29 Jul 2022


The Different Types of Research Approaches Used in Sociology

Format: APA

Academic level: University

Paper type: Personal Reflection

Words: 787

Pages: 3

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Essentially, the course has provided an in-depth understanding of research approaches that are important especially in sociology. Particularly, from my ability to implement the objectives of the course, it is clear that I have gained knowledge on skills that are essential for research. From the analysis of my performance and skills applied in groups and on individuals in surveys it is clear that the grade that represents my performance is B. essentially, despite the ability to differentiate between methods used in qualitative study such as ethnography, there is still room for improvement on how to relate with respondents or participants from different communities ( Absolon, 2011 ). Therefore, this fact explains the failure to award myself an A which requires the incorporation of theory learned with field skills to ensure accurate conclusions from analysis of observations. 


One of the important lessons that has changed my perspective about research is that there is need for creativity in the field. Essentially, qualitative research as opposed to quantitative research requires one to apply a lot of observation skills. For instance, one has to ensure that they understand how the participants in the community of study react to being observed and ensure that there is the application of creativity to acquire information. It is important to note that research that involves members of a particular community is sensitive and may evoke emotions that may hinder the achievement of the objectives of the study ( Absolon, 2011 ). For example, the observer or interviewer must learn what questions to ask at particular time. Essentially, qualitative research is not represented in numerical terms and variables cannot be quantified. This fact makes it hard to use numbers to quantify outcomes and hence there is need for critical thinking and creativity to ensure that the analysis leads to conclusions that are accurate. 

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As a result of engagements in groups and in the field it has become more apparent that there is need to understand different cultures. This invokes the new curiosity to learn different cultueres to be in a position to collect more information. Ethnographic approach for instance studies the cultures of different ethnic groups. This approach makes use of methods such as direct participation ( Absolon, 2011 ). In essence, without understanding factors such as the norms and language of the group there is an unavoidable failure to gather required information. In essence, the use of direct participation will in most cases require that the observer is able to detect nonverbal cues such as gestures and the distance between people as they communicate. The curiosity about the place of norms and elements of language in ethnography will ensure that there is more flexibility while engaging people of different communities. 

From the readings, it is clear that the most important questions in qualitative research are how and why. The researcher must produce an analysis that indicates how a particular phenomenon occurred and why certain events took place while others did not. This aspects evoke the curiosity to study past events through the use of case study while relating them to current or recent occurrences to find out likely events that may have changed between the two time settings. Therefore, there is need to investigate factors that influence changes in the society for instance time and the change in culture of the groups involved. In this sense, phenomenology and case study create the curiosity to understand independent and dependent variables and how the two interact to form occurrences ( Absolon, 2011 ). For instance, sociological issues s5uch as the rise in the rate of children defilement in the current society could be analyzed through looking at factors such the difference in social integration and culture as a result changing times where sexual assault is a constant issue. 

Evidence of Learning 

The essays and readings were crucial in addressing these challenges that are involved in qualitative studies. In most cases, one of the challenges is hostility by the community where the study takes place. Essentially, from the entire course it is apparent that various methods such as observation and direct participation can be used together to collect information. 

Essentially, most of the factors explained in the readings exist in everyday interactions. For instance, the readings explain that communication skills are required in qualitative research. The inability to communicate adequately is likely to cause misinterpretation of facts ( Absolon, 2011 ). Essentially, nonverbal cues such as nodding May in most instances display different information. In some causes it means negative affirmation while in other situations it is positive. In most cases participants become hostile as a result of failure to understand the message communicated buy the researcher. 

One of the most interesting areas in the readings was the epistemological considerations in qualitative study. Particularly, the chapter states that it is possible to separate facts from values. Not all details in research constitute actual knowledge on the subject of research ( Daly, 2007 ). This fact from the readings raised interesting questions which include what measure is used to determine knowledge and how one can possibly verify the factuality of information during research 


Absolon, K. E. (2011). Kaandossiwin: How we come to know . Fernwood Publishing. 

Daly, K. J. (2007). Espistemological considerations in qualitative research . Sage. 

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