UPSC MAINS SOCIOLOGY
Paper 1 – Chapter 3 – Research Methods and Analysis : Qualitative and quantitative methods.
- The word Survey is derived from words ‘sur’ and ‘veeir’ which means over and see respectively.
- They provide the data for administration, rather than for the illustrative or descriptive material.
- They are generally quantitative and the history of the social survey is intimately bound up with the development of statistics.
- The modern social survey is said to be the product of the intellectual response of the urban middle classes to the social condition of town life in the 19th Century.
- The social survey method has the ultimate goal of seeking social facts.
- Dictionary of Sociology defines social survey this way: “The social survey is a systematic collection of facts about people living in a specific geographic, cultural, or administrative area”.
- “A social survey is the collection of data concerning the living and working conditions, broadly speaking, of the people, in a given community”. – Bogardus
- ”Social Survey is a method of analysis in scientific and orderly form of defined purpose of a given social situation and activities” – Herman N Morse
- Official, semi-official or private surveys
- widespread or limited surveys
- census survey or sample surveys
- general or specialised surveys
- postal or personal surveys
- public or confidential surveys
- initial or repetitive surveys
- regional or adhoc surveys.
- Sampling is an important aspect of social survey.
- Sampling, that is, selection of the relevant units of inquiry for the collection of data, must be done in a scientific manner.
- To ensure that the units he selects really reflect the characteristics of the population, the researcher may resort to different devices such as “quota sampling” or “random sampling”.
- Very practical method of obtaining information from individuals.
- A tool for verifying theories.
- Facilitates inferring generalizations.
- Can use multiple data collection methods.
- Useful for administrators and policy makers.
- Time consuming and costly.
- Chance for sampling errors.
- Success depends on willingness of respondents.
- No uniformity of data.
- Inadequate method to analyze complex phenomenon.
A social survey in its broadest sense, has a reference to a first-hand investigation, analysis and co-ordination of economic, sociological and other related aspects of a selected community or group A Social Survey involves obtaining information in a standardised from large groups of people. The main survey methods are questionnaires and structured interviews.