Free Sociological Factors Essay Example
INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
Introduction To sociology
Sociological factors affect the society in a number of ways. The effects of these factors varies from one society to another. The extent to which these factors will influence the society will also depend on the type of socialization involved. Socialization can be classified into two main categories, primary and secondary socialization. To understand how socialization affects the society, we must look at what these types of socialization are.
Primary socialization involves the social values that children acquire during their primary stages of development. Some of these things are the basic skills that they generally need as they grow up. Children tend to earn or copy these values from those who are very close to them and those they constantly look up to for guidance. It is therefore common for children to undergo primary socialization through interactions with their parents, older brothers and sisters, teachers and even their friends in school (Hurrelmann, 2009). As they grow up, children will pick those behaviors and characters that are expected of them by the society. These will eventually shape their personality quite significantly as they grow up. Primary socialization, therefore, plays a critical role in dictating how children interact with others and their environment as they grow up. A child who grows up in a violent environment may adapt violent tendencies as a result of primary socialization. This may remain so engrained in them that they will find it very difficult to change even when they grow up.
The main difference between primary and secondary socialization is that secondary socialization, children have the discretion to either accept or reject perceived values from other around them. They may choose to behave differently from their friends when they think that what the friends are doing is not right for them. At this point, they earn to determine what, in their estimation, is wrong and what is right. As a result, they will only adopt those values that they admire, or those they believe the society expects them to. It is at this point that the children learn to make decisions regarding what social group they want to belong to. They may learn to reject such activities as drug abuse or violence. On the other hand, they may embrace them as they socialize with those who are already into those activities. Secondary socialization is very critical in shaping the final character of young adults.
Impacts of Sociological factors on the Society
Sociological factors affect the society in many ways. Social factors such as population and culture define the society in every way. Increased population in the society can come with a number of advantages and disadvantages. As population grows, the rate of unemployment may increase leading to increased incidences of crime. But population, on the other hand, can create a pool of labor and industry for a country’s industry fueling economic development. One of the sociological factors that affect the society significantly is culture. Culture constitutes the way of life of a people. Cultural practices are therefore entranced in many societies and they determine the collective behavior of a society. A society that believes that all women should give birth to as many children as possible, for instance, will experience the problems associated with overpopulation. Repugnant cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation can also have adverse effects on the society.
Research Methods in Sociology
Research forms a very important part of social sciences. This is because the study of social sciences involves extensive research. Both students and teachers of social sciences usually rely a lot on research. They spend a lot of time collecting data and processing it in an effort to have an objective understanding of the sociological world. Research is the primal tool with which they do this. The importance of research in sociology is, therefore, self-evident.
In sociology, research can occur in different forms. The type of research used by a sociologist is usually informed by the type of information they are after. There are two main types of research that are commonly used in sociology and other social sciences. These are the quantitative research and the qualitative research. We will look at these two forms of research, delving deep into why they are preferred by sociologists and their possible shortcomings.
Most social scientists will use quantitative research. This is research that is based on the use of numerical data usually collected can the field. This data will then be analyzed using various tools of research analysis so that logical conclusions can be made with respect to the social phenomenon that is the subject of the study. In quantitative research, a certain variable will be manipulated and the outcome of such manipulation taken in measurements. The relationship between the variable and given constants will then be drawn in an effort to explain certain ends.
One advantage of quantitative research relies on the fact that it uses data which can be used to predict the occurrence of sociological phenomena in future. Quantitative research methods are also preferred because they provide hard facts based on tangible data. Most researchers find this more credible than qualitative research. Results from quantitative research can easily be generalized to define larger populations. The main disadvantage of qualitative research is that it cannot explain the reason for occurrence of a social phenomenon. Quantitative research merely qualifies the fact that the phenomena do happen, or has happened.
Where a social phenomenon cannot be measured or counted in ways that are quantifiable, social science researchers will resort to qualitative research. An example of an instance where social scientists may resort to use of qualitative research methods is where they need to describe a ceremony. Such phenomena can neither be counted nor quantified in units. In short, where a social phenomenon under study is not based on units that can be quantified, qualitative research method will be favored. Qualitative research, unlike quantitative research, tends to explain why phenomena occur (Gubrium & Holstein, 2000). This is the main advantage of qualitative research over quantitative research.
There are several social science issues that cannot be investigated through quantitative research. Studying the behavior of a group of people, or animals for instance cannot be presented through qualitative research. One might need to observe the study population and describe their behavior patterns in a journal for a given period of time. It is this description that will later be analyzed so that conclusive references can be made with respect to the phenomena being investigated. The main problem with qualitative research is that it mostly speculative and does not rely of verifiable data as happens in quantitative research. This can raise issues of credibility of the findings of the research.
Hurrelmann, K. (2009). Social Structure and Personality Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gubrium, J. F. & Holstein, J. A. (2000). The New Language of Qualitative Method. New York: Oxford University Press.