The main methods of sociology
Methods of sociology - cognitive techniques that help shape the patterns of social development; a set of methods of mathematical measurement of social reality, the definition of patterns of development and the description of social processes taking place in a local space in a certain period of time.
General characteristics of the methods
Methods of sociology can be divided into two types:
- general scientific - description, induction, deduction, systematic approach, etc .;
- special (methods of sociology as a science). These usually include polls, included observation, analysis of documents, practical experiment, hall-test, sociometric methods.
Let us dwell on the special methods of sociology. These include:
- a mass survey of the population, which is a survey of people on a specially designed questionnaire based on a calculated sample that represents the entire socio-demographic slice of society. The standard sample records the differentiation by the following indicators: gender, age, education, income level, social and professional status.The survey is conducted either in the form of a personal interview, when the respondent personally answers the interviewer's questions, or a questionnaire in which the respondent fills in the questionnaire / interview form independently;
- included observation - methods of sociology, involving the "inclusion" of the researcher in the reference group, observation and description of the social activity of the group "from the inside". The actions of the sociologist clearly correspond to the developed scenario and the logic of the survey;
- analysis of documents - specific methods of sociology, with the help of which social processes are determined and mathematically measured. Allocate a classic analysis of documents, that is, the analysis of their content in accordance with the selected criteria. In addition, there is a content analysis that allows statistical techniques to describe individual local processes;
- a sociological experiment - the creation in laboratory conditions of a specific social situation, which members of the test group are invited to solve with permitted measures. This takes into account the specifics of the situation itself, the actions of the group members, their life position,personal interests of participants in the experiment. This method is rarely used and only on a voluntary basis;
- focused group interview or focus group - sociological methods, during which a limited number of people (8-12 years old) are invited to independently identify and describe the problematic issues recorded in the script. The method is informal, leading has the right to resort to improvisation;
- Hall test - this method involves a step-by-step survey of respondents on a semi-formalized questionnaire. The sample is partial and limited to the size of the reference group of 80-120 people. Depending on the goals and objectives of the study, even more “soft” or “hard” polling options are possible;
- sociometric methods - the definition and measurement of the level of social relations within the reference group.
Methods of sociology of management
In general, these methods do not differ from those used in sociological science. However, the hall-test, sociometry and experiment are considered as priorities. Sometimes an expert survey is used - the study of the situation on the basis of a generalized opinion of individual specialists in their field of scientific knowledge.