Methods of Research Methodology

Unit 1 Module 1 - Sociology, Culture & Identity

Methodology/Research Methods

Methodology, may be defined as: The procedures involved in the investigation of facts and concepts. Methodology refer to how observers go about their observations and explanations of social reality.

It can also be defined as the "norms" of scientific investigation.

Methodology is not concerned with increasing the number of facts or accumulating data but is concerned with inquiry into the explanation of the procedures by which observations are made, how concepts are utilized, and how and to what extent explanations are made from a particular stated point of view.

Sociological research methods/ Methodology can be divided into two major groups:

I. Quantitative/Numerical Research

Research using methods allowing for the measurement of variables within a collection of people or groups and resulting in numerical data subjected to statistical analysis. By its very nature this is a form of positivism.

II. Qualitative/Word Research

Research using methods such as participant observation or case studies which result in a narrative, descriptive account of a setting or practice. Sociologists using these methods typically reject positivism and adopt a form of interpretive sociology.