Social Issues - Research Methods

Created by Calum Crosbie

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11 slides



Highlights interdependence between groups
Gives and explanation for inequality
Shows evidence of mobility
Emphasises importance of hard work, education and qualifications



Accepts the capitalist state
Accepts tradition and status quo
Accepts inequality as necessary
How decides what jobs are functionally important



Conflict is the force of history
Theory and political movement brings about change
Highlights exploitation of the proletariat - polarisation
Emphasises the importance of economic ownership
Explains the rise of capital and the rise of political movements



Economically deterministic
'Privileges' the proletariat
There has been no revolution yet


Theories and ResearchFunctionalism - is there evidence of social mobility?

Marxism - has society become polarised?

Weberianism - Is there evidence of social closure?


Blanden J, Gregg P and Machin SIntergenerational Mobility

Population divided into quartiles (lowest 25% of earners to the top 25%)
Data was collected on 7 countries - USA, Canada, West Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.



Blanden, Gregg and MachinLess upward mobility for those born in 1970 than born in 1958

Sons born in 1958 - 31% born into the bottom quartile were still in it when they were 33 - 17% had reached the top quartile

Some born in 1970 - 11% had reached the top quartile - 38% were still in the bottom quartile

Intergenerational Mobility had fallen in Britain - it had one of the lowest mobility rates across the 8 countries.

Education - sons of affluent families were taking advantage of increasing education opportunities compared to sons of poorer families.


Qualitative MethodsStrengths:

Gives indepth responses

Gives the chance for follow-up questions

Allows for indepth responses


Data gathered is difficult to put into a general theory

Relies on the researcher's ability to interprete the data - could be biased


Quantitative MethodsStrengths:

Allows for general theories to be constructed
Allows for large samples to be used

Method is objective in gathering information


No follow-up questions

Relies on the participants being honest and open in their responses


Ethical ConernsBritish Sociological Association (BSA):

Methods must be appropriate
Social and cultural diversity must be respected
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