Suppose Your Sociology Instructor Has Asked You to Do a Study of Homelessness. Which Research Technique (Survey, Observation, Experiment, Existing Sources) Would You Find the Most Useful? How Would You Use That Technique to Complete Your Assignment?

Topics: Scientific method, Homelessness in the United States, Homelessness Pages: 3 (778 words) Published: February 19, 2013
Suppose your sociology instructor has asked you to do a study of homelessness. Which research technique (survey, observation, experiment, existing sources) would you find the most useful? How would you use that technique to complete your assignment?

If my sociology instructor has asked me to do a study of homelessness, I will choose the observation research technique because I think this method is the most useful to me. In definition, observation means collecting information through direct participation and/or by watching a group or community engaged, which means, this is a technique which researchers observe carefully the behaviors of people involved in their hypothesis.

Although there are various types of observational research techniques (naturalistic observation, participant observation…), each of them has both strengths and weaknesses. Personally, I believe participant observation is the most suitable method for the study of homelessness. Firstly, this technique allows me to gain information in my own point of view as I’m the observer and participant as well. Secondly, by using this method, the subject behaviors (homeless people) remain natural, therefore, giving the results high validity and reliability. Thirdly, it’s flexible as I can myself test the hypotheses and be able to redefine possible personal conceptions. Fourthly, by directing involving the research, my results will contain highly-detailed, high-quality information about the homelessness’s behaviors.

However, this technique also has some disadvantage. First, it’s likely for me to have a close relationship with others which may influence the results. Second, it’s quite difficult for me to be accepted in the group (maybe I’m too different from them). Third, this technique requires a great deal of skill and commitment from the researchers. I must have the ability to fit-in with the people being observed and the ability to communicate naturally to them without letting them know my...
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