Research in Sociology
Examples | Methodology | Student Resources | Glossary | Teacher Resources

Sociology Research is a subcategory of Social Sciences Research.

  • Read the description and explore the various fields of sociological research.
  • Study the examples to see what others have done.
  • Navigate through the Steps to plan your methodology.
  • Use the Student Resources to assist in carrying out your research.

Sociology is a social science that studies the interaction of individuals and groups within society. 

 Sociology is subdivided into many specialized fields of which some of are:

  • Applied sociology - applies sociological theory to the understanding of society
  • Comparative sociology - compares social interactions of people between countries, states or social groups 
  • Cultural sociology - analyzes cultural differences within society 
  • Demography - studies the characteristics and dynamics pertaining to human population
  • Marriage and Family - examines the role of the marriage and family structure and their impact on society
  • Political sociology - studies the sociological relationship between state and society
  • Social psychology - study of the relations between people and groups

HCPS G & T Student Learning Conference 

  • Dillon Hagius --Love doesn't hurt: Using the Justice System to Reduce the Local Rate of Teenage Dating Violence
  • Ruqayyah Albaari -- Educating a Global Community

Research Article Rios, V.. (2010). Navigating the Thin Line Between Education and Incarceration: An Action Research Case Study on Gang-Associated Latino Youth. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 15(1/2), 200.  Retrieved July 16, 2010, from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID: 2025198011). (cannot access via BCPS)


Sociological Research design & Methods

Most social scientists follow these basic steps when conducting research. Sociologists also integrate some different designs and methods to study society and social behavior.  Most sociological research involves ethnography, or "field work" designed to depict the characteristics of a a population as fully as possible. 

Three popular social research designs (models) are:

  • cross-sectional, in which scientists study a dumber of individuals of different ages who have the same trait or characteristic of interest at a single time.
  • Longitudinal, in which scientists study the same individuals or society repeatedly over a specified period of time.
  • Cross-sequential, in which scientists test individuals in a cross-sectional sample more than once over a specified period of time.(CliffsNotes)

Six of the most popular sociological research methods (procedures) are listed below:

  1. Case Study Research in which an investigator studies an individual or small group of individuals with an unusual condition or situation.

  2. Survey research involves interviewing or administering questionnaires or written surveys to large umbers of people.

  3. Observational research involves directly observing subjects' reaction either in a laboratory or in a natural setting.

  4. Correlation al research which demonstrates a relationship between two variables or ("factors that change"). These factors can be characteristics, attitudes, behaviors, or events.

(adapted from Cliffs Notes) 

Step 1 Develop a clear sociological argument.that involves individuals and some outside social forces or structure.
Step 2

Choose a research design and methods that you will need to follow during your sociological research. This    design is key in organizing the steps needed to answer your hypothesis.

Possible variables should include:
  • Identified group of humans - How are individuals or groups affected by something happening in their world?
  • Social structure or organization - What is in place: government, family, community, political or social organizations?
  • Cultural objects or social artifacts - What impact do these items have on a group?
Step 3 Research previously done investigations related to your topic.
Step 4 Document and collect data carefully:  organize data, conduct observations, surveys, etc
Step 5

Analyze data.

  • Synthesize the information you found.
  • Look for key relationships.
  • Based on resulting data found test your sociological theory or argument.   
    • Can you make inferences, or make comparisons?
    • Draw conclusions.  
    • Conclusions should be valid, objective, & reliable. 
Step 6 Present findings.


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