Describes and explains the behaviour, values, beliefs, and practices of participants in a given cultural setting. Groups are studied through "fieldwork" - naturalistic; become a member ("participant observation"). Research design that takes as its subjects a single case or a few selected examples of a social entity. Narrative research-narratives: the stories people tell about themselves, their situations, and others around them. Gives voice (a viewpoint) to people who do not usually get to speak directly in research. Often includes the stories of the sociologist researcher. Social elements that can be counted or measured (generate statistics).