“Examine The Reasons Why Some Sociologists Choose

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“Examine the reasons why some sociologists choose to use structured interviews when conducting research” Structured interviews are like questionnaires, as they both involve asking participants a standardised set of questions which are usually closed ended questions with pre-coded answers. However within a structured interview the questions are read out loud to the ‘interviewee’ and the answers given are filled in by the researcher. Structured interviews give quantitative data as the questions have pre-determined answers. This makes them very reliable. This means that structured interviews will appeal to positivists as they like sociological methods which gain reliability, gain quantitative date and can cope with a large sample size. Positivists like these because they all help to find the cause of something rather than the effect; this in turn lets positivists to seek the social science aspect of sociology. A sociologist may decide to use structured interviews if they are willing to study a sample of a large number of participants. Structured interviews will also gain a high response rate unlike questionnaires; this is because the interview is face to face rather than putting a set of questions through a door. However participants who are interviewed are those with a lot of time on their hands this can make the sample unrepresentative of the whole population as they may be lonely people who have a lot of time on their hands. When conducting questionnaires participants may find it difficult to understand what a question is asking them, however with a structured interview the interviewer is able to explain and clarify the questions in order to gain a valid response. However as the interviewer has to follow a set of instructions they can’t give more detail to the respondent if they say something particularly interesting. Structured interviews have many advantages
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