There are seven different factors that can affect a sociologists work, in this essay, I am going to state what these seven are and how they could possible effect someone's work.
The first factor that a sociologist would have to consider when looking to carry out research is practicality, this includes; is the study worth undertaking? And what are the practical issues involved? The practical issues that the sociologist will have to explore include; how much money will the experiment need in order to fully function? How much time will they have to carry out the study and how will it be done? If they don't have much time, a online questionnaire would be a good way of carrying out research. Having a lot of time and money would mean you'd ...view middle of the document...
Having reliable data is important, especially to positivists, this means that you should choose a research method that will get you a reliable and accurate set of results. Doing interviews won't get you accurate results as they're carried out in false environments and the interviewee could feel pressured into giving an answer the interviewer wants them too. Questionnaires are more likely to give reliable results as they're more reliable. This also links in with validity, a study cannot be considered successful if the data used to come to the conclusion is not valid.
Representativeness; the data sampling technique you use should try to target a whole group of people, not just a select few. This will allow you to give generalised results which show what you've studied across the board. Thus making your data more valid and reliable.
The theoretical side of research is another thing that needs to be considered, what kind of data are you looking to get? Quantitative data (stats) like positivist or qualitative data like an interpretivist. The different types of data will have their pros and cons and be more appropriate than the other for different types of studies.
To put of these points into context, I'll use the example of Rosenthal and Jacobson. They studied Pygmalion in the classroom. They will have known their budget for their study and will have spent time and carried out research appropriate to that. They will have considered the ethical implications and will had the informed consent of the school(s) they studied. Their data will have also been reliable and valid, they will have made sure of this so that their study can be recognised as being successful and a true reflection of what they've studied.