Sociological analysis: what is it?
Sociological analysis is an integral part of sociological science. It is through analysis that the interpretation of basic data takes place, current problems in society are analyzed, and a search is carried out for their universal resolution.
Sociological data in the analysis can be presented in several main forms:
- Firstly, it can be a collection of numbers that are aimed at the characteristics of certain objects.
- Secondly, sociological data is all a variety of indicators that reflect certain interpersonal or intergroup relations.
- Third, the results of the successive pairwise comparison of any processes or phenomena by the respondents (in other words, this is the method of pairwise comparison and analysis of sociological data).
- Fourthly, it can be a combination of certain statements, texts of documents, one way or another recorded results of observations of the verbal or non-verbal behavior of the individual. Nothing is clear? Try to ask for help from teachers Problem Solving Examination Essays.
In the process of sociological analysis, three key models have formed: an a priori informative model, a conceptual model, and a formal model.
A priori informative model includes the choice of the object and subject of study. As an object of study, the a priori model of sociological analysis chooses the content regularity of the processes and phenomena of the modern world.
The sociological perspective model is aimed at calculating the objects under study, as well as a key characteristic of their indicators. In addition, a sociological imagination is carried out with a strict choice of indicators and also the principle of their interpretation.
Two points are very important here:
- causal relationships,
- as well as statistical relationships (the choice of a specific method of sociological analysis).
The formal model of sociological analysis is aimed at considering directly the measurement results. Also here, the main role is played by the magnitude of the correlation coefficient (the statistical model of the phenomenon being studied, as well as some formal statistical regularity).
Levels of sociological analysis
Modern sociology involves two key levels of sociological analysis: the macro level and the micro level.
The macroscopic level of sociological analysis, as well as macrosociology, is aimed at the study of large social formations (communities, groups, systems, and structures of society). The field of research paper and analysis also includes functional features, processes of changes and interactions with each other of large social entities.
As an object of sociological analysis, representatives of macro sociology view society as a whole, without affecting narrower and local entities. Also, representatives of this level believe that qualitative uniqueness is peculiar exclusively to social phenomena and processes of a large scale, and that only they deserve to be objects of study without relying on the data of smaller communities.
Microsociology and sociological analysis at this level is aimed at examining a variety of patterns and a set of mechanisms that reflect people’s behavior, ways of their interaction, as well as communication at a more narrow, interpersonal level.
- Sociologists relate the following theories to this area:
- Exchange theory.
- Theory of symbolic interactionism.
Nevertheless, we, as ordinary people, are included in both levels of sociological analysis, since we simultaneously operate at the micro level and at the macro-social level.
Remark 1 In the past few decades, another model has emerged that reflects levels of sociological analysis. According to Karl Marx, there are not two levels, but four. Two of them are interpersonal and group (refer to the field of microsociology), and the other two are societal and civilizational (they are directly related to the macrosociological level of sociological analysis).
Methods of sociological analysis
When collecting sociological data and for further sociological analysis in modern sociology, several key methods are used. All of them differ in their focus, structure, complexity of organization and distribution.
The first method of sociological analysis is a survey. It is presented in the form of two main methods – a questionnaire survey, as well as a survey, which is implemented through the organization of the interview. The interview can be personal, or it can be organized for a group of people (applicants, students, teachers, employees of the same field).
The second method of sociology analysis paper which is the analysis of documents. This method can be qualitative or quantitative. Analyzed archival documents, current documents, the subject is selected in accordance with the topic of research, as well as in accordance with the requirements of the customer.
The third method of sociological analysis is observation. It can be included and not included. With the observation turned on, the investigator becomes a part of any situation, observes its participants, and can influence the course of social life. When not included in the observation, the performer becomes only an observer from the outside, cannot interfere in the course of events and influence them in accordance with his wishes.
The last, fourth method of sociological analysis is an experiment. It can be both controlled and uncontrolled. Again, the difference lies in the fact that in a controlled experiment the performer can change the conditions, which, in turn, can change the outcome of the experiment.
Tips on how to choose a sociological research
a) selection of average units (average features, conclusions not generalized on the basis of probability, but assuming that the group is typical for society)
b) selection of units with marginal features? it is assumed that the extreme features are differentiating features
c) avalanche selection? each subsequent respondent is a source of information about an adequate respondent
d) selection of experts? selection of best-informed units
e) selection of steam units – takes place in experimental conditions, units are selected in pairs, traits that will be tested.
f) choice of amount? units selected by the researcher. The researcher must have some knowledge about the population, i.e. must know its structure due to the characteristics selected for the study. It is not always possible to obtain knowledge about the population, because the data may be out of date, each interviewer receives the amount, i.e. the number of interviews that must be carried out (with persons having significant characteristics for the study).
“A social experiment performs two main functions: achieving an effect in practical conversion activity and testing a scientific hypothesis. In the latter case, the experimentation procedure focuses entirely on the cognitive outcome. The experiment serves as the most powerful way to test the explanatory hypothesis.
In the first case, the experiment aims to obtain a practical effect of controlling certain processes. The cognitive results here represent a byproduct of managerial effect.
Experimental search for effective management techniques is dangerous to confuse with what we usually call best practices. Innovations, in general, do not belong to the field of scientific experimentation, but to the field of practical application of innovations ”.
Monitoring is a special type of observation (in this case, social observation), which controls that social processes or phenomena are in certain parameters that do not exceed specified limits (going beyond these limits can become socially dangerous or even lead to social conflicts or disasters). Monitoring can be carried out in relation to various processes of an economic, political, environmental, demographic and other nature: for example, economic monitoring – this can be controlled over the level of prices, income, unemployment, etc.
Thus, sociological research methods are very effective in using them as methods of social research and, as a result, they provide very reliable information about the social world. A significant part of these methods can be successfully applied in economics, especially as methods of collecting primary economic information. However, the economy is still mostly focused on theoretical analysis and on theoretical methods of studying social reality (analysis, synthesis, deduction, induction, analogy, etc.). It is these methods that should become the main object of methodological reflection in modern economic knowledge.