Sociology Answer Writing Practice - Week 1 - Question 6
90 Days Sociology Answer Writing Practice Question 2 for 08-Dec-2017
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08-Dec-2017 - Question 2
Analyse the limitations of quantitative methods in social research (2013)
Research methods are tools, techniques, and processes of data collection. Broadly research methods are classified as Qualitative and Quantitative. Quantitative methods, also called the statistical numerical method, produce data in numerical form and are associated with positivist epistemology . So, methods like surveys, government data, questionnaires, and structured interviews with others are quantitative methods.
Limitations of quantitative methods:
- It does not guarantee validity i.e. whether it actually measures the subject matter.
- Phenomenologist tradition of Sociology argued that quantitative methods are not suitable for studying human being and are more suitable for lifeless entities.
- Quantitative research methodology usually requires a large sample size. However, due to the lack of resources, this large-scale research becomes a limitation.
- Inability to control the environment- Sometimes researchers face problems to control the environment where the respondents provide answers to the questions in the survey which depend on particular time which again is dependent on the conditions occurring during that particular time frame.
- Limited outcomes- Quantitative research method involves structured questionnaire with close-ended questions. It leads to limited outcomes outlined in the research proposal.
- Expensive and time-consuming- Quantitative research is difficult, expensive and requires a lot of time to perform the analysis.
- Difficulty in data analysis- Quantitative study requires extensive statistical analysis, which can be difficult to perform for researchers from non- statistical backgrounds.
Despite such limitations, quantitative methods are used by Sociological Positivism for their analysis. In Contemporary times, researchers are going for methodological pluralism to address the limitations of qualitative and quantitative methods.